I am writing this in reply to what Matthew Parris of The Times is reported here to have said about Clacton-on-Sea where I have lived for the last 20 years.
As partially demonstrated by my photographic reportage of the Clacton area on this blog in recent years and my long-term absorption of not only the area’s piecemeal particularities but also its gestalt, I contend it is a spiritual receptacle akin to the abbey ruins, chalice well gardens and Tor of Glastonbury in Somerset which is a genius loci that I first encountered by visiting it and feeling it for myself in the 1970s with my then young family, as originally impelled by my reading ‘The Glastonbury Romance’ by John Cowper Powys (a book whence I quote here).
Clacton is a genius loci, too, a destiny, a crossover conflux that deserves better than those who are currently using or abusing it. Or perhaps it will now be harnessed for its optimum potentiality seeing that it has thus been clumsily delivered a higher profile by those who don’t yet fully understand such potential.
Only today, just as an aside, I discovered for the first time, without really looking for it, the artefact below hidden away in a corner of the crazy golf near Clacton pier. It was as if I was meant to find it today.
PS: I was born in Walton-on-Naze (part of the Clacton constituency) in 1948.
EDIT: See comments below.