AN exciting new exhibition is set to recall what it was like to grow up in Clacton and its surrounding areas in days gone by.

The Museum of Youth and Culture has been busy collecting photographs and memories as part of the project, Grown up in Clacton: 100 years of Youth Culture.

Georgia Ward, from the museum, explains the work has been funded by the Arts Council and will culminate in the exhibition at the former TSB Bank building in Rosemary Road in the town from February 20 to March 5.

Preparations began with a number of events from voluntary run cafes and socials at Clacton Pier, the Covered Market and at Revved Up in Walton where memories and images were shared by those who remember it best having spent their youth in the area.

Many of the photographs have clearly been taken from treasured family albums and, along with a selection seen here, will form the basis of the exhibition.

Georgia says the museum, based in London, is a national archive which has about 150,000 photographs taken by more than 40 photographers.

Grown up in Clacton is a pilot for a wider scheme it hopes to roll out across Britain to capture the memories of young people growing up here.

“We chose Clacton as the first one because it just seemed to be a place where so much has happened, much of it involving young people, in history.

“And that includes the clash of the mods and rockers at Easter in 1964.

“It is one of those memories people still talk about, and actually it wasn’t really what it was made out to be,” says Georgia.

Over the Easter weekend that year, groups of youngsters, each representing their own style of music and fashion arrived at the seaside town.

Reports said it was an “invasion” and there were “riots” between mods and rockers, but Georgia says the memories collected lean more towards it having been less dramatic.

She said other memories collected and recorded include raving at popular 1990s nightclub Oscars on Clacton pier, the Weeley Festival, hot dogs at the Cafe Morocco and holidays at Butlins.

“There were also surprising things we learned, like Butlins had a winter social club and many older people spoke of spending happy afternoons there.

“And we also heard a lot of memories of the places people went when they were courting.

“The memories were all so happy, everyone had positive stories to tell of growing up in Clacton and the surrounding villages and towns.”

The team, which worked closely with Clacton’s Local History Society, are still keen to hear from more people for the exhibition later this month.

“We would particularly like to hear from people who would now be in their 30s and 40s, to hear about their memories of growing up in the 80s and 90s.”

Among those sharing their stories were Martin Croxford who was signed by music mogul Tim Rice and recorded a single in a recording studio at the Martello Tower, says Georgia.

A number of his photographs, recollections and experiences of his youth feature in the exhibition.

The exhibition will launch with a special viewing on February and then open from Tuesday to Sunday until March 5 Thursday.

If you have memories of growing up that you would also like to share contact