Clacton Pier During the 70s and 80s

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!

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Postby oldskool » 05 Feb 2010, 22:15

Hiya All,

I stumbled across this forum the other night when looking up information about the whirlwind. Firstly congratulations to everybody on a fantastic thread - this is a fantastic collection of the years past.

I thought it only fair that i shared a few of my memories.........

I also remember the jets and the helicopters which seemed so high to a small child - there was also the little boats in a concrete pool that went round in a circle on the site where the current twister is.

I remember going to the dolphinarium and having bubbles and squeak sing happy birthday to me - well, the tune :D

I still faintly have a scar on my arm from the slip in the 70's when my arm rubbed on the side of the chute the whole way down, didn't stop me going back for another ride that day though.

I can remember following the building of the whirlwind in the evening gazette and kept a clipping of a story and picture when the climb was put up showing it to be slightly higher than the big wheel - wish I still had the cutting now.

Does anybody remember the clown face logo used for both clacton and walton piers in the 70's?

FATBOY - I seem to vaguely recall that in the 70's there was small platform construction next to the pier (cockney side), kids used to climb on it at high tide. When that was removed the box and warning triangle were put there in its place to highlight the underwater hazzard. I might be wrong though - it's me age haha.
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Postby Gary » 06 Feb 2010, 09:35

Welcome to the boards oldskool - Good to have you along for the ride!

..And what a ride!

What a thread!!

..It's almost 6 years old now and still growing thanks in main of course to Chief Engineer and FATBOY...If ever there were 2 posters who should have cult staus then it is these two!

I've shouted it before and I'm shouting it again...In my humble opinion this is the best seaside thread on any seaside message board anywhere on the net!

Essential viewing!

Cheers and here's to the next 6 years! :D

Gary
Please pass through the turnstiles if you are riding again.
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Postby Chief Engineer » 07 Feb 2010, 00:30

Hi guy’s ,

A warm welcome to oldskool, thank you for your memories and praise to all the contributors to the thread . Like you I only stumbled across these web pages quite recently and not only having fond memories of growing up in Clacton but also working on the Pier for the last 25 years, I have always felt it such a shame that the Pier has so little history remembered and saved considering all the people who have visited the Pier and also all the entertainers and workers who have trod the boards in both ways with all the different attractions and shows. So I try to dig out as much detail as I can remember or find to help keep all those memories alive.

I can certainly remember as a child the diving platform that sat on the first beach, it was triangular in shape and quite high at low tide, probably one of the reasons it was removed. I am guessing it was dismantled around the mid to late 60's.

I think you mean 'Mr Fun' as the clown logo, he was used by the Goss family when they owned the Pier, I started just after they sold Clacton Pier but retained Walton Pier for a while. Mr Fun was used on lots of promotional and advertising material, yet I have not seen a Mr Fun logo in ages.

Do you recall the two cars that were about the same time as Mr Fun, they were used around Clacton advertising the Pier? They would have probably also been used in Clacton's annual carnival. I managed to find a picture of the vintage one but not one of the white painted Mini Moke.

Thanks Gary, you will have me blushing with all this praise. It is a pleasure to capture the history of the Pier in this and the other thread of which I still have lots more details and facts to share of the old history of Clacton Pier to bring us up to the 70's and 80's.

CE


Image
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Postby Chief Engineer » 07 Feb 2010, 00:52

Hi Fatby,

Like most wooden constructions on the Pier, the extremes of sea side weather soon begin to take their toll on anything on the Pier. The sign did move location from its original central hanging to get moved to the right hand side of the building then it eventually got painted over until the sign succumbed in the end to rot and was taken down and broken up.

The Skating Ring cafe is now used as a staff rest area, but nothing remains visible of the original decoration, there is one time capsule hidden away above the false ceiling, as part of the entrance to the rink floor there was a mirrored hexagonal raised feature, with neon, white lamps and mirror ball, apart from the mirror ball it is all still there above the ceiling tiles.

