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Seaside project highlights heritage on Tendring coast

9 August 2017

The history of Tendring’s coastline is set to be brought to life through a series of free events supported by Essex County Council, Tendring District Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The two-year ‘Resorting to the Coast’ project launches at the end of August and aims to highlight the historic seaside heritage of Tendring’s coastal towns with help from The Grand Theatre of Lemmings theatre company.

The project will enable local people to discover the history of seaside entertainment through street theatre, installations, theatrical re-enactment and the sharing of memories. ‘Resorting to the Coast’ will engage audiences with the fascinating history of Clown Bertram, our local seaside hero.

Clown Bertram was a leading comedy character from Clacton and entertained crowds with his performances of banjo songs, a ventriloquist act, knobbly knees competitions and much more. He was the most popular and best-loved performer ever to appear in Clacton and spent 18 seasons from 1922 to 1939 entertaining both adults and children alike in packed houses.  

During the last week of August ‘Resorting to the Coast’ with the Grand Theatre of Lemmings will visit Clacton, Walton, Frinton, Jaywick Sands and Harwich with their modern-day Clown Bertram and his bright young things. You can also expect hula hooping, comedy, magic, music and a flea circus.

Details on where you can find ‘Resorting to the Coast’ with the Grand Theatre of Lemmings:

  • Wednesday, 30 August 12 to 4pm at Dovercourt Greensward, next to boating lake 
  • Thursday, 31 August 12 to 4pm at Jaywick Martello Tower
  • Friday, 1 September 12 to 4pm at Frinton seafront, next to beach patrol 
  • Saturday, 2 September 12 to 4pm at Walton seafront, to the right of the pier 
  • Sunday, 3 September 12 to 4pm at Clacton seafront, to the right of the pier

Susan Barker, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Culture, Communities and Customer: “Essex is lucky to have one of the longest coastlines in Britain and Tendring’s stretch is steeped with history. I am delighted we are able to help bring that history to life through a number of free events for local residents and visitors.”

‘Resorting to the Coast’ has been made possible thanks to a National Lottery grant of £316,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Essex County Council and Tendring District Council are also contributing time and resources alongside volunteers, including local heritage groups, who are the driving force behind a range of activities.
 
Spanning two years, ‘Resorting to the Coast’ will proactively engage with local community groups and schools to bring the seaside heritage of Clacton, Frinton, Harwich/ Dovercourt, Jaywick and Walton-on-the-Naze to life.  

Mick Skeels, Tendring District Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said he is really looking forward to this exciting and interesting initiative.

“We have a very rich and varied coastal heritage in Tendring and it is something that we are extremely proud of,” he said. “I am delighted to see this project is launching this summer and is running for two years. I am certain it will be very popular and can help spread the message about our fascinating coastline far and wide.”

The Grand Theatre of Lemmings is an organisation that works with local communities to help them celebrate their heritage, enabling everyone to feel proud of where they come from. They do this through schools projects, community celebration events and theatre. For this project they will be working with heritage professionals from local history societies to provide an accurate account of just what the entertainment involved.

Commenting on the project, Mandy Rose, Artistic Director, said: “We are thrilled to be partnered with Essex County Council, Tendring District Council and Heritage Lottery Fund and are really excited to engage a whole new generation with their fun and varied seaside history. We can’t wait to get stuck in and recreate such a fun and well-loved character such as Clown Bertram.”

‘Resorting to the Coast’ is looking for volunteers to help with each event.  Activities for volunteers could include splat-a-rat, sandcastle competition, hula hoop, dressing up and a general facilitation for fun.  Old or young, all are welcome! If you would like to help please contact Mandy Rose by emailing admin@lemmingstheatre.co.uk.