The Beecroft Art Gallery is a gallery that was formerly located in Station Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England. The Edwardian building was donated to the people of Southend-on-Sea in 1952 by Walter Beecroft to house his eclectic collection of art works. Walter Beecroft was a solicitor in nearby Leigh. Beecroft also endowed the Beecroft Bequest, an art purchase fund administered by the Museums Association. The Gallery itself moved in 2014 to the former home of the Central Library on Victoria Avenue, space now shared with the Jazz Centre UK.
I came here, looking for the Library, which used to be in this building until a larger version opened near the University building. It was a considerable surprise to find not only had everything changed, but that this place had evolved into something far more relevant to my interests. The Jazz Centre UK‘s home in the basement is the surprise that continues to keep on giving for someone who grew up with Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman alongside her dad’s love of 70’s rock.
This poem is a beginning of sorts, organisation of ideals and setting of intentions for the journey ahead. From this point forward, with the Beecroft Gallery’s council supervisor as my guide, it’s time to work out why I’m here, taking steps back into the past of the town, exploring history that mirrors my own as resident of this borough.
People Who Mattered
‘Our journey’s earnest start,
held moment; Spiral Galaxy
old ammonites, punk rocks
together bound with concrete blocks.’
The library’s moved, that way
for years, instead the building
sings blue notes, jazz funk,
Digby’s love song, lines refrain
doors of art, science, history.
‘People who mattered;
lives, recalled, plans
thrown away, middling space
humans, faced, decay aligned.’
two worlds a thousand quid apart
bars separated, privilege
musicians basement’s bargain bass.
My liberation states:
‘This moment, here
redefined as starting point:
you are enough, matter
held, birthing redemption, history.’