Sign 13 - Star Point Bay

Star Point Bay

With the development of Clacton came the need for the disposal of waste water and sewage, and in keeping with all coastal communities, the simplest solution was to pump it out to sea.  For the sake of both its residents and the visitors, this operation was to be carried-out as far from the town, on both the east and west sides, as was practicable.

In 1883 and 1884 a drainage system was provided, under the direction of Mr. Ough, engineer to the sanitary authority, that lead the contents eastward to the border of Clacton and Little Holland, which at that time came under the wing of Tendring Rural District Council, before proceeding to head out to sea via a pipe that went a short way offshore.  At that time there was no sea wall, nor any real form of defence against the ravishes of the sea in the immediate vicinity so, in order to protect the pipe, as it emerged from the cliff, a covering of concrete was poured over it.  In the ensuing years the cliffs gradually eroded on both sides, either through the pounding of the waves or the escape of fresh water that had soaked through the sandy soil, hit a band of clay and then run along it until leaching out of the face of the rugged cliff.

As Clacton expanded, and Little Holland started to develop, so this original sewerage outfall was struggling to cope and in the latter part of the 1930’s a small pumping station was built just to the west of the first one, sitting atop a concrete chamber from with two pipes headed out to sea; these being laid by a steam crane traversing a temporary jetty.  The original outfall was decommissioned and, over a period of time, the pipe removed; this left the concrete apron now nicknamed, by locals, Star Point.  By 1952, with still further development in both Clacton and Holland on Sea, there was a small sewage disposal works at Holland Brook capable of dealing with the northern part of the eastern areas but in the winter the remainder of the eastern area was discharged into the sea near the old Urban District boundary, with partial treatment during the summer months.  The western side of the town discharged into the sea near Butlins.

Also by the 1950’s the cliff face either side of Star Point had been protected from the ravishes of the sea, albeit the defences were of varying standards.  Clacton on Sea Sailing Club had, by this time, built a small boat enclosure to the east of the 1930’s pumping station and it was, over the following years, to expand over the chamber and westward.

Star Point itself became a great playground for children as they could sit on it at high tide, the water swirling round them on both sides, and imagine being on a ship; made all the more realistic by the launching and landing of small dinghies at the neighbouring sailing club.  But by the early 1960’s the concrete was starting to break-up and winter storms helped to expose large cavities in the structure.  Whilst this only added to the excitement for children, with the opportunity to undertake some pot-holing, it was declared unsafe and by 1964 the Council had removed the end of the Point and tidied the whole thing up.  It remained in this state until a serious seawall collapse on the east side, in January 1990 lead to a rock scheme that totally encapsulated the remains of the original Star Point structure.

Last updated on: 03/09/2021 - 11:31