Winning Octopus Ahoy! sculpture arrives in Clacton by jet ski

Children have been making waves in a sculpture design competition as part of the summer art trail project Octopus Ahoy!  The art and charity event features more than 100 octopus sculptures and has been organised to celebrate Clacton’s 150th anniversary and 400 years since the Mayflower set sail to the New World from Harwich.  The octopuses will create a public art trail across north Essex.

Winning school
Primary schools were invited to take part in the celebration of art, culture and history.  Now the array of large professionally painted and smaller community painted octopus sculptures will propel their way across Essex to form an art trail across high profile locations for residents and visitors to follow.

A total of 60 school-designed sculptures took their seats at the Electric Palace cinema in Harwich for the final judging with a panel from Clacton Pier choosing the winner.

Nigel Brown, who was head of the judging panel from Clacton Pier, said: “We chose Holland Haven Primary School as we like the design, the name of Unity and the fact they have incorporated a large number of pupils’ drawings into the one octopus.”

Head teacher of Holland Haven Primary School Due Bardetti, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have the winning octopus.  The children have thoroughly enjoyed producing designs to be part of the final sculpture. They were thrilled when we told them we had won and we are excited about the presentation.”

The winning sculpture design was delivered by TDC’s Clacton Beach Patrol via sea from the Martello Tower to Clacton Pier to applause from the school children watching on the beach.

Clacton Beach Patrol

Katie Skingle, director at KAT Marketing, who are delivering the Octopus Ahoy! project on behalf of Tendring Council, said: “The energy the schools have put into their sculpture designs has been incredible.  The pupils have really loved getting stuck in and that enthusiasm shines through with the quality of the designs that have come back to us.  “They are going to look fantastic when they hit their venues on June 25.”

The Clacton Breeze open top bus was also unveiled at Clacton Pavilion this weekend by Clacton Rocks and the Octopus Ahoy! crew.
Octo bus

The Octo-bus marked the start of the Clacton Rock bus routes heading around town this summer.

Davina Langley, marketing manager at Hedingham Omnibuses, said: “We are thrilled to re-launch our Clacton Breeze Bus Tours and join forces with Octopus Ahoy! as it’s a fabulous way to take in the town and beautiful seaside”

The free Octopus Ahoy! app is now available to download from Apple and Android stores from today.  The app will help people to plan their route and list which prizes they want to scan and win via the QR codes at the bottom of each octopus base.

The free activity will lead to prizes ranging from octopus keyrings to free afternoon teas.


(Information and images from Clacton Gazette 01/06/2021).

Celebration-on-sea!  The 150th anniversary of the founding of Clacton-on-Sea

Clacton 150
2021 is the year Clacton-on-Sea celebrates its 150th anniversary and to commemorate this momentous occasion the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) are funding a seafront heritage trail in Tendring from Jaywick Sands to Holland Haven but also incorporating Clacton town centre to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Clacton-on-Sea. The trail will cover over 5 miles of beautiful coastline and will include new technology to help bring it to life as well as a fun and engaging way to convey Clacton’s story. Listening benches and audio posts will also be added to join and connect individuals with the stories of Clacton through the years.

Octopus Ahoy!

There are many other projects and celebratory events linked with the trail some of which includes:
Octopus Ahoy! art sculptures. As part of the celebrations, for 10 weeks in this summer of 2021, from 25th June to 5th September, the Octopus Ahoy! art sculptures will form a public art trail across Harwich, Tendring and the wider Essex area to celebrate 150 Years of Clacton and the Mayflower 400™️. To take part, download the Octopus Ahoy! app this summer and win prizes for scanning each octopus whilst enjoying locating the sculptures and admiring the amazing art by local artists. Visit for more information.

Octopus Ahoy

A flower feature to mark the celebrations will be on display in the chain plot located next to the stunning memorial garden along Clacton’s seafront. The Memorial Garden contains beds with high quality formal bedding displays and a central area with seating around a War Memorial to those who died in the First and Second World Wars. This garden is a popular meeting place for both residents and visitors.

Memorial Gardens

Clacton150 Anniversary Wheel. Clacton Pavilion has installed an observation wheel which towers above Clacton’s seafront to mark the celebrations. The wheel consists of 24 gondolas, with many adapted for wheelchair access, and can hold a total of 144 guests at a time. Tickets can be purchased individually; however, afternoon teas will also be available to pre book which includes a ride on the anniversary wheel for free. Visit for more information.

Clacton 150 Wheel beach view

To keep up to date and for more information on the celebrations visit our page our Visit our Clacton150 web page, log on to our Clacton150 Facebook page or email us at

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