Clacton-on-Sea Off The Beaten Path

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Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Clacton-on-Sea

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    Wartime sea-rescues...

    by arturowan Updated Dec 20, 2013

    Along Clacton seafront, west of the pier, just before the sea wall turns into Jaywick, is a memorial plaque remembering 30th April 1914
    Winston Churchill, while serving in the Navy, was forced to land the seaplane he was flying, & abandon it on the seafront, coming ashore at the point now marked by the plaque...
    While waiting for the vessel to be repaired, the then First Lord of the Admiralty, & future British Prime Minister & War Cabinet Leader, took a rest in the Royal Hotel...
    In 1920, the Churchill family returned to the Tendring peninsula on holiday, but this time they stayed in Frinton - whether or not a visit was made to see where he came to land 6 years previously, is not recorded...

    During WWII there were 2 sea rescues along Clacton seafront area;
    25th June 1941 - a Polish pilot was rescued from Sandy Point at Holland Haven
    13th January 1945 - Raymond E. King, an American pilot from the 436th Fighter Group, crash-landed his P51Mustang, eastwards of Clacton Pier, & was taken aboard the lifeboat still alive...
    He later died in hospital though, as a result of hypothermia, & now there is a memorial plaque placed at the entrance to Albany Gardens, opposite where the rescue took place...
    The remains of his plane were lifted from the seabed in 1987 & have been preserved at the military aviation museum in the Martello tower at St.0syth, which is dedicated to his memory...
    (see separate article - 'East Essex Aviation Society Museum'...)

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    Town Centre Fountain...

    by arturowan Written Dec 19, 2013

    I'm not really sure which category to file this under, so I've chosen this 1 because Clacton fountain is something you might easily miss - despite the fact it's located right in the centre of the town, opposite McDonald's...
    You might miss it, because;
    1 - it's never turned on, &;
    2 - there is no actual structure to the fountain
    The actual 'fountain', such as it is, is 30 holes in the paving, up from which rush jets of water, that is, when it's actually operating...
    However, the council, who used local taxpayers' money to fund the feature, took the decision to fence off the site, because of fears about the quality of the water not being safe for human contact...
    So what is left now, is a fence around 30 holes in the sidewalk!
    As the adage says; 'if you do a job, then do it properly...' - & Clacton fountain was never done properly, because when it was working, it looked like a road accident where a series of fire hydrants had been knocked over!

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    Colne Point...

    by arturowan Updated Jul 11, 2013

    Colne Point is as far off the beaten track as it's possible to go, walking south from out of Clacton, towards & past, Jaywick Sands, & on towards Point Clear...
    If you like to discover, out of the way, eccentric little settlements that appear untouched by the passage of time, then make the effort to walk to Colne Point...
    I don't know anywhere else quite like it, though it has much in common with any waterside settlement which has attracted those with a nautical bent...
    However, whereas other such places in the general area, such as Wrabness, or Pin Mill, are busily occupied by boat owners, Colne Point is a desolate, deserted place, with not much sign of human life...
    This is rather strange, because though most of the dwellings here only resemble elaborate chalets on raised brick pillars, (should there be a repeat of the freak high tide in 1953) this difficult to access place, does have residential permission...
    However, the only public access is via the sea wall, as the only road being that which runs through the local farm, is only a 'permissive path', so should the landowner chose to lock the gate, he'd be legally entitled to do so, causing an already closed place to be even more isolated...
    Colne Point would seem to be a place of '2nd homes' - & just where the owners are, is a puzzle you may wish to dwell on, if you visit & see the doorstep stacks of Yellow Pages, decomposing into paper mache, living sculptures...
    You might also ask, why haven't the squatters moved in, with such obvious evidence of non-residence, but so out of the way is Colne Point, even those who do find it, would be inconvenienced to find shelter here...
    Colne Point itself is a place of wading birds & saltmarsh plants, with 2 tiny bird hides, set in the usually bleak, but on a sunny day, oppressively exposed, shelterless landscape, typical of the Essex coast...
    The accompanying 4km shingle spit nature reserve, must be the most isolated in Essex, & from it there's a magnificent view across the bay, & a place to rest on an idiosyncratic bench, cobbled together from driftwood & fishing nets...
    Across the bay can be seen on a clear day, not only of Brightlingsea, but also the reachable only by boat, nature reserves at Ray Island & Bonners Saltings, as well as the old nuclear power station over at Bradwell, & the latest wind turbines, nearby...
    If you visit in July, the rare, yellow-horned poppy will be flowering on the beach, which is a sight worth seeing, with its vascular, blue-green stems, & seedpod 'horns', which can sprout 1' long...

