FROM thrilling rides at Adventure Island to the world’s longest pleasure pier, there’s plenty of attractions in Southend for children to enjoy.

The seaside city has always been busy and vibrant as families flock to Southend to enjoy the entertainment and events it has to offer.

However, the area has a different flavour now compared to when some of its older residents were children.

So we decided to take a trip down memory lane and ask Echo readers their favourite places to go in Southend as a child.

One of the most popular choices among readers was Never Never Land, which has been hailed as Disneyland for youngsters in the Fifties.

Among the shrubbery on Southend Cliffs, the attraction featured mythical castles, goblins, dragons and fairies all lit from the trees above, as well as a model railway and a turreted castle.

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Sadly, the place became neglected and was taken down in 1972, while a new hi-tech version installed in 1987 never lived up to the original and was closed in 2000.

However, it remains a fond memory for thousands who grew up in the era.

On the attraction, one reader commented: “Couldn’t keep away. Magical.”

Another added: “So magical. I used to believe that when it closed everything came to life.”

Opposite then Never Never Land was another reader favourite, Peter Pan’s Playground, which some younger Southend residents may not know Adventure Island was once known as.

The park has transformed since it started out in 1918 as the Sunken Gardens and now boasts dozens of rides and attractions.

In the 1920s it installed a handful of children’s rides and has been an amusement park since 1976.

It was vastly expanded thanks to land to the east of the pier being obtained in 1995.

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Many readers recall riding the hugely popular rollercoaster Green Scream, which was launched in 1999 and was once the park’s signature ride until Rage was installed in 2007.

Recalling when the park was once Peter Pan’s, a reader said: “Much better than now, it had a boating lake.”

One resident responded: “I did a charity swim in the boating lake with Leigh firemen.”

Kursaal opened in 1901 as one of the first amusement parks of its kind and has sadly been empty for years, apart from an on-site Tesco Express.

A staple of Southend seafront, many residents and guests recall childhood visits to the much-loved landmark.

A reader said: “I loved The Kursaal, I sang in a record making machine and came home with a single.”

Some other honourable mentions which our readers loved as youngsters include Warrior Square’s swimming pool, the roller skating rink and bowling on the pier.