The rink floor and walls were removed just after the Harrison's took over and returned back to the undercover ride area, the floor was cut up and ended up around London as a badminton court floor.

CE
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Postby oldskool » 07 Feb 2010, 13:27

Many thanks Gary and Chief for your warm welcome.

Mr Fun, now thats the fellow, I remember the mini moke now you mention it, happy days.

Well, I've had an interesting morning......... I went off on a tangent looking up Mr Fun and found somebody selling one of the original pin badges. The good news is that I have bought it for a bargin price - under £2 with delivery :D .

As soon as I receive it I will post a photo.
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Postby oldskool » 07 Feb 2010, 18:27

Hi again,

Just found this excellent video of the pier with the Steel Stella - well worth a view

http://video.tiscali.it/canali/truveo/2839912829.html
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Postby FATBOY » 13 Feb 2010, 21:44

just found this over on facebook. what a beautiful picture

Image
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Postby FATBOY » 13 Feb 2010, 21:57

hi oldskool and welcome!!!! mr engineer, is the flicks sign still there?

also found these on facebook

Image

Image
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Postby Chief Engineer » 14 Feb 2010, 00:00

Hi Fatboy,

A nice few picture finds, the night time ones are certainly interesting. The one taken looking from the Holland Haven side of the pier show up a few interesting details, of course the 'Astro Glide Slip' with its false castle can been seen on the neck of the Pier, but also behind you can see two towers and the cars of the 'Sky Liner' . The Jolly Roger roof is painted in red and white, so the picture is around the time of the Circus or shortly after, and for those of you trying to guess what the wedge of light towards the end of the Jolly Roger building is, it is of course the 'Paratrooper' when it ran for a few years at the top end of the Pier.

Yes Flicks neon sign is still there but not for much longer, the entrance is being converted into a shop .

CE
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Steel Stella 1954

Postby DolphinBoy » 14 Feb 2010, 11:59

Image

Steel Stella 1954
Alot of interest in the kettle stall :D
DB
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Postby FATBOY » 14 Feb 2010, 21:44

what will happen to that sign??? i would be interested in preserving a piece of pier history.... has the paratrooper now gone????
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Postby Chief Engineer » 16 Feb 2010, 23:31

Wow, thanks for the picture DB, it is one that is new to me. Great to see the Steel Stella but of slightly more interest are the two side shows, one looks to be semi permanent. I did do a quick bit of digging to see if I could unearth any firm details on either of the side shows, but have drawn a blank so far, I will take an educated guess at the one in the building probably being along the lines of a 'Skee Roll' (where you roll balls up and try to get them to fall in different scoring holes) it is a game that has always featured on the Pier in the early years.

Hi Fatboy,

I have a feeling the owners will be saving the 'Flicks' sign, there is talk of walk through exhibit charting the Piers life, although early days yet it will be nice to gather all the information together and relive some of those great times.

The Paratrooper lives on, one more year possibly, the 'Waveswinger' is going to make a welcome return for Easter, it is a fantastically decorated ride and a shame most of the art work is so high up as all the paintings are individually painted, no computer graphics.

CE

Attached is a picture of the only remaining part of the skating rink, hidden away above false tiles is the lighting feature that lead you from the boot locker to the rink, missing its mirror ball.
Image
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Postby FATBOY » 17 Feb 2010, 19:30

cool picture!!! glad that the sign will be made use of and not just discarded. :D
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Postby oldskool » 19 Feb 2010, 18:28

Hiya All,

Nice picture of the waterslide FB, I only went on the slides once but can remember climbing the enclosed cage type stairway to the top - chilly when the wind was blowing.

To get the fastest slide you had to arch your back so just your heels and shoulder blades were in contact.

I've been asking around for old pictures of the pier, hopefully some new ones will come to light.
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Postby Chief Engineer » 20 Feb 2010, 00:08

Hi oldskool,

I done a little bit of hunting and managed to grab a couple of pictures (1961) of that diving board you mentioned being on Clacton Beach. In my memory I am sure it was closer to the Pier, but the photographs do not lie.

CE
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Image
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