The weather in the summer of 1911 was among the hottest recorded and trips to the sea Walton-on-the-Naze were so popular that visitors had to be turned away because the town was so crowded. The fine weather meant that there was not enough accommodation and people slept in bathing machines and, even, haylofts. On 10th January 1978, the windy weather brought a gale that was so severe that the beach huts of Walton-on-the-Naze were almost completely destroyed and the pier was damaged so badly that the lifeboat crew were unable to reach their launch which was housed on it.
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Walton on the Naze History
Walton-on-the-Naze is in an area that is subject to significant coastal erosion. The Naze, which is the headland to the north of the town, is a nature reserve and popular destination for school trips and is eroding at the rate of 2 meters a year. Walton-on-the-Naze can trace its history to Saxon times when it was a rural farming community. Much of the original farmland has been eroded, as has the old church which was lost to the sea in the early 19th century. Today, World War 2 defenses that used to reside at the top of the cliffs are visible on the beaches around Walton-on-the-Naze. In the 19th century Walton-on-the-Naze began to grow into a seaside resort town, together with its neighbor Frinton-on-Sea. Sea air and saltwater bathing became popular medicinal practices and Walton was a popular destination. The pier was built in 1895 and had an electric tram to bring passengers from the steamers to the town. Walton-on-the-Naze became a busy town for those wishing to stay at the seaside and, after the arrival of the railway, those wishing for a day away from the busyness of London.
Walton-on-the-Naze appears as the setting for Secret War, one of Arthur Ransome's famous Swallows and Amazons series of children’s books. The town is also mentioned by Daniel Defoe in his letters dating from 1722. Painter, Frank Paton, renowned for his paintings of animals and landscapes, moved to Walton-on-the-Naze and remained there until his death in 1909.