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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Centuary 2000

Postby Chief Engineer » 13 Apr 2009, 22:47

Who is young enough to remember the Century 2000? I have a feeling it left the Pier towards the end of the 80’s. I do recall working on her out of season but I don’t think I ever had a go. I am not sure if the picture was taken either early or late in the year as the Big Wheel is minus its gondolas. The Paratrooper is working away in the picture but there is also a glimpse of the Caterpillar ride lurking in the background , which carried on working right up to the 4th Dimension to become the Starfighters.
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Postby FATBOY » 14 Apr 2009, 20:02

hi ya mate! i take it the easter weekend was a busy weekend for you guys? and i bet the pier was very packed? the century 2000? well by looking at the picture, i have a very vague memory of it??? but not much else? and does the pavillion now have the terminator(up the top opposite the moon and starfish)??? was this the same terminator that was on the pier? heres a few more questions, why was the paratrooper moved from the end of the pier(behind the lifeboat house)? in fact why are no rides located at the end/neck of the pier? there used to be years ago?
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Whrilwind press clippings

Postby Chief Engineer » 14 Apr 2009, 23:14

Hi Fatboy,

It has certainly been a reasonable Easter considering the economic climate at the moment. The new owners were certainly blessed with a couple of nice sunny days , I have certainly known snow at Easter time before. We are always busy in the maintenance team and this Easter was no exception with having to move the coaster to accommodate the Waveswinger.

For tonight I thought it was about time I lived up to my previous promise and scanned in some of those Whirlwind press clippings for you to add to your collection.


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Wow 80p a ride or £2 for a wrist band I doubt we can ever get back to those prices.

CE
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Postby dirkthedaring71 » 15 Apr 2009, 09:08

I do remember the century 2000 and i even went on it once ( not a fan of those sort of rides). A similar ride was also at the world famous Atlas Park site but i can't remember what it was actually called.

The comment about the wristband made me laugh. I used to go on the pier every saturday at 9am, buy a wristband and stay on the pier until about 6pm. If i remember correctly you also got free entry to the sealions, the circus and iceskating. Though i don't think that all three of those were actually active on the pier at the same time. But when you compare it to todays wristbands at any amusement park/pier etc is was an absolute bargain.

Brilliant job for uploading the whirlwind snippings. They certainly brought the memories flooding back :) Do you have any of the Ghost Safari?
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Postby marc » 15 Apr 2009, 10:26

I was driving down the A12 yesterday and notice a load on a lorry belonging to a fair ride. The load looked very much like the children’s sailtie ride and a venture river. Were these from the Pier? I did notice the Venture River was packed up alongside the Arcade when I went on the waveswing last Friday. The only moan I have from my visit last week was that the Toilets were shut near the Jolly Roger.
HANDS IN THE AIR!!!
"HACKS"
FELIXSTOWE`S NUMBER "1" ENTHUSIAST
Hacks Pix
www.funfairworld.co.uk
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Postby dirkthedaring71 » 15 Apr 2009, 13:15

Marc, the toilets were shut due to vandalism last summer and i have never seen them open since.

p.s i do not carry out surveys of sites and their local conveniences ;)
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Postby FATBOY » 15 Apr 2009, 18:04

excellent pictures!!! many thanks! now my next step is to see if i can track down mr rex stevenson (head of tourism and economics) and see if this video of the event still exists? also would like to see if i could track down keith walker of the grove (100 goes in a day!!!!). whats the best bet??? putting an advert in the local clacton gazzettes postbag page???
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Postby Chief Engineer » 15 Apr 2009, 23:53

Hi marc,

Well spotted, it was two of our rides that have been sold on , the Crazy Clown and Canoe River. The Crazy Clown never really attracted many riders and was in need of to much TLC on the painting and finishes for the new owners to warrant keeping it on, it is possibly being exported to India. The Canoe River had to go to make way for the Lighthouse slip.

I can only apologize on behalf of the new owners for the non opening of the toilets. Vandalism has played a part in their closure but it was pumping problems that caused the toilets to remain closed.
Rest assured the toilets will reopen soon , unfortunately the parts required for the pumps appear to be a discontinued item so a new pair of pumps are going to need to be installed.

To enable the toilets to brought up to a nice standard and keep the vandals at bay, the Pier is having to follow in the foot steps of Ryan Air and thinking of charging for spending a penny, inflation will probably mean it will cost a little more when they do reopen but certainly not the £1 Ryan Air are suggesting and sorry buying a wristband wont count .

I found a nice old picture of the Piers old slip, I have been informed by the Bishton family, owners of the present slip installed on the Pier that the Pier’s original slip is still around, possibly just finishing restoration and built originally by the ‘Supercar’ firm.

