Families turn out in force for free storytelling and children’s theatre festival

Families descended on Clacton town centre for a celebration of storytelling and children’s theatre.

The first ever Word on the Street festival took place on the Town Square on Saturday, June 15, between 11am and 4pm.

Word on the Street performance.

The new outdoors art event was run by Manningtree’s The Grand Theatre of Lemmings and the Tendring Cultural Education Partnership with support from Tendring District Council, Arts Council England and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The day featured storytelling, outdoor shows, stilt-walking and circus workshops, as well as a Clacton-inspired mural for children to colour in.

Mandy Rose, from the Grand Theatre of Lemmings, said: “It was a fabulous event and hundreds of people turned out throughout the day to join in the fun.

A performer at the Word on the Street festival in Clacton Town Square. Image: Kevin Jay
“The whole event, which was free of charge, was aimed at getting young people and their families to interact with the storytelling, theatre and outdoor art.

“It was wonderful to see so many young people take part in the activities, which were aimed at broadening their creative horizons.”

Jessica Bryan, TDC’s Tourism, Arts and Events Manager, said the event has helped to inspire young people.

“This wonderful new festival was all about creating shared moments of joy for families and helping people to take pride in our area alongside promoting our heritage and attracting visitors,” she said.

The Word on the Street festival included a circus workshop in Clacton Town Square. Image: Kevin Jay
“We wanted to help provide an opportunity for children, family and friends across generations to spend time together at no cost while getting involved in creativity and culture.

“Inclusive events like the Word on the Street will help to redefine our public spaces, showcasing our brilliant creative community and giving a boost to our town centre shops.

“We hope that this free event has inspired young people in the district to raise their aspirations and get involved in the arts.”

Drowning Prevention Week – save the date

Drowning Prevention Week (DPW) is one of the largest summer water safety campaigns across the UK and Ireland targeting families, carers, teachers and instructors of children aged five to fifteen years old with the aim of educating them about water safety.

The campaign will run from 15 – 22 June so please mark the week in your calendars and keep reading for ideas of how to get involved!

No child should drown, and with the right water safety education – such as knowledge of the Water Safety Code – accidental drownings are preventable. Drowning Prevention Week is deliberately timed ahead of the school summer holidays when children spend more time outdoors and when vital water safety skills can help keep children safe.

Please help to spread the word this year and encourage everyone to have the water safety conversation with children. DPW is critical in raising awareness and encouraging the public to enjoy water safely.

To download a copy of FREE safety education resources and find out more visit Royal Life Saving Society UK’s Drowning Prevention Week (rlss.org.uk)

Beach Patrol launches operations ahead of half-term holidays

Visitors to the Essex Sunshine Coast are being encouraged to ‘Respect the Water’ as Tendring District Council’s (TDC) Beach Patrol begins its operations this weekend.

Beach Patrol’s summer season gets underway in Clacton, Frinton, Walton, alongside the Seafront Warden service in Dovercourt and Brightlingsea, this weekend – which marks the start of schools’ summer half-term break.

This year will see a series of changes to improve Beach Patrol coverage, including lifeguarded beaches being marked with red and yellow flags and a new presence to the east side of Clacton Pier.

The changes are among the recommendations made following a review of the service by the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS), and TDC is putting in place some of the short-term measures while it considers the wider feedback.

Councillor Mick Barry, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Public Realm, said: “We want to encourage visitors to our coastline and hope they enjoy our beaches, alongside our residents.

“Our coastline is a great place to visit but, as with any coastline, there are inherent dangers.

“We help to reduce those risks with supervised beaches, thanks to our excellent Beach Patrol team – which gives advice and guidance, first aid, and also helps to rescue those who get into difficulty.

“Last summer patrols had to tell hundreds of people to stop climbing on rocks, groynes or breakwaters as well as giving advice to swimmers who had either gone out too far or on an inflatable, which can quickly be blown out to sea with only a gentle breeze.

“That’s why we’re urging people to back the RNLI’s ‘Respect the Water’ campaign by following advice from warning flags, not swimming near, around or under piers, as well as knowing their depth, being wary of sudden drops in the sea floor, and being aware of tides and currents – and not swimming while drunk.

