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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Not quite the pier but ... still worth a look

Postby Snowball » 30 Jan 2009, 13:51

Here's a vid from 1968(!!) of Butlin's Holiday Park in Clacton. lol ... superb! :o

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=lcLhZFQxfsM
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Re: Love it!

Postby Paul281 » 01 Feb 2009, 10:35

Snowball wrote:Hello all ... absolutely loved reading all the posts. Aaaah, the memories came flooding back!

I, like the rest of you it seems, spent many a happy day or two at the seaside in Clacton, enjoying the delights of the pier but also the coffee shop up the steps opposite the pier which housed that huge multi-lane Slot-racing/Scalextrics track (i.e if you are facing away from the entrance to the pier, it would have been straight ahead and up the stairs which led to the left). Haven't been to Clacton since the late 90's but I remember the arcade which also sat opposite the pier (on the other side from the scalextric coffee shop place!) which still had many of the old arcade machines (the penny or two pence operated mechanical jobbies) still in operational working order. What fun!!



Hi everyone.

I'm new to the forum, but like most of you,I love the seaside and all that goes with it!

Coming from Ipswich, Clacton was under an hour away from home and was always a good day out .

I too remember the cafe opposite the pier with the slot racing cars. It also had the Atatri Stunt Cycle game as well.

The arcade opposite (The Pavillion?) as I remember used to have loads of the old electromechanical arcade games as opposed to video games, and had a mechanical bull out the back.

I used to have great fun there.

The cafe opposite the pier closed about 5-10 years ago, but re-opened for the 2008 season. I had a quick look inside, but all the cars and machines had gone. Actually, I seem to remember they were removed before it closed down the first time.
The arcade opposite is still open,The old machines have all gone and been replaced mostly by fruit machines. There are still a few old video games there.
I will tell you this though. On the arcade on the pier, there is an original Track And Field in working order. 30p a go!
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Re: Love it!

Postby Gary » 01 Feb 2009, 11:11

Welcome to the forums Paul :)

Paul281 wrote:..I will tell you this though. On the arcade on the pier, there is an original Track And Field in working order. 30p a go!


Track 'n' Field! :D Now there's a button pushing game if ever there was one!

Brilliant!!

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Postby marc » 01 Feb 2009, 16:54

many thanks for the link. down the coast at Felixstowe, is a double decker
kids ride like the one in the video still in operation
HANDS IN THE AIR!!!
"HACKS"
FELIXSTOWE`S NUMBER "1" ENTHUSIAST
Hacks Pix
www.funfairworld.co.uk
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Postby Paul281 » 01 Feb 2009, 21:16

marc wrote:many thanks for the link. down the coast at Felixstowe, is a double decker
kids ride like the one in the video still in operation

That's true. My 2 boys have been on that loads of times.

I really like the website Marc, especially the pics from Charlie Mannings.

Have you got any more?
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Re: Love it!

Postby Paul281 » 01 Feb 2009, 21:25

Gary wrote:Welcome to the forums Paul :)
Gary

Thanks for the welcome. Like I said earlier, living in Ipswich, it was handy as Felixstowe was only 12 miles away Clacton, Dovercourt and Walton On The Naze under an hour away and still my favourite to this day, Great Yarmouth a bit longer and further, the seaside has played a great part in my life.

From being scared by the giant at the Pleasure Beach as a 3 year old, to the time I went on the waltzer 4 times in a row at Mannings at 14, I still love my trips to the coast.
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Wow ... that is so spooky.

Postby Snowball » 03 Feb 2009, 17:57

Hi again all,

Paul281 ... wow, your memories of trips to the seaside are on a par with mine. Especially being scared witless of the giant in the cowboy hat, red shirt, black waistcoat blue jeans and holding a big brown club at Yarmouth pleasure beach. That was still there in around 2000 but I believe it was taken down in around 2001 (when the local council started to invest a few million to tart up the promenade).

Also, the mechanical bull at the arcade in Clacton!!! Forgot all about that ... lol. Many a good laugh was had watching my bro and sis falling off only after a few seconds ride. Also, happened to remember there being a mechanical coin-op laughing clown holding a pie in each hand in a glass enclosure being to the right of the entrance to the arcade outside the pier. More and more memories now flooding back ;-)

Being from Ipswich myself, I probably spent most of my time at Manning's amusements at Felixstowe ... from the days of the original wooden red roller coaster being to the left of the main Manning's entrance (1983 or so) to the bright blue steel coaster being put in it's place a few years later.

Look forward to seeing more nostalgia soon ........

Chaaaaaaaaaars.
Last edited by Snowball on 03 Feb 2009, 19:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Gary » 03 Feb 2009, 18:19

Hi Snowball!

Welcome to the boards to you as well!

This thread has really stirred the memories and that's got to be good! :D

Everytime I think of Mannings I think of the Alpine Dodgems at Blackpool Pleasure Beach circa 2004 that lasted a few years.

Great cars..Just not enough room to manoeuver that's all..

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Hey!

Postby Snowball » 03 Feb 2009, 19:04

Thanks for the welcome Gary.

I'm not usually one for forums but this one certainly stirred a deep-seated interest. It's so cool to see that there's others with such enthusiasm for it too!! Must have something to do with just wanting to relive some of those good ol' days! lol.

Thanks again and glad to be a part of it all.