CE
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Whirlwind

Postby Chief Engineer » 16 Apr 2009, 18:26

For all you Whirlwind lovers, take a trip back in time and watch the coaster in action:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfhcclVYxRs

CE
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Postby FATBOY » 16 Apr 2009, 18:34

what a brilliant piece of footage!! excellent!!! glad you uploaded it mate.....
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Postby dirkthedaring71 » 21 Apr 2009, 08:22

I took the opportunity to visit the pier on sunday and have a go on the helter skelter. The ride looks really good though the 1.50 price for one slide is a bit of a rip off when slides in other places are usually three rides for a pound or stay on as long as you like.

It was good to see that wristband are now available all the time and the new wave swing ride looks really good.
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Re: Centuary 2000

Postby Snowball » 21 Apr 2009, 18:50

Chief Engineer wrote:Who is young enough to remember the Century 2000? I have a feeling it left the Pier towards the end of the 80’s. I do recall working on her out of season but I don’t think I ever had a go. I am not sure if the picture was taken either early or late in the year as the Big Wheel is minus its gondolas. The Paratrooper is working away in the picture but there is also a glimpse of the Caterpillar ride lurking in the background , which carried on working right up to the 4th Dimension to become the Starfighters.
Image


Hey all!

Been away for a while but great to see all the posts! Wow, it's amazing to see all the memories and pics - superb!!

This was the ride that happened to gouge into my head whilst trying to board. The metal gate that closes over you once you're in a seated position came crashing down on my head ... there's lot to be said for a having a soft bonce when you're a wee kid. Not sure I've ever quite been the same though. LOL :P
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Scalextrix tracks

Postby Snowball » 21 Apr 2009, 18:55

dirkthedaring71 wrote:Some fantastic information has been posted on here since my last visit and a lot of it brings back fond memories :)

I was brought up in clacton and i used to love visiting the pier every saturday and getting a £3 wristband which not only let you go on all the rides from opening until close but also got you in to see the killer whales, ice skating and a visit to the circus at the end of the pier, talk about value!! This was in the early eighties.
I remember the pieces of the corkscrew being driven onto the pier and assembled. Those were exciting times thats for sure and though i wasn't the first to ride it i did get on the second or third lot. On opening day they spent the first few hours sending it round and round with sandbags in the seats and then they took those out and put the pier staff in for a few times before the public could ride.

In the t shirt shop that is still there to this day they used to sell a rather snazzy t shirt which had " i survived the clacton pier whirlwind" on the front with a picture of the ride itself. It was my most treasured item for many a year. As another poster said, there were water slides installed in the ex killer whale pool in about 1987 but i think they only lasted one season before being sold off. This is when the pier started to go downhill fast and it is sad to see the state it is in now despite Harrison promising to bring it back to its former glory.

The pavillion and the bucking bronco ( 50p a go if i remember correctly) was another great place. I used to love the wild west shooting range that they had there. Unbelievably they still manufacture a similar machine to this day but it is not quite as flashy as the original. There is one upstairs in magic city and another at great yarmouth pleasure beach.

Being from clacton a trip to great yarmouth was pretty rare and when the chance came you had to take it. I once spent 3 hours in the boot of my friends parents car ( 8 people in the car total) just to spend an hour at the pleasure beach. It was in the peak of summer and we had to stop a few times so i could be sick but it was worth it.

Does anyone remember the fantastic scalextric sets they used to have at clacton butlins? They were the bigest i have ever seen and they also had radio controlled tanks there as well.


Hey there Dirk!

I'm not sure these are the ones you're talking about, but do you happen to remember the massive tracks in the building opposite the pavillion? I'd never seen anything quite like it as a kid and comparing those to the piddly tracks you'd connect up at home, well... no comparison!!

Always remember they employed staff to just stand around reconnecting the cars to the track when they spun/flipped off.

Chaaaaaaaars :D
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Re: Wow ... that is so spooky.

Postby Snowball » 21 Apr 2009, 18:57

FATBOY wrote:
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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LOL - whoah! He still gives me the heebie-jeebies!!! Nice one Fatboy!!!

I'm slowly digging my ways through photos of Clacton pier and the Yarmouth Pleasure so will definitely upload some as soon as poss.

All the best peeps!!
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Postby Snowball » 21 Apr 2009, 19:09

FATBOY wrote:excellent pictures mr engineer! And thanks for getting through these questions. Last year of the paratrooper? :0( well in all my 30 years ive never ever been on it, i must amend that in the summer before its too late. Bats? The cars on this werent glittery were they? And had batman logo shape dummy steering wheels? Does the red baron still exist on the pier?


Now that certainly rings a bell ... glittery gold/silver cars and the batman logo steering wheels!!! I remember Felixstowe amusements having an original rocket ship ride (i.e height of the cars was controlled by the rider as the main ride rotated the cars themselves). But what was this glittery ride again ... ??

Chaaars :?
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