A two-year project designed to celebrate the heyday of Essex’s Sunshine Coast, from Harwich and Dovercourt to Walton, Frinton, Jaywick Sands and Clacton, reaches a grand finale this May with a free, family-friendly ‘Seaside Revival Day’ at Clacton on Sea.
The ambitious retro event will take over the town’s West Greensward on Sunday 26 May from 10.00am to 5pm and promises ‘a bucket load of good old-fashioned fun’ for all those looking to relive the great British seaside experience.
A packed performance programme designed to appeal to everyone from 4 to 104, showcases music, dance, theatre and comedy. Britain’s only professional singing Pierrot troupe, The New Follies, will feature alongside cockney singalongs, escapologists and seaside spectaculars from Princes Theatre Youth Group, West Cliff Theatre Youth Group and Clacton’s Mad About Theatre Company.
Visitors can enjoy free entertainment at the retro fayre with storytelling, swing boats and cork shooters! The Grand Theatre of Lemmings will present a treasure trove of Clacton’s secret seaside novelties from the past at The Marvellous Museum of Coastal Curiosities. Plus, there’ll be free workshops for kids to discover clowning, crafts and puppetry as well as the essential Punch and Judy shows!
Local residents, who remember the pleasure boats that ferried passengers along the coast to Mersea between 1940s to 1960s, will have the opportunity to float back in time by buying a ticket to ride on the Viking Saga pleasure boat; or re-kindle more memories at the Heritage Discovery Tent featuring local history 'taster' talks over a cuppa.
Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council said: “We can’t wait to bring our Seaside Revival Day to Clacton and look forward to welcoming visitors from across the county as well as day trippers from further afield. This wonderful project, which highlights the timeless appeal of the Essex Sunshine Coast, supports the project’s aims to boost the area’s tourism and reignite local pride. We hope families will come along in force to forge a fresh generation of new seaside memories on the Essex coast.”
Cllr Mick Skeels, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism at Tendring District Council said: “Our coastline has always been a popular choice for tourists, and the Seaside Revival Day is a brilliant way to celebrate the heritage of the Essex Sunshine Coast and the work of the Resorting to the Coast project.”
The ‘Seaside Revival Day’ has been inspired by the stories, films and images gleaned by the ‘Resorting to the Coast’ heritage project since its launch in 2017. Stories and images of high days and holidays at the coast have been gathered through events, workshops and training days held with local people, groups and societies along the Tendring Coast.
Resorting to the Coast is a partnership project between Essex County Council and Tendring District Council, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project is further supported by Brightlingsea Museum, Clacton & District Local History Society, Clacton VCH Group, Frinton & Walton Heritage Trust, Jaywick Martello Tower, The Harwich Society and Walton Community Forum.
Other Resorting to the Coast celebration events taking place 23-26 May include local schools’ heritage performance projects, a Resorting to the Coast conference and local history fair with the University of East London at Walton-on-the-Naze, and the launch of two new Town Heritage Trails at Frinton and Clacton-on-Sea.
The free ‘Seaside Revival Day’ takes place at Clacton West Greensward, Marine Parade West, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, CO15 1NW - 10am to 5pm. To find out more about the project, celebration events and local heritage resources visit: www.tendringcoastalheritage.org.uk