“Beach Patrol is not an emergency service and if you see someone in difficulty, please dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

Beach Patrol will be present in Clacton, Frinton and Walton on Saturday, Sunday and all Bank Holidays, from 10.30am to 5.30pm, until the end of Summer school holidays – and will also operate Monday to Friday during the school holidays.

In Dovercourt and Brightlingsea, the Seafront Warden service operates from 11am to 5pm.

Swim Safe, a national RNLI and Swim England initiative supported locally by TDC, is running free public sessions teaching sea safety during the summer holidays, with sessions at Clacton’s Martello in July and August.

Sessions will be available to book six weeks before they are due to start at www.swimsafe.org.uk.

Hundreds of cyclists hit the roads for return of the Tour de Tendring

Hundreds of cyclists hit the roads for the return of a beloved biking and community event in Tendring.

The Tour de Tendring rolled back into the district on Sunday, 19 May, and included a fun family event and activities at the starting and finishing point at Dovercourt Bay Lifestyles, in Wick Lane, Dovercourt.

The main event saw almost 300 cyclists join 60-mile or 20-mile circular routes to explore the district’s beautiful countryside and take in views of the Essex Sunshine Coast.

It ran alongside an open day at Dovercourt Bay Lifestyles, including free swims for participants, and the Skatepark Jam, organised by Maverick Skateparks and Harwich Town Council, at the neighbouring Harwich and Dovercourt Skatepark.

The Essex Pedal Power team was also in attendance, alongside charity Wheels for All and Essex County Council’s Dr Bike workshop.

The Tour de Tendring was organised by Bike Events and was part-funded by Tendring District Council (TDC).

Euan Scott-Batey, from Bike Events, said: “It was a wonderful day and those taking part were treated to glorious sunshine as they cycled across the district and enjoyed views of the coast.

“With longer and shorter routes, the Tour de Tendring was a great opportunity for cyclists of all abilities to enjoy a day of fully-supported cycling.”

Mick Barry, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Public Realm, took part in the 20-mile event.

“As part of Our Vision, we are keen to promote cycling and events like this to get our residents active and improve their wellbeing, helping to improve their quality of life.

He said: “It was delightful to see both keen and casual cyclists participate – with some taking on the challenge to fundraise for a charity close to their heart.

“I was also pleased to see so many families and friends cheering on those taking part.

“This was the first time the Tour de Tendring has been staged since before the Covid pandemic and it was great to join in the fun alongside everyone else.”

More than 30 bikes were also due to be handed out to residents as part of the Essex Pedal Power Scheme, while 65 bike and skate helmets were given out at the Skatepark Jam.

Essex Sunshine Coast picks up three prestigious Blue Flag Awards

Seven beaches in Tendring have been handed prestigious awards by Keep Britain Tidy – including three Blue Flags.

Beaches along the Essex Sunshine Coast have today (Wednesday, 15 May) been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag for 2024, including Frinton, Brightlingsea and Dovercourt Bay.

In addition, Harwich, Walton-on-the-Naze’s Albion and Naze beaches, and Martello Bay in Clacton, have all been given Seaside Awards in recognition of their quality.

Walton’s Albion Beach had previously held a Blue Flag award but was not entered by Tendring District Council (TDC) as water quality had been recorded as ‘good’ last year rather than ‘excellent’ following planned works to the local water network.

Councillor Mark Stephenson, Leader of TDC, said the awards recognised the beauty and quality of Tendring’s beaches.

“I’m delighted that our Essex Sunshine Coast has again been recognised for its beautiful beaches,” he said.

“We are proud of our coastline – it is a fabulous place for residents and visitors alike.

“Blue Flags and Seaside Awards show people that our beaches are some of the best in the country and, in line with Our Vision, help us to promote our heritage and environment, attracting visitors and encouraging them to stay longer.

“It is not easy to keep the Blue Flag status, and for reasons outside of our control we were not able to enter Walton’s Albion beach this year, but will look to do so next year should conditions allow.”

The Blue Flag and Seaside Awards are aimed at improving the quality of England’s coastline and promoting the country’s best beaches.

Blue Flag is an international award managed by Keep Britain Tidy on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education.

