Clacton: where the tide doesn’t want to have to come in

Living in Clacton-on-sea, Essex

Unfortunately, I have lived on the outskirts (no, not Jaywick thank God) for some years and have great delight in being on the verge of moving to somewhere slightly less pony asap. The whole town is sinking. Not like Canvey, in that respect, sinking as in the mire of depression, drug abuse, gang violence and closed shops are all adding to the general ambience of desperation.

Apparently once a nice place when the Butlins was there, the entertainment sought out now is [allegedly] a punch-up in the wonderfully-named “Chocolate and Starfish [changed for legal reasons]” pub (Sl4g And Lettuce would be more appropriate) on a Friday night. Rolling out onto the street as they [allegedly] unselfishly allow the general public to get involved in the mirth and merriment, glass, beer and handbags fly. Culture in Clacton is the public library and that’s about your lot. There’s more culture in an empty yogurt pot…

The pier is arguably at least an attempt by a local businessman to keep something running to keep the tourists coming in but said tourists are generally east Londoners looking to peddle drugs to the local yoof. A recent murder was sadly proof of the impact of modern gang problems on the town, not so much shocking as sobering.

How grim is your Postcode?

One redeeming feature: the railway station with the old rattling dusty bins (321 class for the trainiacs out there) that get you the hell out of the place. Bloody cold as who would think a north sea seaside town station would need some shelter but at least it’s a break from the gangs of homophobic teens that make Putin look open minded. But then Clacton is the one town that had a UKIP councillor elected so say no more.

Clacton also featured in the 1987 Pet Shop Boys film It Couldn’t Happen Here, even Chris Lowe jumped over a hedge in desperation. The film is probably the only time the place has got anywhere near culture in recent years and that was over 30 years ago.

The local drivers are either in gods waiting room and can’t understand how such modern technology as mini roundabouts and door mirrors work while the yoof think that you have to go everywhere foot to the floor and less signals than the average BMW driver. Farewell Clacton, you probably won’t miss me as much as I won’t miss you.