Mayflower Trail installed around Historic Harwich

A visitor trail exploring Harwich’s links to the Mayflower ship, which transported early settlers to America, has opened to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the ship’s sailing.

The Mayflower Trail consists of information boards and directional signs around the historic town, detailing its links to the founding of modern America.

Wednesday, 16 September marked 400 years since the Pilgrims departed for what was then known as the New World, stepping off English soil for the last time at Plymouth for their voyage across the Atlantic aboard The Mayflower.

Carried aboard The Mayflower, the ship and several of its crew were from Harwich – including its Master Christopher Jones, whose house still stands in Kings Head Street today.

Harwich is joining several other towns and cities around the world, including Plymouth, which all have links to the Mayflower story, to commemorate the landmark anniversary with a series of special events.

Although the festivities have been delayed due to the impact of Covid-19, they are still planned to go ahead but some have either been altered or postponed.

In Harwich work has been completed to fit out Christopher Jones’ House – leased by Tendring District Council (TDC) – as a tourist attraction, and work has almost finished at the new Visitor Centre at Esplanade Hall. These are due open to the public in Spring 2021, subject to Covid-19 restrictions.

The Mayflower Trail, which has been funded with £45,000 sponsorship from the region’s rail operator Greater Anglia, has been installed to coincide with the 16 September anniversary.

Alex Porter, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, encouraged people to enjoy the Mayflower Trail.
“Harwich’s links to The Mayflower are truly fascinating, and you can really learn a lot from the Trail,” Cllr Porter said.

“While the opening of attractions has had to be delayed to the global pandemic, you can start getting yourself steeped in history now by walking the Mayflower Trail and soaking up the atmosphere from Historic Harwich.

“We are very grateful to Greater Anglia for its support of this project, which will be in place for visitors and residents alike to enjoy for years to come.”

Jonathan Denby, Greater Anglia’s Head of Corporate Affairs, added: “The Mayflower story is all about journeys and as the region’s train operator that is something which resonates strongly with us.

“Harwich is easy to reach by train and travelling there by rail will help to reduce congestion and pollution in the town, making the events more enjoyable for both visitors and residents.”

The Mayflower Trail is around 1km long and has eight waypoints, starting from St Helen’s Green.

A special Harwich sign, also funded as part of the project, will be installed at Harwich Green in early 2021.

Exciting event programme on the cards for Tendring in 2021

In line with a draft tourism strategy going out for consultation.  Tendring District Council (TDC) confirmed today that the Illuminate Festival, scheduled for November to mark Historic Harwich’s links with The Mayflower, will be postponed until Spring of next year.

Taking place at a similar time in 2021 will be an event to mark the 150th anniversary of Clacton, which it is hoped will kick-start a year of celebrations.

The Clacton 150 event and the rescheduling of Illuminate were announced at TDC’s Cabinet meeting today (Friday, 11 September), where it was also revealed the Mayflower Trail in Harwich would be installed from next week – coinciding with 16 September, the date the Pilgrims set sail for the final time from Plymouth to what was then known as the New World.

Alex Porter, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said the events would kick-start the year.

“Last year’s Illuminate Festival was a roaring success, and this year was due to wrap-up a year of festivities as we celebrated 400 years since The Mayflower of Harwich took the Pilgrims to America,” Councillor Porter said.

“Of course Covid-19 has changed things somewhat, and instead many of the celebrations will now take place next year, subject to Coronavirus restrictions – including the Illuminate Festival, which although traditionally held around Thanksgiving will now re-launch the Mayflower 400 programme. With the current Covid-19 restrictions, it would not be possible to do it justice this year, but instead we hope to bookend 2021 with Illuminate Festivals.

“Next year we also have another anniversary to celebrate in our district, Clacton’s birthday, and we’re working with tourism partners in the town to look at how we mark the occasion.

“These proposals will complement a whole series of planned events, which could make 2021 a very special year indeed, and further details will follow over the coming weeks and months. Don’t forget you can keep up-to-date on events in the district through the Love Tendring app.”

Also discussed at Cabinet today was a draft Tourism Strategy for the district. Covering the next five years, the strategy sets out an ambition to increase the number of jobs associated with the sector, improve the district’s profile, work more with tourism business partners and improve the quality of life of residents by doing so.

Councillor Porter added: “More detail will come in the Delivery Plan which will follow on once the Tourism Strategy is adopted, but it is exciting to see us having a real focus on what is an incredibly important part of our economy.

“One of the key aspects is to recognise the unique nature and selling points of all our towns and villages. We are blessed with unspoilt coastline, family attractions, heritage of international importance, stunning countryside and some of the best events in the country.

