TR: Back to the '50s
Stepping out of the car, I couldn't believe my eyes. There, on Clacton Pier, was a helter skelter - a big, classic one like they used to have. "Gary will love this", I thought.
Next thing I saw was some sort of pleasure boat approaching the pier. Steam came out of it. It was a steamboat! I had to double-check I'd arrived in a Mondeo and not a DeLorean.
Clacton used to have both these things, of course, but neither had been seen for many years. It appears there is a concerted effort to recreate the past.
I walked down to the pier and stepped onto the boards. They have a great many new machines, such as Sega and Namco "grabbers". This is what I love about Clacton Pier - they're always trying.
The helter skelter is a magnificent specimen close up - direct from the days of showmanship. I've no idea where it came from.
Approaching the end of the pier, I was lucky to see the pleasure boat depart. Where it was heading remains a mystery, although it did sail off in the direction of London.
Another new addition at Clacton is a huge windfarm, the construction of which has been a source of mystery for me over the past year or so. You can see it in the distance, miles offshore. Sometimes you can hear enormous clunking.
Next, I headed into town, looked round the two game shops and bought a takeaway. It's rather a shame none of us can pop into Woolworths anymore, as that was a big part of Clacton for me. Still, it's always changing.
I sat in the beautiful seafront gardens in utter bliss, soaking up the sun and watching the enormous herring gulls swoop down onto the nearby lawns. I dropped a chip and threw it to a little bird. Salty air made my food taste even better. It was paradise.
Walking back to the car, there was one more thing I needed in order to make my seaside trip complete - an ice cream. There is a little isolated Nestle stand which, to me, is like an oasis. I bought a Vanilla Extreme and went home very contented.
> Stepping out of the car, I couldn't believe my eyes. There,
> on Clacton Pier, was a helter skelter - a big, classic one
> like they used to have. "Gary will love this", I
- I love that!
Great reading and viewing Graeme - Is (Are) The Clacton Chronicles a goer??
Right - I'm off to catch up on all the posts on these boards. I've posted but not read enough on here recently.
> Great reading and viewing Graeme - Is (Are) The Clacton
> Chronicles a goer??
Yep, I tell you what, I'll update my draft article with all the amazing info on Joyland Books.
Look forward to it Graeme!
What is it about Helter Skelters that does it for me?
I dunno. :-)
> What is it about Helter Skelters that does it for me?
> I dunno. :-)
Well, the slide in general is one of the simplest and best rides ever created. The helter skelter takes the basic idea and makes it so elegant. :)
With help from All the Fun of the Fair forums I can now inform you (Courtesy of a guy named Mike Hart) the history of the Clacton Helter Skelter:
"Bishtons No2 is at Clacton for 2009
the history I have is
Jimmy Godden - Fleggburgh Village - Bishtons 2006"
The Helter Skelter at Clacton apparently appeared in the Marks & Spencers Fashion Fairground TV commercial advert last Autumn. :-)
Graeme, wonderful report and pictures, my friend. Glad you had a great visit.
Wow, these are some wonderful pics, Grazza. As I always say, I love these seaside parks.