A couple of years ago whilst leaving the harbour on West Mersea, a little scrote came whipping across the bow of our boat on a jet ski, far to close and well over the speed limit of the harbour. “Oh, looks like the Romford Navy are out early this year” said the Captain of the vessel.
Romford Navy was a term I’d never heard before, so I enquired as to it’s meaning. “They’re idiots with too much money who throw their brains away when they’re on the water”, he said.
Who are the Romford Navy?
After some more enquiring, it appears that the Romford Navy is a colloquial term used by residents of North East Essex to refer to people from South Essex areas, such as Romford and Basildon with (and I quote) “more money than sense”.
Generally, the Romford Navy will arrive on weekends and Bank Holidays during good whether with motorboats (mobos) and jet ski’s. They can be seen making their way towards the coast along the A12 a couple of hours before high tide. They will generally disregard speed limit, drive too close to the beaches and be a general nuisance.
It is generally believed by local people that the RN ruin the local area by breaking rules and disregarding the peace and space of local people.
Is this criticism fair?
From what I’ve observed of my time on the water, it would appear that there is some people who aren’t local, who do treat the water like a playground. There are regularly reports in the paper about near misses and antisocial behavior but the cost of prosecuting them is so high that often nothing can be done.