Clacton Pavilion 1935/2010

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

Postby Chief Engineer » 26 May 2011, 21:43

Hi Richard,

It certainly sounds very interesting, a comic featuring the laughing clown, I just wonder if he is going to be portrayed as the funny laughter inducing attraction that welcomed you in or the more sinister automaton that even today still haunts the kids now grown up that had to endure walking past him.

I just wish I had taken a bit more attention of him while he lived on the Pier, which is where I work. I joined the Pier when it was taken over in 1981, I honestly can't remember if he was already there or not, he appears in the beginning of a youtube clip featuring the Pier in 1985 (http://www.youtube.com/user/clactonpier ... vZVrKQ-9-s)

Looking at some of the old Pier photographs he had certainly disappeared from the front of the Pier around 1992/3. I do recall seeing him stored up in the Jolly Roger building at one point , but not sure for how long and how and when he made the move over to the Pavilion.

I have no information on who made him, so many of these laughing clowns were possible made bespoke by different firms. There used to be a local firm 'Sparks Creative Services' whose name was well known in dark ride theaming, but they also carried out lots of different animatronic projects, even the very early coin operated 'Sooty Band' was one of their creations.

I wish I could be of more help, but please feel free if your on the Pier to ask for me.

Regards
CE
Chief Engineer
 
Posts: 218
Joined: 26 Mar 2009, 23:13
Location: Clacton-on-Sea

Postby ijtharper » 26 May 2011, 22:54

Hello Chief Engineer!
Your post has left me confused. Are there two clowns?! The one I remember was outside the pavilion from 1975 or perhaps earlier right through to 1999 or later. I never saw him on or outside the pier and I know that he was outside the pavilion in 91/92 as well. I assumed that he was temporarily moved to the pier for the pet shop boys filming and possibly to Harwich(?) or wherever the pilot episode of hi-de-hi was filmed. Your post suggests that there was another clown on the pier or have I read it incorrectly.
Forgive me.....I can't believe I'm on a forum discussing the location of a clown in a box....again.
ijtharper
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 18 May 2011, 15:50

Postby AnimatorRich » 27 May 2011, 10:19

Hi Chief Engineer,

I must agree with Ian (ijtharper) that I don't remember ever seeing the clown on Clacton Pier - I only remember him outside the Pavilion. Maybe there were two all along. Some people seem to remember him holding custard pies, so maybe that was the one on the pier.

Anyhow, if you're around this Sunday it would be great to have a chat. My comic idea is evolving all the time, but i'm thinking it would start out as a nostalgic look back, with happy memories of him, and then becoming more of a 'horror' towards the end. People seem to have mixed memories of him - some loved him, some were quite scared by him, and others couldn't stand the laugh! Ha ha, I only have fond memories of him, although at such a young age he did seem enormous and pretty scary.

I'll be arriving with my family in Clacton around late morning, although I'm not sure what time we'll head to the pier. Should I just ask anybody who works there for the Chief Engineer? It would be great to share memories and ask you for further info. I'll bring some photos of the clown with me, most of which were kindly provided by Ian.

Richard
AnimatorRich
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 18 May 2011, 16:27

Postby ijtharper » 27 May 2011, 18:26

If I wasn't heading off to Guernsey tomorrow I'd have been keen to join you! I can't wait to get to Clacton later this summer to try out Stella's Revenge. I'm not old enough to have seen the original Steel Stella.
ijtharper
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 18 May 2011, 15:50

Postby AnimatorRich » 27 May 2011, 20:38

Hey Ian,

That would have been great, but hope you have a good time in Guernsey anyway. Yes, I'm keen to try that out too. My dad remembers the Steel Stella, and both he, my mum, my wife and possibly my brother, sister-in-law and niece, are all joining me in Clacton on Sunday. Really looking forward to seeing how it's all changed.
AnimatorRich
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 18 May 2011, 16:27

Postby ijtharper » 27 May 2011, 21:27

Make sure you get some pictures to post. Be interested to see what the Pavilion rebuild is looking like.
ijtharper
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 18 May 2011, 15:50

Postby AnimatorRich » 27 May 2011, 21:43

Will do, although last I heard it's boarded up at the moment. I'll do my best. I was last in Clacton in 2009, and took some video inside the Pavilion then, when there were still amusements. I'll have to try to upload it on YouTube.
AnimatorRich
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 18 May 2011, 16:27

Postby AnimatorRich » 30 May 2011, 21:49

Well, I was in Clacton yesterday and had a fantastic time. Many things have changed, but the charm of the place, and particularly the pier, still remains. Many thanks to Chief Engineer, who gave me an insight into the clown and the history of the pier on the day.

It was revealed that when the clown appears in the Pet Shop Boys video he was at the entrance to the pier, which I didn't realise. The 'red pillar' seen in it is now white, and the Chief Engineer clearly remembers the clown being in this location for many years.

Maybe there were two clowns, but most probably it seems he changed location a fair few times, before remaining more prominantly outside the Pavilion.

I took lots of photos at the top of the Pavilion, which is now full of activity, and the pier, and will post them on here very soon.
AnimatorRich
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 18 May 2011, 16:27

Postby Graeme » 30 May 2011, 22:12

Glad to hear you had a good time, Rich. I'm sorry for misleading you about custard pies. It wasn't intentional, just one of those false memories.
Graeme
 
Posts: 120
Joined: 27 Jan 2003, 23:07

Postby ijtharper » 31 May 2011, 19:44

Thanks for posting Richard, and to Chief Engineer for yet more insight. I'm intrigued. Were the Pavilion and Pier owned by the same company? Is that why the clown was swapped between the two? It seems hard to believe they'd bother to be honest but I was only there for two weeks every other year or so so must concede the CE's permanent presence! Look forward to seeing the photos of your day out. I hope to visit later this summer myself.
ijtharper
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 18 May 2011, 15:50

Postby lynsey » 29 Jan 2012, 19:32

:roll: hey anyone got any further updates or pics etc? all seems to have gone very quiet now.
lynsey
 
Posts: 8
Joined: 07 Mar 2010, 15:12
Location: Essex

Postby Graeme » 29 Mar 2012, 19:21

I went to Clacton a few days ago and the Pavilion has a medium-small Gyro Swing type ride. Anyone know the manufacturer?
Graeme
 
Posts: 120
Joined: 27 Jan 2003, 23:07

Postby Chief Engineer » 31 Mar 2012, 00:19

Hi Graeme,

It's made by SBF of Italy, but I can't find one on their web site. For a medium sized compact ride it is a very heavey construction.

CE
Chief Engineer
 
Posts: 218
Joined: 26 Mar 2009, 23:13
Location: Clacton-on-Sea

Postby Graeme » 01 Apr 2012, 19:16

Thanks, Chief Engineer. Browsing SBF's website, it looks like the Pavilion's roller coaster is by them too.

For those who haven't seen the Dance Party, it has outward-facing seats. I didn't count the seats, but I guess there are 12? As you say, it's not yet on SBF's website, but it's a bit like the Moser Sidewinder 12 or Zamperla Mini Discovery, except with a longer swinging arm than both. Looks very promising indeed.
Graeme
 
Posts: 120
Joined: 27 Jan 2003, 23:07

Postby FATBOY » 01 Apr 2012, 19:23

i saw the quinto crane there last saturday lifting the parts of the ride off the truck.
FATBOY
 
Posts: 91
Joined: 13 Mar 2009, 16:30
Location: clacton-on-sea

PreviousNext

Return to Seaside Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron