Clacton-on-Sea Local Customs

  • Clacton pier's famous helter-skelter ride...
    Clacton pier's famous helter-skelter...
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  • Local Customs
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  • The artist...RESPECT!
    The artist...RESPECT!
    by arturowan

Most Recent Local Customs in Clacton-on-Sea

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    Where Cliff Richard got started...

    by arturowan Written Aug 27, 2014

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    Clacton Butlin's was the venue where Cliff Richard made his performing debut to the public in July 1958
    As the period photo's reveal, Cliff was still very young & something of a pretty boy, when he arrived at Clacton Butlin's for a 4-week engagement with his then band, The Drifters, comprising Terry Smart on drums, Ian Samwell on lead guitar, & manager Johnny Foster on bass...
    At this stage in his career, Cliff & his band, were mostly covering other performers' songs, especially Elvis, & because they lacked enough material to fill their 3 hour evening spot, they repeated songs, which was said to have upset those being entertained...
    They played the stage in the newly opened Rock'n'Calypso ballroom, earning £25 per week as part of the entertainment staff, which required wearing red flash shirts, (see photo's with white tops, with chevrons), though contrary to popular myth, Cliff was never actually a Butlin redcoat, as such...
    Another myth that has arisen around this brief aspect of Sir Cliff's career, was that he was already performing with The Shadows, something that did not happen until after he had become a more established star...
    Before their arrival in Clacton, the group had already cut a demo disc, Move It, a song that would take them into the charts & launch a pop career for Cliff Richard, noted for being the only man to have enjoyed hits in all the following decades...
    Although Sir Cliff has his detractors, there is no denying what an influence he was on the evolution of British Rock'n'Roll, becoming an idol to many who would go on to form their own bands...
    1 such was Rick Parfitt, whose entertainment career also began by playing guitar & singing at holiday camps, during which period he met Francis Rossi, then in a band called The Spectres...
    Inspired to emulate Cliff Richard & The Shadows, the pair founded the legendary rock group STATUS QUO (for more on their story, read their official biography; X-S-All Areas...)

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    Silent Hobo

    by arturowan Updated Aug 20, 2014

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    An original feature of Clacton seafront is the spraycan art of the Bristol painter who prefers to be known as - Silent Hobo...
    If you like graffiti art, & I, like many folk do, then this guy deserves your respect - he has his own style & I know I am not the only regular passerby who always turns my head, in order to view the murals of his that have been installed on Clacton's western seafront (right of the pier...)
    There are 3 instalments to grab your attention; an intimate cameo piece of a loving couple, tucked into an odd corner of the main promenade; a big watersports themed mural; & the main, central piece, that bears the legend, 'Mighty Clactonia!'
    I aprticularly approve of this piece, as it successfully illustrates highlights of the resort's history, including the wartime period of the time, when the seafront was fortified & the town was regularly bombed...
    There is also a feature of a daytripping couple upon a '60's scooter - the chosen transport of the Mods, who once visited Clacton in great numbers, & were involved in an infamous beachfront battle with their fashion foes, the Rockers!
    Many councils are criminally guilty of squandering stretched public resources on so-called 'modernist/abstract' public art, which the general public detests to a man, but here the authorities got it correct, & chose an artist who knows how to connect with the real people...

    Mighty Clactonia! Work in progress... Under the boardwalk, or rather, beside the pier... West Cliff Theatre outside show... The artist...RESPECT!
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    It Couldn't Happen Here!

    by arturowan Updated Feb 21, 2014

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    I can still remember when I was at art college & the song West End Girls was on the radio - a new force in pop music had arrived who called themselves THE PET SHOP BOYS - nobody could foresee then just how successful the duo would become, to the extent that they'd have the budget to produce an idea for an extended pop video, that turned into a movie, filmed entirely on location in Clacton!
    It Couldn't Happen Here was a track from the Actually album, which became the title of the 1988 film, originally intended to promote it; featuring Neil Tennant & Chris Lowe, 'as themselves' - together with a well known British cast, including Barbara Windsor, who plays Neil's onscreen mother, as well as a landlady, & French maid(!) & Joss Ackland, as a priest, & hitchhiker...
    The plot is rather awkward to describe, seemingly inspired by the sort of British art cinema of the late 1960's, which tended to be rather surreal & implausible...
    Just why Lowe & Tennant came to Clacton for the seaside backdrops is also something of a mystery, (though I assume that like me, they identified with Tony Hancock's movie, The Punch & Judy Man, also entirely shot on location in an English seaside resort, Bognor Regis...)
    Joss Ackland appears in the pop video for Always 0n My Mind, (1 of the most inspired covers of all time) - which is a segment taken from the screenplay, & was shot around Pier Avenue, using the amusement arcade as a colourful backdrop...
    So, if you've never been to Clacton & would like to see some images of the tourist centre, check out this pop video, or watch the film...

    Clacton seafront has attracted not only THE PET SHOP BOYS from the pop world, but also the band BLUR who originated from nearby Colchester...
    They played a concert on the pier & had a photo session there, which caused some controversy, because somebody daubed their album title - Modern Life Is Rubbish - in spraypaint on the seafront...
    This was before the band had gained a mass following, & the grafitti was regarded as such, although when they became more popular, the moment was revised as a great episode in Clacton's history...

    Clacton has also been used as a filming location for the soap opera, Eastenders, in 2011
    A Marks & Spencer tv advert from 2008, features the helter-skelter ride on Clacton Pier...

    'as themselves' = THE PET SHOP BOYS Lowe & Tennent! Clacton pier's famous helter-skelter ride...
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    Where Paul Raymond got started...

    by arturowan Written Dec 20, 2013

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    Paul Raymond is best known as the impressario who opened the Raymond Revue Bar in Soho in 1958
    It was the first strip bar to be licensed in Britain, & also developed a reputation as a venue where the latest stand-up comedy talent made their breakthrough to the big time, often observed in the audience by some of the best known celebrities from British television & pop music...
    Paul Raymond became known as The King of Soho, & might be regarded as the British Hugh Hefner, becoming a multi-millionaire from an empire marketing pornographic magazines & erotic entertainment...
    What is not widely known, is that Paul Raymond was actually born Geoffrey Anthony Quinn in 1925
    He changed his name to Paul Raymond in 1947 as a stage name, when he became the resident mind-reader working on Clacton Pier...
    Life as a performer did not inspire him as much as an entrepeneur, & a small seaside resort, such as Clacton, was not the place to found a porn empire!
    But all the same, an oak tree has to start from an acorn, & Clacton Pier was where the ambition that was Paul Raymond, was planted...

    Clacton bathing belle...
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    Engalnd's lifestyle

    by LanaFromRiga Written Oct 24, 2005

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    I was a little bit surprised when saw houses where "'simple" englishmen are living - very modest. I liked this small houses with samll gardens. Some people decorated gardens with figures from bushes. Looks interesting!

    Typical living house in England
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    The pub – typical place for spending free evenings

    by LanaFromRiga Written Oct 24, 2005

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    Chips and fish is a typical food in England. Also I tasted grilled chicken and meat. Hmm, what can I say?… Very very specific taste. Probably because cook used only one kind of spice. Anyway if you’ll be in Clacton-on-Sea and you want to taste what simple English people eat, try fish and chips, but be ready that this well known food will have a specific taste.

    Eating fish and chips
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