Clacton Pier (The history)

The Great British Seaside Resort: sun, sand, piers, funfairs and donkey rides. But that is only part of the attraction. If you love being beside the seaside, talk about it here!

Moderator: dave771

Re: Clacton Pier (The history)

Postby Stagehand » 01 May 2014, 11:12

Found this in my collection
Clacton Pier 19705.jpg
Clacton Pier 19705.jpg (928.17 KiB) Viewed 2888 times
I should Know I worked there
User avatar
Stagehand
 
Posts: 20
Joined: 02 Jul 2010, 07:52
Location: East Clacton Essex

Re: Clacton Pier (The history)

Postby FATBOY » 10 Jul 2014, 19:40

hi all! long time no see, been busy with my family to get on here much now, but found this picture in the gazette today and was wondering, what was the box on the sand with the triangle all about?? it can be seen in the previous posters picture. i remember it being there in the mid to late 80's when my mother used to take me down the beach when i was younger, when was that removed? and what was it for?

Image
FATBOY
 
Posts: 91
Joined: 13 Mar 2009, 16:30
Location: clacton-on-sea

Re: Clacton Pier (The history)

Postby Stagehand » 01 Aug 2014, 12:19

Hi Fat boy The box you refer to in the picture was for use in the very early years of the town for drawing sea water supplying the fire hydrants and for sea water baths at the pier. There were 2 others the other side of the pier both for the same reason with the furthest which is below St. Michel's convalescent also supplied sea water for their baths. Hope this helps if you need any further info on this the local library with be very helpful. 8)
I should Know I worked there
User avatar
Stagehand
 
Posts: 20
Joined: 02 Jul 2010, 07:52
Location: East Clacton Essex

Re: Clacton Pier (The history)

Postby vinntec » 25 Aug 2014, 14:35

Great forum this. I just visited Clacton and Jaywick for the first time in about 40 years with some of my siblings :D The big argument between us is... where was the speedway ride in the 1960s? A figure of eight track using electric tracks embedded into the road using cars with handbrakes on the side. Most of us are sure it was in the Butlins fairground which was open to the public and just down the road from the pier. One brother however is certain it was on Clacton Pier itself and there is an old photo on this forum which suggests he might be right (but almost certainly pre-war). Does anyone remember for sure, and does anyone have any photos of it from this era?
vinntec
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 25 Aug 2014, 14:16
Location: Basingstoke

Re: Clacton Pier (The history)

Postby Bob » 27 Aug 2014, 10:26

I have no recollection of a speedway ride in Clacton. I would be pretty near a 100% certain it was not on the pier. The pier attractions then changed little from year to year. I cannot recollect it being at Butlins neither

Are you perhaps referring to the ride oppose the Dodgems? It was an oval track though the same as the Dodgems. If you look through the post someone has posted an old picture that shows both rides
Bob
 
Posts: 507
Joined: 30 Nov 2003, 21:21

Re: Clacton Pier (The history)

Postby vinntec » 27 Aug 2014, 11:27

Hi Bob - this is what is bugging us. We remember a speedway (power from parallel rails) + dodgems next to each other but thought this was at Walton Pier, not Clacton. But maybe we are wrong (we are talking 1960s early 70s here). There is a video on Youtube which says is on Clacton pier https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm_hhUXG0TU? The cars are similar to dodgems but power comes from the track not above.

However we are certain that a figure of 8 speedway existed somewhere we went to while on holiday in Jaywick. Those cars had handbrakes (the video above does not) - and we know because our eldest brother had his money refunded (and told never to come back) when he came around at the end and didn't put said handbrake on "Put your handbrake on!" and ploughed into the back of the rest still going at quite a speed (although coasting obviously for the latter part). Our recollection is that this was in the Butlins fun fair, which in my time was open to the public with a day pass (and we think the fences came down later and changed to tokens - presumably guests had a pass).

A secondary thing bugging us is that we used to beg our Dad to take us to Walton Pier, so there must have been something extra special there (and I don't mean the pier train!). Maybe this is where the fig-8 speedway was and it has been lost in our clouded memories. But we seem to remember the Walton Pier fair was rubbish compared to Clacton!

Amazing what memories a trip to Clacton 40 years or more later stirs up lots of memories, but not everyone agrees the details (there were five siblings on this trip born in 1949 - 1969).

Addendum: At least I have found a photo of an Over Under Speedway (not Clacton) but at least confirms that such a thing existed - http://cdm15847.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15847coll3/id/17122/rec/1
vinntec
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 25 Aug 2014, 14:16
Location: Basingstoke

Re: Clacton Pier (The history)

Postby Bob » 27 Aug 2014, 21:36

Have you had a look on page 19 of this thread, It shows the Dodgems and the Racing cars next to each other. I don't remember it using slots but I guess it must have as I cannot see how else they could have been powered, The dodgems worked by having a metal grid above to collect the power and a metal floor for the return path. The photo only really shows the front of the two rides
Bob
 
Posts: 507
Joined: 30 Nov 2003, 21:21

Re: Clacton Pier (The history)

Postby vinntec » 28 Aug 2014, 06:04

Hi Bob - OK that is confirmed in several photos as being the dodgems and speedway (oval) next to each other.