“We obviously need to recognise the challenges our businesses face, operating throughout a pandemic, and so one of the key focusses of the first year’s delivery plan will be to provide ‘back to business’ support to re-iginite our economy – such as through these two Spring events.”

The draft strategy was agreed by Cabinet, and will now go out for a six-week consultation.

Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

From 3 to 31 August, get a 50% discount when you eat in at restaurants that are registered with the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.

Get a 50% discount on food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in (up to a maximum of £10 discount per diner) every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 3 and 31 August as many times as you like.

You do not need a voucher to use this scheme and you can use it at the same time as other offers and discounts. There is no minimum spend.

You cannot claim discount on alcoholic drinks or service charges.

The discount will be automatically available to you at participating establishments. Establishments will then claim a reimbursement from the government for the discount they’ve given you.

Participating establishments may include:
restaurants, cafés, bars or pubs
work and school canteens
food halls

All diners in a group of any size can use the discount.

For more information and participating restaurants visit 

MiPermit cashless car park payments

Cashless Car Park Payments
Take the time and hassle out of paying for and extending your parking stays in the area by using MiPermit.

What is MiPermit?
is a cashless parking system which is already been used by over 2 million customers. For more information visit

What are the benefits?
Time – MiPermit removes the time and hassle of finding, queueing for and using cash/card machines in car parks.

Extend your Stay – You can extend your parking stays anytime, anywhere without having to return to your car park or worrying about receiving a Penalty Charge. The Extend Your Stay feature also cleverly selects the best value tariff for the whole of the existing and new stay combined.

Expiry Reminder – You can request a 20-minute text message reminder that your parking stay is due to expire, costing only 10 pence in car parks managed by us.

Exclusive Parking Offers – Access exclusive parking offers which are unavailable when paying by cash and card.

Map – The MiPermit App includes a map of where your car is parked – ideal if you’re visiting an area you’re unfamiliar with. For a full list of UK locations where MiPermit can be used, visit

Pay in advance – Pay for your parking either on arrival at a car park, or up to seven days in advance. Please note that paying in advance does not guarantee a parking space.

Stay local, Stay safe, Have fun

In partnership with VisitEssex we’re excited to launch the Summer 2020 campaign celebrating the re-opening of many of Essex’s well-loved attractions and hidden gems.

Each week VisitEssex will be updating information on where to visit, including what’s open, the best times to visit and how to visit safely.

Follow their social channels where they will be providing you with inspiration to help you avoid the crowds and discover incredible new places in your county to create your own adventures and shape lasting memories.

In these strange times there are plenty of reasons to stay local and plenty of ways to have ‘great adventures, close to home’.

For more information visit their website at

Clacton Pier has been crowned Pier of the Year

Clacton Pier has been crowned Pier of the Year in what its director called a “perfect morale booster” at a difficult time.

The attraction reopened to the public on July 4 as lockdown measures were eased, having been closed since late March.

It was today named as pier of the year by the National Piers Society, pipping second-placed Clevedon Pier and third-placed Brighton Palace Pier.

The society said the award recognised a decade of improvements made by Clacton Pier’s owners, brothers Billy and Elliot Ball.

Billy said: “We were delighted to come runner-up last year and to go one better this year really is the icing on the cake.

“This has been an incredibly difficult time for all 61 piers around the country and to pick up the award is the perfect morale booster for us.

“We are truly grateful to all those who voted for us and thank them for their faith in us.

“To top the list ahead of such great attractions as Brighton’s Palace Pier is a real accolade and will spur us on to even greater things.”

Clacton Pier opened in 1871 and was lengthened to 1,180ft in 1893 with the addition of a theatre and pavilion.

The National Piers Society said it is the largest pleasure pier in Europe by surface area, covering 6.5 acres.

When the brothers bought the pier in 2009, just two of those acres were in use.

It now boasts many rides including a helter-skelter and two-tier adventure golf course, with a new rollercoaster and log flume due to be added.

Tim Wardley, chairman of the National Piers Society, said: “Seaside piers have long been prime generators of inward investment to the resorts they serve and are the beating hearts of seaside communities.

“The millions of pounds invested in Clacton Pier by Billy and Elliot are a demonstration of their commitment to both the tourist industry and their home town.

“I wish them every success as they continue to work hard to bring an all-weather, year-round attraction to Clacton.”



Source/credit – Clacton & Frinton Gazette  July 2020.

Coronavirus (Covid19) – Information and Advice

Stay Alert – Control The Virus – Save Lives

Tendring District Council (TDC) are continually monitoring the current situation on Coronavirus (COVID 19) and are following information and advice published by the government. Please monitor the TDC website ( for any official announcements.

