Built in 1881, the Jolly Roger has perched upon Clacton Pier for almost 140 years. With heavy investment into the attraction over the last several months, owners Billy and Elliot Ball feel it is now ready to take on a new name, and have asked the public for ideas.
The owners of Clacton Pier are set to rename the first significant building to be put up on the landmark structure, launching a competition for fans of the pier to put their ideas forward.
The Jolly Roger – or Pier Pavilion as it was known then – was built in 1881 and later also went on to be called the Jollity. As owners Billy and Elliot Ball continue to invest significantly in the pier, a number of buildings and areas are being renamed, and they now feel it is an appropriate time to rename the Jolly Roger.
A competition is being launched with a family annual pass for four people worth almost £200 as the prize for the winning entry. They will also be asked to attend the reopening ceremony at Whitsun.
“The building is very significant in the Pier’s overall history and was responsible for it becoming a true leisure pier, rather than just a working platform as it began its life under the control of the Woolwich Steam Packet Company,” said Nigel Brown, Clacton Pier’s communications manager. “It is a very important structure and has some magnificent features inside. The idea is to come up with a name that really does the building justice. The aim in the longer term is for it to be revamped as a multi-use venue which will continue to be home to a circus but could also be used for business conferences, trade shows, concerts, a sporting venue for boxing, darts or snooker – or even weddings.”
Brown added that the idea to rename it was originally put forward when the Jolly Roger came back into public use last Easter for the first time in around 30 years, becoming home to Circus Fantasia who are returning in May.
“As the Pier is very much a part of the Clacton and Tendring community it has been decided to hold a competition for people to put forward their own ideas for a name,” he said.
The closing date for entries is May 8, and suggestions should be emailed to: [email protected]