No idea how the "brushes" connected to the +/- the right way around, especially if they were 110V DC powered, but obviously they worked and you could drive anywhere you liked in one direction and could get quite a good speed up if you kept the power connected by carefully lining up with the tracks. No idea if the strips were the conductors or the gaps in between (which would have had to be metal) and which was + and which - and how the connections were made. Maybe I will email the Sheffield Uni archive and see if they know how these things worked!
vinntec
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 25 Aug 2014, 14:16
Location: Basingstoke

Re: Clacton Pier (The history)

Postby Bob » 28 Aug 2014, 13:25

It is a mystery as to how it worked. There were certainly no slots as in the photo you posted or I would be pretty sure I would have remembered them. Some how the track must have had a live and return but the live could not be exposed for safety reasons even a 110V dc packs a punch unless it worked on a much low voltage
Bob
 
Posts: 507
Joined: 30 Nov 2003, 21:21

Re: Clacton Pier (The history)

Postby vinntec » 28 Aug 2014, 14:38

Hi Bob - I will see if I can find out how it worked. I believe the narrow strips you can see are insulators, probably wood. The flat parts are the conductors. The insulators were roughly flat with the track, maybe slightly raised, but I would have thought getting two people sat in a car up to a decent speed would have needed some umph! Maybe we just didn't walk on the track between rides in those days not realising it was dangerous, certainly the sides of the track were open and you got on anywhere just like the dodgems. The larger one I remember was different as presumably walking down the slopes would have been dangerous on a metal floor, slipping-wise. I will see what I can find out by nagging a few people!
vinntec
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 25 Aug 2014, 14:16
Location: Basingstoke

Re: Clacton Pier (The history)

Postby kevin » 29 Aug 2014, 15:51

go-karts.JPG
go-karts.JPG (161.93 KiB) Viewed 2631 times
There is a modern version of this ride at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach using electric Go Karts
kevin
 
Posts: 133
Joined: 16 Mar 2006, 17:55
Location: essex

Re: Clacton Pier (The history)

Postby vinntec » 01 Sep 2014, 22:25

After much researching, I am almost certain the Brooklands Speedway ride (1960/70 era) ran on 110V DC with a giant rectifier under the track (driven by a dynamo usually). In this case the cars must have had a reversing gearbox which ensured the cars always went forwards as the conductors look evenly spaced so could be reversed (based on experiences on 12V DC train sets!) Second concern, how dangerous would it have been to step on the track while it was "energised"? Or was the current limited to make it safe? Any old timers out there able to put me out of my misery as to how these rides worked? Oh, it appears the narrow strips are the two conductors and the wider part between were usually wood in those days.
vinntec
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 25 Aug 2014, 14:16
Location: Basingstoke

Re: Clacton Pier (The history)

Postby Bob » 03 Sep 2014, 17:38

I have found a utube clip of the actual ride at Clacton. Seems to be pretty similar to the picture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm_hhUXG0TU
Bob
 
Posts: 507
Joined: 30 Nov 2003, 21:21

Re: Clacton Pier (The history)

Postby woody » 05 Sep 2014, 10:13

power was from the floor,one in store here http://fairground-heritage.org.uk/colle ... -speedway/
woody
 
Posts: 87
Joined: 07 Apr 2008, 23:39

Re: Clacton Pier (The history)

Postby Chief Engineer » 06 Sep 2014, 17:51

Hi everyone,

It has been a little while since my last posting, so thank you to the other contributors who have kept the thread alive.

Certainly in my teenage years living in Clacton the ‘Speedway Track’ was on the Pier next to the Dodgem track and I certainly recall having a few races on the track, for optimum speed in the straights you had to line up the centre of the bonnet to one of the timber isolators between the metal power plates, and those hand brakes were fun, however most the time you wanted to keep the car going.

Evidence of the position of the track is still evident today as the newer steel frame workshop building and central under cover deck steel frame had to be made to accommodate the extra length of the track as it was slightly too long to fit fully in the under cover ride area.

The track was powered by a 3ph motor coupled to a 250/300 amp dynamo, two sets sat side by side in the centre of the track, only one was ever used at a time with a change over switch in case one failed. Up till quite recently one of these sets was still used on the Pier to provide power to the old Twist, the other set had it’s dynamo converted to a motor when the Speedway (Ark) motor gave up.

I discovered a couple of blue prints in the Pier’s old plan draw, sadly not dated or with any manufactures details, these must have been used as a template for the manufacture of the track on the Pier as both sets of plans differ slightly in detail but it gives you a good idea of the construction of the track, sadly nothing on the cars themselves.

Someone certainly had a lot of track plates to connect up, luckily you do not have to worry about the polarity, with most DC motors they will turn in the same direction even if the connections are crossed over, so the pickup brushes only had to be the right width and spacing so as not to short out the track plates.
Image
Image
CE
Chief Engineer
 
Posts: 218
Joined: 26 Mar 2009, 23:13
Location: Clacton-on-Sea

PreviousNext

Return to Seaside Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron