Route of Colchester to Clacton leg of Women’s Tour 2021 revealed

Some of the world’s best cyclists will pass through Colchester town centre as they take in a whistle-stop tour of north Essex as part of a prestigious race.

SweetSpot Group has announced the routes for the upcoming Women’s Tour 2021, the penultimate stage of which will see 16 teams race from Colchester’s Northern Gateway Sports Park to Clacton.

Riders will first complete a lap of the closed road circuit at the sports park before heading into the town centre where spectators will be able to watch from behind barriers.

The 95.5km route will then take riders through Ardleigh to Elmstead, before heading through Wivenhoe, Alresford, Thorrington and Brightlingsea.

It then travels into St Osyth before passing Clacton, where spectators will once again be able to cheer riders on.

Cyclists will complete a loop through Holland, Thorpe and Manningtree before ending up in Clacton once again.

Women's Tour 2021 Stage 5 Map

Paul Dundas, leader of Colchester Council, said: “With Stage 5 of this international event beginning at Colchester’s new Northern Gateway Sports Park, it’s an excellent opportunity to showcase the excellent cycling facilities we can all now enjoy in the borough.

“As the route passes through our historic town centre, we look forward to seeing residents, visitors, schools and businesses join us to cheer on the riders as they race towards the finish line in Clacton.”

Alex Porter, Tendring Council’s leisure and tourism boss, said: “We know from the previous years we have hosted this elite race just what a spectacle it is, an event enjoyed by both dedicated cycling fans and newcomers to the sport as well.”

The Colchester to Clacton race takes place on Friday, October 8. Visit

(Clacton Gazette 21/07/2021).

Heritage trail launches to mark Clacton’s birthday

A ribbon was cut Friday 16 July to officially open a new heritage trail marking 150 years of Clacton-on-Sea.

Residents and visitors alike are encouraged to follow the Clacton 150 trail and learn about what was in the area before building of the town began, how the resort grew during the Victorian and Edwardian periods, and some notable landmarks such as the town’s many theatres and cinemas.

The trail has been installed by Tendring District Council (TDC), with funding from National Heritage Lottery Fund, ahead of Sunday (18 July) which marks 150 years since the first ship docked at the newly completed Clacton Pier – and the town’s birthday.

Heritage trail launches to mark Clacton's birthday

Read more about Clacton 150 on the project web page.

Jeff Bray, TDC Chairman, cut the ribbon on the information board which overlooks Clacton Pier and is adjacent to a Clacton 150 flowerbed display planted by the council’s horticulture team.

“The Clacton 150 trail is eye-catching in its colour, and the pictures and information on the boards and really interesting to read,” Councillor Bray said.

“Along the way there’s something for everyone, whether you want to re-live a trip to Butlin’s or you’re intrigued by some of the characters who helped to shape the town to what it is today.”

The trail consists of 19 information boards, stretching from Jaywick Sands to Holland Haven and going into Clacton town centre, charting various aspects of Clacton’s history. Some of the board also have augmented reality options for those with smartphones, and there are also audio benches recanting people’s memories of the town.

Also at the ribbon cutting were two historians, Roger Kennell and Richard Walker, who were among the team who helped to research and write the information on the trail.

Mr Kennell, who is part of the Victoria County History Group and the Clacton and District Local History Society said he was delighted to see the town’s history displayed for all to enjoy.

“I don’t to give it all away as people should come and enjoy the trail,” he said.

“But to think that the vision of one man – Peter Bruff – to buy up 50 acres of land and build a railway and pier to capitalise on the growing popularity of seaside resorts led to the modern town of Clacton we see today is staggering to think.

“It has been a lot of fun diving into various strands of history along the way as we developed the trail.”

Councillor Alex Porter, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, added: “It has been fascinating to learn about Clacton’s history, and I would recommend everyone takes time to read the information boards.

“There is so much going on in Clacton, and the whole of Tendring, this summer – from the Clacton 150 and Mayflower 400 heritage trails, to Octopus Ahoy and Street Tag, to the big wheels at Clacton Pavilion and Clacton Pier. So why not come along and do it all, making the most of all the Essex Sunshine Coast has to offer?”

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


Clacton 150

World’s best teams confirmed for 2021 Women’s Tour

Twelve of the world’s top 15 teams will be among those in action at this year’s Women’s Tour (Monday 4 – Saturday 9 October), the UK’s most prestigious women’s cycle race.