Seaside Award beaches have amenities at a high standard where they are provided, and a Blue Flag is an even higher globally recognised accreditation for quality beaches, taking into account factors such as water quality and availability of nearby facilities.

Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive, Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “These awards are a credit to the collective efforts of beach managers, volunteers, residents and businesses who have worked tirelessly to maintain, protect and improve some of our best-loved and most popular beaches and we’d like to take this moment to recognise and applaud them.

“Visitors to a beach flying a Blue Flag can be assured the beach will be clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards, as well as international bathing water quality standards.

“The Blue Flag is the world’s most recognised award for beaches and marinas and, to qualify, each applicant must meet and maintain a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria.

“Seaside Awards are presented to the best beaches in England and celebrate the quality and diversity of our coastline.”

Get in gear for the return of the Tour de Tendring

Cyclists, skateboarders and families are gearing up for a fun biking and community event in Tendring next weekend.

The Tour de Tendring will be returning to the district’s beautiful coastline and countryside on Sunday, 19 May.

The event will include a host of fun activities at the starting/finishing point at Dovercourt Bay Lifestyles, in Wick Lane, Dovercourt.

The Tour de Tendring, which gets underway from 8am, is organised by Bike Events and is part-funded by Tendring District Council (TDC).

Euan Scott-Batey, from Bike Events, said: “The picturesque district of Tendring offers perfect cycling country with quiet roads, low hills and views to the sea.

“With 60 or 20-mile circular routes, the Tour is an opportunity for cyclists of all abilities to enjoy a day of fully-supported cycling, with signed routes, refreshment stops and cycle mechanics on hand as they explore the beautiful countryside between the Stour and the sea.”

The Essex Pedal Power team, which is planning to give out 5,000 free bikes by next year in a bid to make cycling accessible to everyone, will also be at the event alongside accessible cycling charity Wheels for All and Essex County Council’s Dr Bike workshop.

There will be food and drink and exhibitions as well as an open day at Dovercourt Bay Lifestyles.

It will include a free swim for bike ride participants with a Tour de Tendring bib, gym challenges with prizes for winners and free classes can be booked by leisure centre customers in the Studio between 8.30am and 2pm.

Alongside the cycling event, Maverick Skateparks and Harwich Town Council will be hosting Skatepark Jam at Harwich and Dovercourt Skatepark, behind the leisure centre.

The skatepark jam takes place from 12noon to 4pm and will include music, demonstrations, competitions and prizes.

Mick Barry, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Public Realm, said the cycling event is a great way to explore the district.

“The Tour de Tendring is not just a wonderful event, it is a great way to get active while exploring the countryside and the Essex Sunshine Coast,” he said.

“We’re inviting charities to join in the fun by either signing up their own teams to take part or by encouraging people to take on the challenge to fundraise for a charity close to their heart.

“There will also be a host of activities, so don’t forget to bring your friends and family to come and support this fun event.”

As well as the traditional start point in Harwich, it had been hoped that a new start point could also be introduced in Holland-on-Sea, but that will now not go ahead due to a low uptake of cyclists choosing the new location.

If you want to take part on your own or with family and friends, book online at www.bike-events.co.uk/tourdetendring.

Commemorative events to mark 80th anniversary of D-Day

Commemorative events are set to take place across Tendring to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.

RAF Battle Of Britain Display

The commemorations will include a service at Clacton War Memorial as well as two nostalgic shows at Clacton’s Princes Theatre later this summer.

The events will mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day, which saw the start of Allied operations to liberate Western Europe from Nazi German control during the Second World War.

The service, organised by the Clacton Royal British Legion and supported by Tendring District Council (TDC), will take place at the war memorial in Clacton’s seafront gardens on Thursday, 6 June, at 11am. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Councillor Dan Casey, President of the Clacton Royal British Legion and TDC Vice-Chairman, said: “At the time, D-Day was a beacon of hope for the millions of people living under Nazi oppression.

“It saw the Allied invasion of France and ultimately led to the end of the war in Europe within a year.

“It was a turning point in the war, but also a sad occasion for the many families who lost loved ones during the operation.

“This year marks a major anniversary of that operation, and we will be paying tribute to those who gave their lives so that we may have the freedom we enjoy today.”

Clacton’s Princes Theatre, which is run by TDC, will be hosting two epic shows with a D-Day twist.

