Clacton-on-Sea's position on the coast has meant that extreme weather events have had a significant impact on the town. Over the centuries many ships have come to grief on the Gunfleet Sands off the coast of Clacton-on-Sea during stormy weather. The men of the Clacton Lifeboat have shown incredible courage time and again as they have battled the weather to save the lives of sailors from many nationalities. During the 1953 floods, probably the worst weather event on historical record for Essex, Clacton-on-Sea's famous pier was literally uprooted and re-sited inland at the site of Weeley Roundabout. Because of the calm and organized approach of the authorities in Clacton in casualties were kept to a minimum in the face of the horrific weather conditions.
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Clacton on Sea History
Founded in 1871, Clacton-on-Sea is best known as a seaside resort that saw it's heyday as a holiday destination between 1950 and 1980. It's Pier is 160 yards in length and is claimed to be one of the longest of it's kind in the world. In 1911, J. Hazzledine Warren, a noted archaeologist, uncovered a wooden spear that was dated at around 400 000 BC and is the oldest wooden artifact to have been found in the British Isles. Clacton-on-Sea also gives its name to a type of flint tool dating back to the same period that has been found in proliferation in the area (called Clactonian tools). This means that the original human settlement in the area is as ancient as anywhere in Essex. Whilst Clacton-on-Sea is no longer the holiday resort that could once boast a Butlin's holiday camp, it is still a thriving entertainment and leisure town that attracts a great many visitors. It has family amusements, a Carnival, nightlife and a famous two day Air Show among it's many attractions.
Perhaps the most famous daughter of Clacton-on-Sea is Helen Adu, who is better known as singer and song writer Sade. Other well known people to come from Clacton-on-Sea are Composer Peter Ashby and Olivier Award winner Ruth Henshall. Possibly the most successful sportsman to come from Clacton-on-Sea is Vivian Woodward, who started his footballing career for Clacton Town in 1895. He went on to play for Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, as well as to captain England. His record of 29 goals in 23 appearances for England is still a record (an average of 1.26 goals per game) and he won two Olympic gold medals as captain of the Great Britain football team at the 1908 and 1912.