Colchester and Clacton will host the penultimate stage of the Women’s Tour, which will see the just confirmed 16 teams race from the historic castle town to the Essex Sunshine Coast on Friday 8 October.

Rescheduled from its traditional June calendar position to the COVID-19 pandemic, the race will nonetheless attract an all-star field once again for its seventh edition, with all nine of the top division UCI Women’s WorldTour teams confirmed to race.

Among those are SD Worx, the world’s number one team, and the squads of four of the race’s previous overall winners: Trek-Segafredo (Lizzie Deignan, 2019 champion), Team DSM (Coryn Rivera, 2018 champion), Canyon SRAM Racing (Kasia Niewiadoma, 2017 champion) and Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling (Lisa Brennauer, 2015 winner).

British interest comes in the form of AWOL O’Shea, CAMS-Basso Bikes – both Women’s Tour debutants – and Drops-Le Col s/b TEMPUR. 2021 will mark Drops’ fifth appearance in the event, while the Essex-based CAMS team will be on home soil for the race’s fourth and fifth stages (Shoeburyness to Southend on Thursday 7 October, Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea on Friday 8 October).

Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, the second American team competing in the event, return for a second appearance having also dominated the ŠKODA V-Women’s Tour virtual race held during the COVID-19 pandemic last June.

The full list of teams competing in the 2021 Women’s Tour is:

Alé BTC Ljubljana (Italy)
AWOL O’Shea (Great Britain)
CAMS-Basso Bikes (Great Britain)
Canyon SRAM Racing (Germany)
Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling (Germany)
Drops-Le Col s/b TEMPUR. (Great Britain)
FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope (France)
Liv Racing (Netherlands)
Movistar Team (Spain)
Parkhotel Valkenburg (Netherlands)
SD Worx (Netherlands)
Team BikeExchange (Australia)
Team DSM (Germany)
Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank (USA)
Trek-Segafredo (USA)
Valcar-Travel & Service (Italy)
Councillor Paul Dundas, Leader of Colchester Borough Council said: “It is thrilling to hear the announcement today that sixteen elite cycling teams from around the globe will be coming to Colchester to compete in October. This is a wonderful opportunity to put Colchester on the world’s stage and I’m sure residents, schools, businesses and visitors will turn out in their thousands to cheer them on through the borough.”

Councillor Alex Porter, Tendring District Council Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said: “It is exciting to see just what an international spectacle we have coming to our district, showcasing our beautiful area to the world. It’s also pleasing to see we have some local teams – and therefore hopefully some local riders – we can cheer on as the thrill of a cycle race unfolds on the roads of the Essex Sunshine Coast.”

Mick Bennett, Women’s Tour race director, said: “After the challenges that the Women’s Tour has faced since the start of 2020, it is extremely uplifting to know that when we finally return in October our passionate fans will again be able to enjoy watching the world’s best teams and riders along the roadside – all for free, too! We’ve designed a route that will make sure the battle for overall glory goes down to the final day. Roll on October!”

Danelle Every, British Cycling’s cycling delivery director, said: “Year after year, the Women’s Tour attracts the best teams in the world and 2021 is proving to be no different. Despite the disappointment of last year’s postponement, we know that the riders on show – who will be cheered on by brilliant crowds over six days of racing – will make this latest edition one of the most spectacular yet.

“After the explosion in cycling participation that we have seen during the pandemic, we hope that this event will be a fantastic showcase to help us nurture the next generation of female talent and to inspire more women and girls across the nation to have a go at a local cycling event whatever their age or ability.

“We’re incredibly proud of how the Women’s Tour has established itself as a mainstay of the UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar and real celebration of incredible female talent, so we are all eagerly anticipating its return in October.”

Full details of the 2021 Women’s Tour – including stage routes and timetables; SKODA Queen of the Mountains and sprint locations; and competing riders – will be announced shortly.

Colchester Borough Council in partnership with Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd, its wholly owned commercial company, will work alongside SweetSpot to host and promote the Colchester event and ensure residents and businesses in the borough can support and be part of the occasion. The stage will proudly showcase Colchester’s Northern Gateway Sports Park, the new 76-acre, multi-use venue that includes a one-mile, closed-road cycling circuit.

