Celebrating & sharing the unique seaside heritage of north Essex with Xtrahead cultural tourism marketing
“Steamboats and trains made Tendring’s seaside accessible and affordable for all classes of Victorian and Edwardian society. Performers also travelled from afar to entertain lucrative, pleasure-seeking crowds at upcoming resorts.
But Britain’s seaside audiences were a new breed – broad, diverse and of all ages. Neither classical concerts nor bawdy music hall fitted the bill.
A unique style evolved, fashioned on family fun. And the outdoor entertainers who brought Tendring’s coast to life were amongst the real pioneers…”
Working together with educational street theatre specialists – The Grand Theatre of the Lemmings – from concept to creation, the overall brief of this strand of the ‘Tendring Coastal Heritage – Resorting to the Coast’ district, county and HLF funded project was not just to share the pioneering story of Tendring’s Seaside Heritage, but to really bring it to life for the widest of audiences.
‘The Marvellous Museum of Coastal Curiosities’ toured a wide range of outdoor locations along the Tendring Coast, supported by live family fun-time shows sharing the history and the spirit of local seaside entertainment past and present.
An extensive set of location-specific information panels were displayed in and around the travelling ‘museum’ during its tour.
A fully researched, fold-out pocket guide distributed at the time of the live shows and through the network of local museums, details the development of Tendring’s coastal resorts and the role it played in creating the UK’s unique breed of seaside entertainment.
Encouraging visits to Clacton Museum; Frinton Crossing Cottage, Garden & Railway Museum; Harwich Ha’Penny Pier Visitor Centre; Jaywick Martello Tower and Walton Maritime Museum, the free and family-friendly keepsake publication introduces everything from enterprising engineers to Pierrots, Concert Parties and Mr Punch, and includes plenty of fun facts and jolly japes.
The project saw UK seaside entertainment heritage experts, local history enthusiasts and museum curators working together with the project’s creative research team – an innovative partnership which has forged some long-standing co-operations.
Research and development work was showcased a the 2019 Resorting to the Coast, Tendring Coastal Conference, before the subsequent tours of the travelling museum.
The educational information panels and pocket story guides have established or been incorporated into museum displays throughout museum attractions in Tendring and also further afield in Essex.
The seaside heritage pocket guide materials were also distributed through a Mercury Theatre Education Pack.
Xtrahead cultural tourism marketing Essex, Suffolk & East Anglia