There's a building just up the road: a grand Victorian hotel of ample proportions and red-brick solidity. Having begun to decline around a decade ago, she has lain unoccupied these past four years and now finds herself being eyed-up by an Essexian man of means who wishes for her to rise from the ashes in a flourish of gilt and velvet to become just the kind of over-styled establishment that turned his own home town of Brentwood into a mecca for TV production companies with an ear to the ground when it comes to a demand (from certain quarters of the viewing public, at least) for a peephole into the anti-cultural antics of orange-hued, mono-celled cretins.
A once-fine hostelry, The Grand Hotel is possessed of a rich and vibrant heritage dating from the days when sea air and a quick dip in the bracing waters of the North Sea off Southend were considered instrumental in warding off a plethora of maladies ranging from gout and worms to asthma and jaundice.
Latterly, The Grand became a favourite watering hole for Dr. Feelgood's Lee Brilleaux, as evidenced in Julien Temple's immersive and highly-textural film Oil City Confidential.
If the genteel rustle-bustle of Victoriana eventually dispersed to make way for gritty Brit rock, then surely the next supposed incarnation for The Grand is not wholly inappropriate? Well, let's examine the notion.
Some say Leigh-on-Sea is already more than halfway there when it comes to attracting the kind of clientele who can be viewed in all their gory glory down at Brentwood's premier nite spot, Sugar Hut. Others accuse Leigh of being "up itself" and, indeed, a scribbled wisp of graffiti on a hoarding just off The Broadway clearly attests to this very fact: "Welcome to Leigh-on-Snob", it squeaks in two-centimetre high letters.
For my money, Leigh seems to be a town of many faces. We've got the bankers, the moneyed pensioners, the artists (both the penniless and superstar variety), the young families, the goths, toffs, yoga bunnies and yummy mummies. We've got posh, dishevelled bon-vivants, Bentley-driving geezers for whom parking tickets are merely pay-and-display, champagne-swilling shopkeepers and the next generation of skateboarding Dog Towner's using the pavements as their playground, weaving between the Saturday shoppers and little-dog poo's that stud the streets like our very own Parisian pearls.
So, who among us will be using The Grand once its doors are thrown open anew? Will we all be sitting, po-faced at home snarling over TOWIE-ite interlopers with their wide-shouldered swaggering and clattering, chattering peacock-brained shrieking?
Or, will we rise to the notion that a building, no matter how Grand or otherwise cannot be defined merely by who owns it or what his sensibilities may be. A building is a receptacle, waiting to be filled. If you sit in the bar, reading Proust or (god forbid) The Daily Mail, you are resonating through that space and making it your own.
By no man are we taught, we are all our own destinies. And, just as a church without its congregation is simply a room with a very long hallway, a red brick hotel without its artists, writers, families, goths, toffs and posh, dishevelled bon-vivant may well be at the mercy of those who do not remember its previous lives. We can still hear the whispers of Victorian ladies and the ice-demanding voice of Mr Brilleaux.
And that is why, no matter how much bling and fancy is thrown at her feet, we must use her - even if it's just for a cup of tea now and then, or a glass of lemonade on those boiling summer days when the Old Town is heaving and we can't get served at the Peter Boat.
The Grand is our old lady and someone is prepared to buy her a new dress. I, for one, shall be pleased to make her acquaintance when she's got her face on and is ready to welcome me in. And, perhaps, within her freshly appointed spaces, I'll leave a little bit of resonance of my own behind.