Meanwhile Tendring District Council is working to bring the stage finish to Clacton for the third time since the inaugural race came in 2014, with spectators hoping to see either a breakaway escape to the finish line or a fast sprint finish sweep down the seafront road.

Installation to get underway of Clacton 150 Heritage Trail

Totem poles telling the story of Clacton’s history will be installed around the town this week as part of its anniversary celebrations.

The Clacton 150 Heritage Trail boards will go up along the trail route, stretching from Jaywick Sands to Holland Haven, and including Clacton town centre.

Clacton 150 trail

Filled with historical information and photos, those taking part in the trail should also look out for the special augmented reality boards.

Installation is taking place this week ahead of Sunday, 18 July, which marks 150 years since the first ship docked at the newly completed Clacton Pier – and the town’s birthday.

Alex Porter, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism at Tendring District Council (TDC), which has organised the trail, encouraged people to try it out.

“There is a lot of fascinating information contained on the trail boards which are well worth a visit once they’re in place,” Councillor Porter said.

“On behalf of the project team I’d like to thank all of the community groups and local historians who have contributed to the information displayed, as their help has been invaluable.

“If you’re making plans to walk the heritage trail, why not also take part in the host of other activities going in Clacton this summer; from Octopus Ahoy and Street Tag, to rides on the big wheels at Clacton Pier and Clacton Pavilion, installed to mark Clacton 150.”

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

Clacton 150

Culture Recovery Fund

The Arts Council England are helping distribute the government’s Culture Recovery Fund, a £1.57 billion fund supporting cultural organisations through the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Emergency Resource Support has been launched for organisations at imminent risk of failure to support them until the end of the year.

Who can apply: Organisations who were financially sustainable before Covid-19 but are now at imminent risk of failure and have exhausted all other options for increasing their resilience.

Grant range: Between £25,000 and £3 million (£1 million for for-profit organisations)

Key dates: Applications are subject to permission to apply being granted. Permission to apply requests will be accepted from 8 July 2021.

Application Open Date: 12pm (midday), 12 July 2021.

Application Deadline: 12pm (midday), 30 September 2021.

Full details can be found at

New grants available for event organisers in Tendring

Grants of up to £1,000 are available to encourage events to be held in Tendring and support local traders and performers.

Tendring District Council (TDC) is making a total pot of £35,000 available to seed fund events, as part of its Back to Business plan.

Alex Porter, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said the aim was to support a high quality events programme to support the district’s tourism economy.

“We know our local independent businesses have suffered during the pandemic, and this is part of our Back to Business support to re-establish their importance to both our community and visitors,” Councillor Porter said.

“With the anticipated increase in UK holidays due to international travel restrictions, including to Tendring and the Essex Sunshine Coast, we have an opportunity, through a quality events programme, to encourage visitors to stay longer, spend their money within our town centres – and hopefully enthuse them to come back year after year.

“As well as the town centres and businesses we also need to support and nurture the fantastic creative and cultural outlets we have here in Tendring, and by encouraging event organisers to use local artistes and groups will help to promote those sectors across the district.”

Businesses can apply for a grant of either £500 or £1,000 towards events held in town or village centres, or seafronts close to them, which use local traders or performers.

Event organisers must supply cost plans and risk assessments as part of their application, as well as meeting the local criteria, and events are to be held within three months of getting a grant.

To apply to the fund visit

Sea Swim safety lessons return to Tendring

Training sessions teaching young people to safely swim in the sea are returning to the district this summer.

Swim Safe, a national practical outdoor water safety programme developed by Swim England and the RNLI, teaches children water awareness among the waves and is backed by the Tendring Water Safety Forum.

Public sessions will be held at Martello Beach, Clacton, with four sessions each day from 16-20 August.

Tendring District Council (TDC) is funding the sessions and its swim instructors will run the classes, which are open to those aged 7-14-years-old.

Alex Porter, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said it was an important skill for people to learn.

“Swimming in the sea is very different to doing laps of the pool, no matter how strong you are, and these sessions help people to learn the difference and stay safe,” Councillor Porter said.

“By being able to recognise the warning signs of danger at the sea, and understand your own limitations, everyone can Swim Safe in the sea this summer.”

Graeme Richardson, Area Lifesaving Manager for the RNLI, added how vital it was to give young people this information.

“The sea can be a very beautiful place, especially over the summer, but it is all too easy to forget just how dangerous it can also be,” Mr Richardson said.