Cheers again!

btw, I remember hearing about peeps jumping off the ghost train on Clacton pier and causing havoc by hiding and scaring the pants off other riders coming along behind!! Superb ... what a wicked way to kill a few hours on a Saturday (when you're a kid of course ;-) lol)!!
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Postby FATBOY » 13 Mar 2009, 22:27

hello peeps! first post on here so be gentle! im 30 and im born and bred clacton-on-sea . and ive been trying to do some research on the pier (especially the 80's / early 90's. and ive been particulary interested in the whirlwind roller coaster. ive managed to source some pictures of it on the pier, which may i add is an impressive sight. and to think now that our beloved(now sadly delapidated) pier once housed an awesome attraction like that would never believe you. speaking to my brother who is 11 years old than me, he remembers when the coaster was brought down to here in sections by lorries and slowly erected. my brother also rode on the coaster many a time(and he even tried to get me on there once) but i was under the minimum height requirement so never got to ride it :0( i dont know why it was ever taken away??? there were rumours that the pier was sinking? and the structure couldnt take the vibrations?? but i think the only man that could tell you why would be francis mcginty himself (does he own southend pier now???) and from a previous post above, the whirlwind is still going strong (albeit had a lick of paint) in finland

http://www.nojespark.net/sarkorkkiruuvi/index.php

i too have very fond memories of the pier back in its heyday. and i will try and find some photos i have taken on the pier and get them uploaded. the things i remember about the pier were the small ice skating rink?? used to be undercover and to the front left hand side of the pier, i think this made way for an indoor quad track in the end? i also remember that the paratroopers(still going strong) were located at the end of the pier behind the lifeboat house and they did used to go over the water slightly when it was on full tilt. i also remember attending a circus in the jolly roger with my cousin(its a shame seeing that now its all been cladded up and used for storage) does anyone remember the bright red and white colours it used to be? that must be a treasure trove of old pier rides and arcade machines in there. there was a rumour that they were trying to get a lottery grant to bring it back to its former glory??? does anyone else remember in the early 90's when they started doing helicopter rides from the end of the pier?? my sisters best friend used to take the money and escort the riders to the chopper and back, i also remember the speedbpat rides from the side of the pier(them steps are still there but have now rotted away halfway down). i dont remember the helter skelter but i do remember the castle helter skelter thing and i think ive got some pictures of me on it, was that true it got blown into the sea??? i also remember each year when the season came to an end that the big wheels carriages would be taken down for the winter, but does anyone now how many years the big wheel lasted? and why it was removed?? did it get moved onto somwehere else??? in the early 90's they opened a roller rink at the front left hand side of the pier called flicks. if you look at the front entrance today you can still see the sign that was lit up above the door. another memory of the pier is from the early 90's when they had that massive crane down the side next to the cockney that was used for bungee jumps. not sure why that didnt last long??? and if the tide was high enough the jumpers head would go into the water. i also remember when the dolphinarium was turned back into a swimming pool and had a massive blue water slide which was back in the early to mid 90's. i have fond memories of the pavillion(which is in such a delapidated run down state now) like the bucking bronco and that shooting range and the little boat pool that was in the outside bit(which used to be the banstand) does anyone remember when they made a "fazer force" lazer arena?? its entrance was at the top where them shops are(think one of them shops is now a small art gallery???) i can vaguely remember the chamber of horrors thing??? but is it really still there?? so glad i found dolphinboys web site about the killer whales and dolphins that were on the pier, and yet again i know ive got some photos of the whales somewhere in my photos. but if anyone has any pictures or paper news cuttings of the pier from the 80's / early 90's please send them over or get them uploaded onto here. so glad ive found fellow people here that are interested in this piece of the towns history. sorry if this long, but really wanted to get as much of my memories out onto this site.

Image

does anyone remember that box thats on the beach in the water?? it had one of them warning triangles that are on the end of the groynes. i could always remember it but never knew what it was there for?? its long gone now.

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why did they cut the flagpoles of the tops of the turrets??? used to look really good years ago when they had the union jack flying from each one!

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Postby Gary » 13 Mar 2009, 22:54

WOW!!

What a first post.

Great pics and welcome to the board.

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Postby FATBOY » 13 Mar 2009, 22:56

cheers for the welcome gary... :D
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Postby AJ » 13 Mar 2009, 23:35

Great post and brilliant photos Fatboy and welcome to the forum.

I remember going to Clacton for the day with my sister, mum, nan and great nan in about 84/85 and seeing the coaster on the pier and just staying at it from beach in awe.

Wow I never knew the pier had a cable car. When did they remove that?
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Re: Wow ... that is so spooky.

Postby FATBOY » 14 Mar 2009, 21:03

Snowball wrote:Hi again all,

Paul281 ... wow, your memories of trips to the seaside are on a par with mine. Especially being scared witless of the giant in the cowboy hat, red shirt, black waistcoat blue jeans and holding a big brown club at Yarmouth pleasure beach. That was still there in around 2000 but I believe it was taken down in around 2001 (when the local council started to invest a few million to tart up the promenade).

Also, the mechanical bull at the arcade in Clacton!!! Forgot all about that ... lol. Many a good laugh was had watching my bro and sis falling off only after a few seconds ride. Also, happened to remember there being a mechanical coin-op laughing clown holding a pie in each hand in a glass enclosure being to the right of the entrance to the arcade outside the pier. More and more memories now flooding back ;-)

Being from Ipswich myself, I probably spent most of my time at Manning's amusements at Felixstowe ... from the days of the original wooden red roller coaster being to the left of the main Manning's entrance (1983 or so) to the bright blue steel coaster being put in it's place a few years later.

Look forward to seeing more nostalgia soon ........

Chaaaaaaaaaars.


is this the bloke your on about :wink: he used to scare the sh*t out of me too! but as the picture shows, i always felt safer when i was with my big bruv!

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Postby Paul281 » 15 Mar 2009, 19:14

I always thought he was bigger than that, mind you, when you are only 3 or 4, it does look big and scary.

Great picture though!
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