A NEW book to celebrate 150 years of Clacton Pier is being launched this week.

The book will be available from the iconic seaside attraction from Thursday, August 25, and will be accompanied by an exhibition in the Jolly Roger.

Author Norman Jacobs will also be giving free talks in the building - which was the first significant structure to be built on the pier in 1893.

Clacton Pier The First 150 Years has been a ten-month project and has involved the community providing information and photographs along with previous owners and their relatives.

It charts the landmark’s history from 1871 when it was built as a landing point for materials and passengers being brought to the new town of Clacton-on-Sea, right up to the present day.

Mr Jacobs, who has written 27 other books and is Chairman of the Clacton and District History Society, said it had been a huge challenge but one he has enjoyed.

“I had a lot of the historical information to hand, but it was the stories and accounts from the people involved with the pier over the years which really bring the book alive,” he said.

“I was able to speak to Peter and Sue Kingsman, whose family owned the attraction from 1920 to 1971, and Michael Goss came over from America to talk to me about the family’s decade through until 1981,” he said.

“I then interviewed John Threadwell from the consortium that bought the pier from the Goss family and ran it until 1994 when it was bought by the Harrisons. Ted Harrison Jnr filled me in on his years until the attraction was sold to the current owners Billy and Elliot Ball.

“There were many other who worked there or visited who came forward with their own tales and I am very grateful to everyone who contributed to this comprehensive account of such an important part of Clacton’s history.”

Mr Jacobs added that he has always wanted to write a book on the pier and had offered to do so in the early 1990s, but nothing came of it.

Current pier director Billy Ball said that he had been toying with the idea for some time and Mr Jacobs was the perfect person to take on the task.

“Norman has become part of the pier family and he has done a fantastic job in writing a book that we are all very proud of,” he added.

“It has been a pleasure to work with him and all those who have helped make this such a special and significant project.”

The exhibition opens to the public in the Jolly Roger foyer at 11am on Thursday and will run until Sunday, September 4.

Mr Jacobs has talks planned for Saturday, August 27, at 2pm about the pier, and on Sunday, August 28, at 2pm on Clown Bertram, the attraction’s greatest entertainer.

The book can be bought from the pier for £14.99 or online at clactonpier.co.uk plus £4 for postage and packing.