Commemorations are being planned to mark Clacton’s 150th anniversary.
The year 1871 is seen as the founding of modern Clacton when a group of businessmen built the Pier and Royal Hotel to spark the creation of a new holidaymaker resort, with the town officially incorporated in 1872.
Plans to mark the occasion include a heritage trail complete with history boards, listening benches and trail challenges – with the whole Tendring District Council (TDC) project receiving £250,000 of funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, celebrations will be kick-started with an event in the town in Spring 2021 – and it is hoped as more people look to take staycations next year the district as a whole could have a bumper season.
Neil Stock OBE, TDC Leader, said the celebrations would not only mark Clacton’s history, but also kick-off the summer season and a year of Celebrating Tendring events.
“Given it is now the largest town in Tendring it is easy to forget Clacton is actually the newest,” Councillor Stock said.
“I can’t wait to learn more about its history and to see the work that develops out of this project.
“The birthday celebrations will mark the start of what we all hope will be a fantastic year for Clacton, and Tendring as a whole.
“We are really keen for Clacton businesses to think about how they can mark the occasion, and bring the whole town together to celebrate this landmark.”
The National Lottery Heritage Fund proposal also includes money for two co-ordinator roles to pull together commemorative activity.
As well as looking at the ‘birth’ of Clacton, the project will chart the town’s history through the ages – from its Victorian beginnings, to Butlins and pirate radio, to more modern times.
Through development of the trail it is hoped to get more people walking or cycling, supporting the work of Active Essex and the Essex Local Delivery Pilot Sport England project.
To ensure there is a legacy from the celebrations the project is funded until December 2022, and work will take place to create or support a heritage community group to continue the work going forward.