    Related to:
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    • Sailing and Boating
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Jaywick Sands...

    by arturowan Written Apr 27, 2013

    If you want to find the best beaches in Clacton area, then most agree that these are Jaywick Sands - the area between the main resort & the shingle spit at Colne Point...
    You only have to walk a km, to the right of the pier, in the direction where a tractor & a couple of fishing boats are beached, to reach these soft, sandy beaches...
    I think that Jaywick Sands are what most folk would define as an ideal beach, with a wide stretch of sand, surrounded by grassy dunes & ever present cries of gulls, scavenging scraps...
    However, seagulls here aren't the aggressive sort who mug holidaymakers of their chips; these gulls are aggressive enough to each other when fighting over discarded food, but I've never seen them attack to obtain it...
    This might be the great irony of Jaywick, because the local inhabitants do not enjoy a respectable reputation, & according to the authorities, the resort has the highest number of alcoholics & unemployed people in England...
    Accordingly, it has a poor reputation in regard to petty crime, but I've never known of it affecting holidaymakers in Jaywick Sands itself, either because the locals haven't gotten out of bed yet, or are hanging out in the area around Clacton amusements...
    So, if you want a good old fashioned, English seaside resort day out, in a quietly secluded area of unspoilt beach, without the noisy distraction of pier & amusements, make the effort to stroll out of Clacton town, into Jaywick Sands...

    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Water Sports
    • Beaches

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    First civilian mainland casualties of WWII

    by arturowan Written Mar 20, 2013

    Think of the British casualties of mainland bombing in WWII - & you'll be aware of the blitz on Coventry, Liverpool, & of course, London...
    But, for the record, the first recorded civilian casualties of the Luftwaffe, were Dorothy & Frederick Gill, of Victoria Road, Clacton-on-Sea...
    They perished 30th April 1940, when a Heinkel 111E, which had probably been hit by straff by gunners at Harwich's Beacon Hill Fort, while attempting to drop mines in the shipping lanes out to sea, attempted an emergency landing on the cliffs at nearby Clacton seafront, while still carrying live mines...
    Flying in fog, the pilot of the stricken bomber clipped some chimneys of houses along Upper Victoria Road, before making a direct hit on the home of the unfortunate Gills...
    The 2 civilians & 3 crew of the enemy aircraft, all died in the resulting explosion, while 156 were injured & several other houses also razed...
    The Gills were buried in an unmarked grave in Burrs Road Cemetery, Great Clacton, but in 1994 their resting place was rediscovered & a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone planted to mark the 59th anniversary of their loss...
    There's also a memorial plaque marking the scene, at the intersection of Victoria Road with Albert Gardens...

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    Walk to Holland without getting wet

    by aaaarrgh Written Jun 26, 2006

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    beach life

    Don't get too excited! I mean Holland-on-Sea, the suburb of Clacton. It is a three mile walk along the concrete seafront.

    The advantage of walking to Holland is you can see many of Clacton's traditional wooden beach huts. They are privately owned or available for rent. Each one is individually furnished - be nosey, like me, and have a good stare if you get a chance. Several had beds and small kitchens, though they have no running water or electricity. In England it is common to have by-laws which prohibit you from sleeping in them overnight.

    The other focal point of Holland-on-Sea seems to be the Flag Beach Cafe, by the beach, selling drinks, ice creams and beach toys.

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