On 11 June at 2pm, it will be staging ‘Thanks for the Memories’ featuring heart-warming nostalgic songs and a flag waving finale paying tribute to the veterans of the armed forces.

On September 22 at 2pm, the theatre will host The D-Day Darlings’ 80th Anniversary Tour, which will see the wartime-inspired group perform the best loved songs of the era.

This year’s Clacton Airshow on 22-23 August will also have an overarching D-Day theme, with the iconic RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight headlining the event.

Aircraft had a crucial role to play in Operation Overlord with Lancaster bombers flying sorties ahead of and during D-Day to soften up the German defences, while Hurricanes supported communications between the invasion forces and headquarters in Britain.

TDC Chairman Councillor Gary Scott said: “D-Day was a key moment in the Second World War and our community will be remembering the sacrifice made by so many.

“We would also love to hear about any events people are planning to host in the district, so we can share the news with our residents.”

Visit the council’s website at www.tendringdc.gov.uk/content/street-parties to view information about the D-Day anniversary, national arrangements and how to safely organise an event, including the lighting of beacons and road closures, or to request the use of council land.

Promote your event at Whats On (tendringdc.gov.uk)

Beach Patrol gearing up for summer season

Beach Patrol 2024

Tendring District Council’s (TDC) Beach Patrol is gearing up for the summer season – and encouraging visitors to the Essex Sunshine Coast to Respect the Water.

People are being reminded to obey basic safety rules when visiting the coastline: following advice from warning flags; not swimming near, around or under structures such as piers, groynes and breakwaters; knowing their depth, being wary of sudden drops in the sea floor, and being aware of tides and currents; and not swimming while drunk.

This year will see a changed approach to Beach Patrol coverage along the beaches between Frinton and Walton-on-the-Naze; patrols along Princes Esplanade in Walton; and a presence to the East side of Clacton Pier.

These are part of the existing coverage provided in Brightlingsea, Dovercourt Bay, Frinton, Walton and Clacton by the service.

The changes are among the recommendations made following a review of the service by the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS), and TDC is putting in place some of the short-term measures while it considers the wider feedback.

Due to the Easter holidays being early this year, Beach Patrol will not begin operations until the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend, which is also the start of school’s summer half-term break.

This allows the team more time for training and preparations for what is hoped will be a busy summer along the Essex Sunshine Coast.

Four new Changing Places facilities open in Tendring

Four new specialist toilet and changing facilities have opened along the Essex Sunshine Coast.

Changing Places facilities have been built in Brightlingsea, Clacton, Frinton and Holland-on-Sea by Tendring District Council (TDC).

A Changing Places facility is for people who cannot use traditional disabled toilets and include hoists, height-adjustable changing tables and sinks, and shower facilities too.

The four new amenities join five existing ones in Tendring, and anyone wishing to apply for a key to access them can apply on the TDC website at www.tendringdc.gov.uk/leisure/seafront-and-beaches/changing-places.

Grant funding of £300,000 from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities paid for the new facilities in Brightlingsea, Clacton and Holland Haven; while Essex County Council’s Short Breaks service, which supports disabled children in the county, funded the site in Frinton.

Full details of the locations of Changing Places facilities, and how to access them, can be found on the national website at www.changing-places.org/find.

Networking event to be held at Harwich Arts & Heritage Centre

Monday, 15 April at the Harwich Arts and Heritage Centre from 9.30am to 1pm.

Join the Tendring4Growth team and guest experts for a free casual networking event exploring a range of grants available across the Tendring District – some of which close in the next few months.

Learn how the Rural England Prosperity Fund supports projects that aid rural businesses with small-scale investments, and assists rural communities with capacity building and infrastructure support for local civil society and community groups.

They will also discuss The UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which aids a large variety of projects, from enhancing cultural, historical, and heritage institutions; boosting the visitor economy; providing town centre animations; and shopfront improvement grants; to enhancing life, career and financial skills; supporting employed individuals to address barriers to education/training; offering ‘Extend the Season’ events; and widening participation in sports and leisure activities.

Secure your free ticket by signing up at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tendrings-shared-prosperity-fund-rural-england-prosperity-fund-launch-tickets-863806688057