PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK MASSEY
The mouth of the Thames, in the Southeastern corner of the UK, is one of the country’s largest inlets and a major shipping route in and out of London. The coast is home to a diverse mix of industry, human habitation and leisure, all co-existing with the natural environment. Different communities, with different relationships to the estuary, live, work and play here. Edgelands, marshes and mudflats rub shoulders with amusement arcades, power stations and wartime relics. To some, it’s the land of ‘Estuary English’ accents and lazy stereotypes but the Thames estuary has always been a source of inspiration for Essex based social documentary photographer, Mark Massey. “I’ve lived in Southend, on the estuary, all my life. When I was a child I took the seaside for granted but now I’m older I can appreciate how the coastline contributes to the identity of the entire area.” Essex Chronicles covers the whole length of the coastline, from Foulness Island in the east and as far west as the area around the QEII Bridge and Purfleet.