TRADERS are calling for an annual four-day bank holiday weekend in June after roaring trade during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Southend.

Thousands of people flocked to Southend seafront on Thursday and Friday to make the most of extra days off work and the hot weather, with businesses continuing to be busy across the weekend despite clouds and spells of rain.

Tills were ringing at a rapid rate, while day trippers queued for amusements, pubs, and eateries - much to the delight of business bosses.

Paul Thompson, owner of Pebbles One Café on the seafront, said: “It’s still quite early in the year and isn’t the summer but we’ve had more people than usual down here.

“An extra bank holiday is really good and hopefully the Government will look to do one every year. I think the whole country would like that.

“I definitely think we need an extra bank holiday and everyone would love a mini break like this each year.


“Everyone’s been in great spirits due to the long weekend and break from work and the jubilee has definitely helped boost spirits and our trade a lot too.”

Joan Tiney, owner of The Borough Hotel on the seafront also echoed Mr Thompson’s calls.

She said: “It’s been so busy and brilliant this weekend and the seafront has been packed all day and well into the evening.

“I would very much like to see it become an annual long weekend, it would be great for trade and also I am sure visitors, families and our residents would also love it too.

“It is so pleasing to see the boost to trade and we really did need it as hospitality was hit so hard by the Covid pandemic and lockdowns.”

It comes as street parties and patriotic celebrations were held across the country and weekend marking the Queen’s incredible 70 year rein.

Philip Miller MBE, owner of Adventure Island and other top attractions said customers and visitors really enjoyed the long weekend.

He said: “We had busy days with all our customers enjoying the bank holiday Thursday for the first time ever.

“We played the national anthem on the hour every hour which many of our customers loved hearing.”