Jaywick discovers its long-lost twin

AS the third most deprived area in England, the Essex coastal town of Jaywick might not be high on the list of places the average town or village would wish to be twinned with.

Elliot Furniss

AS the third most deprived area in England, the Essex coastal town of Jaywick might not be high on the list of places the average town or village would wish to be twinned with.

Many of the homes there are patched-up former holiday chalets and several of the main roads are not made up and suffer from a lack of drainage and street lighting.

But the neglected seaside resort has now renewed a forgotten link with a Kent village built by the same pioneering family in the 1930s.


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Like Jaywick, Studd Hill, near Herne Bay, was founded by the Stedman family as a holiday spot and the places are so similar they even have many of the same street names.

However, Jaywick has fallen into disrepair in recent years and the latest figures show the price of a house in the village to be just a third of one in the same named street in Studd Hill.

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Speaking yesterday as he prepared for next month's village fair, when the unofficial twinning will be confirmed, Jaywick district and county councillor Roy Smith said its dilapidated reputation was due to a lack of investment, but a strong community spirit remained.

He said: “What we want to do in Jaywick is to ensure that we do everything possible to get some finances. We've got a lot of meetings going on now and the more we get stuck in to promoting the place it will improve the possibility of getting more resources and services.

“We need millions of pounds of investment - £50million to £60million for all the roads and infrastructure and all the facilities. The more we can do ourselves with what's available the more other people put in.”

The “twinning” is the work of the Friends of Brooklands, an organisation that aims to promote and foster community activities in Jaywick.

Mick Masterson, chairman of the group, said many Jaywick residents had recently paid a visit to Studd Hill and he was now looking forward to welcoming representatives from the Kent village to the fair at the Martello Tower, which he is organising.

He said: “One of the members found out by carrying out some research. They (Studd Hill) didn't know about us and we didn't know about them.

“Jaywick needs a 'feel-good factor' and the fair is community run and community-led. It can only be a plus for Jaywick.”

Cindy Rowland, manager of the Martello Tower, was one of the group to make the trip to Kent and said it was remarkable how similar the two places were.

She said: “I was amazed at the similarities - the only difference is their facilities are much better and it's looked after better and looks much neater because of it.

“But there is such a dedicated group of volunteers here, so much work has gone in to the fair.”

The fair will be held on August 2 and will be opened at 10am by Clacton and Harwich MP Douglas Carswell, who will arrive in a vintage 1934 car - the year of the last big fair held in the village.

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