Advert for the Public Hall in Clacton on Sea
Medium: Print on paper
In 1864, local developer Peter Buff bought the deeds to Clacton's beach and environs, with the aim of transforming the area into a fashionable seaside resort. He helped to fund the pier and the Royal Hotel, and in 1877 he opened the public hall advertised here.
Buff's success was immediate. Almost 94,000 people paid to walk along the pier in 1883; just ten years later that figure increased to 327,451. Clacton's Golden Era as a seaside resort had effectively ended by the beginning of the second World War. A major fire in July 1939 destroyed the public hall and several other important buildings in the town.