Poetry and local history have combined in a community initiative at the site of a construction project in Jaywick Sands.
Work has begun on the new multi-million pound commercial workspace development, with wooden fencing going up at the start of construction around the site at the junction of Lotus Way, Tamarisk Way and Brooklands.
Now hoardings showing historic pictures of the area and poetry inspired by the images have been installed on the fence surrounding the site.
The pictures are part of a collection from the Jaywick Sands Local History Society, who partnered up with the Jaywick Writers Group on the initiative, co-ordinated by Tendring District Council.
The eight boards each display a sepia or black and white photograph along with a poem in varying styles.
William Stevens from the Jaywick Sands Local History Society, said it was good to be assisting with the project.
“All areas regenerate and change over time, as we are seeing with this new building, but when they do it is always lovely to look back and remember how communities looked; recognising their history and context,” William said.
Judith Wolton from the Jaywick Writers Group added: “The historic pictures proved really inspirational for our group, evoking both real memories and imagined stories which were then expressed in poetry.
“I’m glad we’re able to share these musings with the wider community as part of this display, and hope people enjoy them.”
Construction on the £4.4million project is due to be completed in Spring 2023. The site will house 25 affordable business units – serving the whole of Tendring – a ten-pitch covered market, training room, café, public toilets and community garden on the seafront, as well as new pavements and lighting, on the former Sunspot site and surrounding land.
Councillor Paul Honeywood, Tendring District Council Cabinet Member with special responsibility for Jaywick Sands, said: “This is a lovely community initiative that not only supports the work of both the history and writers groups, but will make a bright addition to the construction site while work is ongoing.”
Planning permission for the project was awarded in July 2021, with the project directly supporting around 40 full-time equivalent jobs and 16 indirectly.
Funding for the scheme comes from Essex County Council (ECC), which has contributed £2.03m, the Getting Building Fund, administered by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), with £1.972m, and TDC which has contributed £405k to date.
A collaborative exhibition by the Jaywick Local History Society and the Friends of Jaywick Martello Tower, entitled Jaywick Sands: A Snapshot of History, shows the history and development of the area. The exhibition, which includes artwork and videos, is at the Jaywick Sands Martello Tower until Sunday, 10 July, and is open to the public Thursday-Sunday 10am-4pm/