‘Southend Shakedown’ – Southend-on-Sea, Essex – 28 March 2016

The ‘Shakedown’ is a mass meeting of motorcyclists along the promenade of the Essex seaside town on the Easter Monday bank holiday, traditionally the first outing of the year after the winter – hence ‘Shakedown’. This, the seventeenth running of the event, almost didn’t go ahead in its usual format. A jump in the fee requested by Essex Police to the Ace Cafe, who have organised the run in recent years, saw them pulling out after deciding that they could not afford this fee for a free event from which they gain little income. Most of the bikers vowed to still make the run regardless, but a collection of local traders led by Grumpy’s Diner came forward to pay the fee to secure the policing at the event. In the end it was Storm Katie that had a final say in the size of the event with many bikers choosing not to take the risk, leaving the reserved western area of the seafront empty. Thousands of bikers did still make the journey, many arriving later than normal once the storm front had passed through.

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