“There are a number of different things to think about when on the beach or swimming in the sea such as tide times and wave patterns, and these Swim Safe sessions are just one way in which we can remind our young people to stay safe and treat the sea with respect.”

Public sessions are also being held in Harwich, funded by the Harwich Haven Authority, with both organisations working in partnership with Swim England and the RNLI to deliver Swim Safe.

A Swim Safe session lasts an hour. Young people spend time learning about the differences between swimming in a pool and in the sea, what the safety flags mean and how to get help if it is needed, before heading into the water to practise safety skills.

To sign up for a session go to

Tours to celebrate Princes Theatre’s 90th anniversary

Tours are being held of Clacton’s historic Princes Theatre to mark the venue’s 90th anniversary.

The guided tours will be led by theatre staff, explaining the history of the venue and about how a modern theatre operates, and include behind the curtain and backstage access.

Designed in 1926, construction began two years later and the theatre was officially opened in 1931 sitting within the Grade II-listed Clacton Town Hall.

The tours form part of the Clacton 150 programme of events, marking the 150th birthday of Clacton as a town. It is free to attend, but tickets must be booked in advance so numbers can be managed effectively.

The Princes Theatre, run by Tendring District Council (TDC) will also host an historical walk through of the history of Clacton On-Sea with unseen photographs and slide show.

Alex Porter, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said the tours promised to be fascinating.

“Whether you love history in general, or the mystique of the theatre, I heartily recommend going on a tour of the Princes Theatre,” Councillor Porter said.

“This will be a great morning or afternoon where you can reminisce and connect with the history and heritage of both the theatre and Clacton.”

Tours take place at 10am and 1pm on Sunday, 11 July, and refreshments will be available.

Tickets can be booked, for free, from the Princes Theatre’s new-look website at, by calling 01255 68 66 33 (Option 1), or visiting the Box Office at Clacton Town Hall between 10am-1pm Monday-Wednesday.

The Clacton 150 celebrations received £250,000 from the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

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

Clacton 150

Street Tag activity game comes to town as part of Clacton 150

A game encouraging people to walk, run and cycle between checkpoints is coming to Clacton this summer – with the town converted to a virtual playground.

Tendring District Council (TDC) has partnered with Street Tag to bring the physical activity scheme to the town as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations.

Clacton 150

Street Tag sees a number of virtual ‘check in’ points put up around the area, with people earning points for tagging in using the app and travelling between them in a physically active way. Points can also be earned by completing online fitness classes.

With the option of teaming up – encouraging families to get involved – those at the top of the leader board win prizes, while there are also school and care home competitions, all with separate leader boards to the community challenge.

Alex Porter, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said he hoped the scheme would encourage families and people of all ages to get out and about.

“Street Tag is a great incentive to get out and explore your local area – at the same time as improving your physical health and mental wellbeing by being active, and of course helping the environment by ditching the car,” Councillor Porter said.

“With so much going on this summer with the Clacton 150 anniversary, and Octopus Ahoy across the district, there are so many good reasons to get out and about.”

Street tag logo

Tags will be placed along popular walking routes and open spaces from Jaywick Sands to Holland-on-Sea. People can experience the local heritage and history of Clacton through audio, video, pictures, and text by going on Monument Tours in Augmented Reality within the Street Tag App.

Seun Oshinaike, Street Tag Founder, said: “We are excited to be forging partnerships that help families and communities get physically active in a fun, sustainable, and accessible way.”

The Clacton 150 celebrations received £250,000 from the National Heritage Lottery Fund, and Street Tag is one of the initiatives within the overall project.

For more information on Street Tag visit, and download the app on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Schools looking to get involved should e-mail or fill an online form at to express their interest.

Clacton 150 anniversary flights

Whilst we would love to bring you a full Airshow line-up and ground event this year, unfortunately due to COVID-19 restrictions throughout the planning stages this couldn’t happen.

However, this year’s event will be replaced by the Clacton 150 anniversary flights.  The Red Arrows will fly over Clacton on two days this summer to commemorate the town’s 150th anniversary. Along with the world-renowned Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF), the ace Royal Air Force (RAF) display team will grace the skies on August 26 and 27.

Further details will be shared in the coming weeks.

To keep updated, visit our website, follow Twitter @ClactonAirshow or our Facebook event page or for more information about the Clacton 150 commemoration events log on to