THE family of a former owner of Clacton Pier have returned from America and helped to provide information and photos for a book to celebrate the attraction’s 150 years.

Michael Goss, whose father Michael, and mother Sandra ran the site from 1971 until 1981 spent a week in England visiting family and friends.

Mr Goss took five hours out looking round the pier and brought a case of memorabilia for current owners Billy and Elliot Ball.

These included posters, scrapbooks, flags, photos, and other material – some of which will be used in the book being written by author Norman Jacobs due out later this summer.

Mr Goss, who was joined by his wife Jennifer and daughters Raegan and Micah, also spent time discussing his family’s decade of ownership with Mr Jacobs.

The family last visited the attraction before its new multi-million-pound indoor project.

Mr Goss, whose family also had Walton Pier for a time, was impressed with what he found.

“It is absolutely awesome – there is no other word for it,” said the man who owns and is president of Austin’s Park in Texas which he bought eight years ago.

“The Balls have totally transformed the site and it is great to see the completed project along with all the extra rides that have been added in the relatively short time since we were last here.

“Despite the amazing changes it still brings back many happy boyhood memories.

“We even lived on the pier for a while on the first floor.”

Mr Jacobs said it was great to be able to talk to Mr Goss and fill in some of the gaps in the attraction’s history.

Michael Snr passed away in a nursing home in 2018 but his wife lives with the family in Austin.

Billy Ball said it is always a pleasure to meet up with a former owner to chat about the pier.

“The Goss family played a vital role in the history of our attraction, and I am grateful they found the time to come and see what we have done recently and help us with the book,” he added.”