Camp Bling

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Camp Bling, Priory Crescent, Southend-on-Sea
Location of the Priory Crescent road widening scheme

Camp Bling was a UK-based road protest camp set up in Southend-on-Sea, Essex during September 2005 to obstruct a £25 million plan to widen the Priory Crescent section of the A1159 road over the Royal Saxon tomb in Prittlewell. In April 2009 the authority announced that plans to build the road had been abandoned and the camp was disbanded in July 2009.


A 'Blinger' enjoying his tea

In 2004 Southend-on-Sea Borough Council proposed the 'Priory Crescent road widening scheme' and a public inquiry was held. The council proceeded with the scheme, estimated at £25 million, explaining that it was important to Southend and that a democratic decision had been taken after considering opposing views. During early excavations, an Anglo-Saxon king's burial chamber was discovered[1] which was described by British archaeologists as "the most spectacular discovery of its kind made during the past 60 years".[2]

The widening of the road would have resulted in the felling of 111 trees and a loss of 300 square metres (3,200 sq ft) of public green space.[3] 20,000 signatories completed petitions against the road.[4]

Of those responding to the official Winter 2001 Civic News survey, only 16 people were in favour of the proposals from a delivery area covering all Southend households.[citation needed]

On 23 April 2009 at a meeting with the council the authority told the protesters that the road widening scheme had been abandoned,[5] and the protesters agreed to leave within 3 months.[6]

The camp[edit]

The camp was situated between a main road and a railway line. The site consisted of a large communal area, a visitors centre and several personal dwellings. All buildings were made from re-cycled materials. The communal area featured seating, heating and a bookcase. The buildings were heated by wood burning fires and run off donated wood. Water was collected on a daily basis. Food was cooked on a calor gas oven and there was a composting toilet. A wind generator provided some of the evening lighting.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The battle for the 'King of Bling'". BBC News. 6 February 2006. Retrieved 13 January 2008.
  2. ^ "BRITISH ARCHAEOLOGICAL AWARDS 2006". Council for British Archaeology. Retrieved 30 April 2009.
  3. ^ "Evictions and birthdays for UK road protest sites". Peace News. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 30 April 2009.
  4. ^ "Road Block e-bulletin * 26th August 2005". Road Block. Archived from the original on 8 August 2008. Retrieved 30 April 2009.
  5. ^ "Priory Crescent update". 16 April 2009. Archived from the original on 28 April 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  6. ^ "Protesters poised to leave Camp Bling". Echo news. 23 April 2009. Retrieved 30 April 2009.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°33′14″N 0°42′32″E / 51.5540°N 0.7088°E / 51.5540; 0.7088