Essex

Clacton film to fight back against 'worst seaside town' tag

Clacton Pier Image copyright Pauws99
Image caption Filming for Clacton - A Shore Thing begins at the pier later

A seaside town voted the "worst" in Britain is defending itself with a film about its "really strong" community.

Clacton in Essex came bottom of a table of 100 resorts in a survey by consumer magazine Which?, scoring just one star for attractions, scenery and shopping.

Indi Allen, of the town's Mad About Theatre Company, said it made her angry and determined to defend Clacton.

"Shells on a beach look the same, but if you crack open Clacton you'll see its charm and its magic," she said.

Clacton Airshow: What it's like to fly through a fireworks display

Filming for Clacton - A Shore Thing begins later with a flash mob at the pier and will continue around the town over the coming weeks.

Image copyright Steve Daniels/Geograph
Image caption Mad About Theatre will be shooting around Clacton over the coming weeks
Image copyright Pauws99
Image caption Indi Allen said Clacton's beaches - seen here during the annual air show in August - were "packed" in the summer

"Headlines like this aren't good for trade and tourism so we thought: 'We've got to defend ourselves in some way,'" added Ms Allen.

"We're going to the sailing club, talking to people from all sorts of backgrounds, people who work on the pier, community groups, the golf club, the cinema and theatre.

"Generations stay here but there's also the problems of seaside towns getting neglected, and it's not good - especially for our young people."

Image copyright Pauws99
Image caption Clacton Pier opened in July 1871

It is not the first time the area has fought back against negative headlines.

Last year, a United States congressional candidate used an out of date picture of the nearby village of Jaywick to show what could happen if voters did not back President Donald Trump.

Image copyright Christine Matthews/Geograph
Image caption Clacton beach is a popular attraction and is always packed during the town's annual airshow

"It doesn't give people a good impression," added Ms Allen.

"We've got a really strong community."

Mark Platt, former chairman of Tendring District Council, said Clacton's annual air show attracted more than 250,000 visitors, generating an estimated £5.5m, and it also hosted the Women's Cycling Tour and Men's cycling speed trials.

"I believe the film will highlight all of this and bring many more visitors to the town, except those Which? members that were perhaps looking for remote sand dunes, grass and tranquillity."

The 20-minute film will be screened in the town at the end of August.

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