Victorian characters greet visitors on Clacton-on-Sea's 150th birthday

Tuesday, 20 July, 2021
CADS actors and CJ the Octopus on Clacton's Venetian Bridge

Victorian characters – and an octopus – were on hand to greet visitors to Clacton on the town’s 150th birthday.

Sunday (18 July) was the landmark anniversary, when in 1871 the first steamship landed at the newly built Clacton Pier.

A Heritage Trail, stretching from Jaywick Sands to Holland Haven and including Clacton town centre, was installed and opened by Tendring District Council (TDC) last week as part of the Clacton 150 celebrations, ahead of the birthday.

To mark the day, those taking part in the new trail were met by members of Clacton Amateur Dramatic Society (CADS), dressed as Victorian characters of the era from 150 years ago.

They were also joined by CJ the Octopus, mascot of the Octopus Ahoy! sculpture trail taking place across Tendring this summer.

Alex Porter, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism who also greeted visitors on Sunday, said there had been a great atmosphere.

“Boosted by the good weather, it was pleasing to see so many people visiting what was originally a Victorian resort based around healthy waters, fresh air and entertainment – enjoying the same pleasures albeit in a 21st Century way,” Councillor Porter said.

“Whether you want to find out more about history through the Clacton 150 Heritage Trail, find colourful sculptures with the Octopus Ahoy! Trail, get active with Street Tag or simply enjoy our beaches and attractions, there’s something for everyone in Clacton and across the whole Essex Sunshine Coast this summer.”

Clacton Pier will be marking its anniversary in a few weeks’ time on 27 July, which was the official opening of the attraction 150 years ago, and is holding weekly firework displays during the school summer holidays.

The Clacton 150 celebrations received £250,000 from the National Heritage Lottery Fund, which has paid for the heritage trail and two staff to co-ordinate events and activities.

People and businesses are encouraged to hold their own events and activities to celebrate Clacton 150, and share details with the co-ordinating team at

Find out more about CADS on the society website at

Last updated on: 20/07/2021 - 14:56