For the latest advice and guidance on the Coronavirus (COVID19): Stay alert to stay safe. Guidance from the government in response to coronavirus– Guidance for households with a possible coronavirus infection Government’s guidance on staying alert
Testing – guidance, where and how to get tested – Guidance on shielding
Support for the extremely vulnerable– Register for coronavirus support on GOV.UK if you have a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. For example, you’ll be able to ask for help getting deliveries of essential supplies like food.

NHS – For health information and advice on coronavirus.

Essex County Council – Information and updates on Schools, Libraries and Adult Social Care – Tips on how to look after your mental health

Public toilets re-open across Tendring

All public toilets run by Tendring District Council (TDC) are now open.

The facilities had been closed during lockdown in line with Government regulations, and since restrictions were lifted TDC had been working on plans to re-open them safely.

Initially 12 toilets in seafront locations were opened to provide amenities for people using seafronts.

Now further measures have been put in place to allow all of the authority’s toilets to be re-opened.

To allow for the additional safety measures opening times will be different, with toilets opened from 10am until 8pm – with the exception of the facilities in Connaught Avenue, Frinton, which will open at 8am.

Michael Talbot, TDC Cabinet Member for Environment, welcomed the news.

“We understand there has been some frustration that our public toilets had been opened on a limited basis, but this has been necessary to make sure we have the appropriate safety measures in place both for the public and our staff,” Councillor Talbot said.

“I am glad that we can now open all of our public toilets, which we know are important for many people visiting our seafronts and town centres – particularly as non-essential retail outlets can now re-open.”

Toilet users are being reminded to maintain social distancing and to follow instructions about maximum numbers or closed cubicles at all times, and to ensure they wash their hands after using the facilities. Visit our website for advice and information, including toilet opening times at

The public are also asked to be polite and courteous to cleaning staff while carrying out their role – which may involve them asking people to leave or wait while cleaning is done.

Councillor Neil Stock OBE, TDC Leader, added: “Our toilet cleaners have a tough enough job to do as it is without facing abuse from the public, but sadly a minority feel it is acceptable to do this.

“It is completely abhorrent and unacceptable, and our staff have rightly been instructed to walk away from any such situation. So if anyone does abuse our staff, we may be forced to close toilet facilities as we will not be able to clean them.

“So please remember to #BeKind and respect those who are working hard to provide facilities for the general public.”

Tendring beaches increase their number of Blue Flags

Seven beaches in Tendring have been handed prestigious awards by Keep Britain Tidy as the district increases the number of its Blue Flags.

Beaches at Brightlingsea, Dovercourt Bay, Harwich, Frinton, Walton-on-the-Naze and the town’s Albion beach, and Martello Bay in Clacton have all been given Seaside Awards in recognition of their quality.

In addition the beaches at Dovercourt Bay, Brightlingsea kept their Blue Flag status – while Walton-on-the-Naze has been newly awarded the top title.

It means all Tendring seafronts have kept their accreditation or improved it.

Councillor Alex Porter, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Tourism at Tendring District Council (TDC), said the awards reflected just how important seafronts are to the area.

“Our beaches right around the district are a brilliant asset, not just for residents but also for tourists and the whole tourism industry,” he said.

“We recognise this and invest so much in them – from our Beach Patrol service in the holidays, improvements to our seafronts and promenades, or even creating beautiful new beaches as we did in Holland-on-Sea, with improved accessibility from the cliff stabilisation scheme.

“This recognition is a great advert for the Essex Sunshine Coast, and it should be remembered it is not easy to keep, let alone gain, Blue Flag and Seaside Award status.

“We will continue to look after our beaches for the benefit of all and, when it is safe to do so, welcome all visitors back to our wonderful coastline.”

Councillor Neil Stock OBE, TDC Leader, added: “Following government’s announcement yesterday relaxing social distancing measures from next month, we are fully committed in preparing our leisure and tourism sector to get back to business from 4 July.

“If you are thinking about taking a break in the summer time why not consider the welcoming Essex Sunshine Coast.”

Keep Britain Tidy’s Deputy Chief Executive Richard McIlwain said: “The success of the Tendring coastline in reaching the very high standards demanded by both awards is testament to all those who have worked so hard to protect and improve our beaches – from beach managers and volunteers to local people and businesses.

“When you enjoy a trip to a beach flying an international Blue Flag or Seaside Award, you know you are on one of the safest, cleanest and very best in the country.

“This year, with the pressure on local services created by COVID-19, we would urge anyone visiting this fantastic beach to help out by taking their rubbish home with them and leaving the beach as they found it.”