CROWDS turned out in force despite inclement weather for the official opening of Clacton’s giant new attraction.

The official ribbon cutting for the opening of the 150 Anniversary Wheel at Clacton Pavilion took place on Sunday.

It marks the start of Clacton’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

Billy Peak, owner of Clacton Pavilion, said he was overjoyed at the opening of the observation wheel, which towers above Clacton’s seafront.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Scarlett Russell and Elodie Soper on the Anniversary Wheel at Clacton Pavilion

“It has been great to see so many people out and about and the response to the wheel has been fantastic,” he said.

“The feedback from everyone has been really touching.

“It’s nice to see it has been so well-received by our customers.

“People have said the price is very reasonable and the experience amazing.

“The views and how the wheel looks on the coastline is something for us all to be proud of.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Happy people in the rain on the 150 Anniversary Wheel

“We’re so pleased to be able to deliver something extraordinary for the 150 year celebrations of Clacton,” he added.

Mr Peak said he was pleased to see pictures of the big wheel and people enjoying their ride being posted on social media.

The attraction is now encouraging others to join in the anniversary fun by posting their pictures online.

They’re being asked to use the hashtag #The150AnniversaryWheel and @ClactonPavilion.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

The Clacton 150 Anniversary Wheel consists of 24 gondolas, with many adapted for wheelchair access.

The wheel can hold a total of 144 guests at a time.

Mr Peak came up with the idea for the wheel in September last year and was met with great enthusiasm from officials, with planning being agreed in November last year.

The wheel has created ten new jobs in the town and it’s hoped it will be a boost for tourism.

A ride on the observation wheel costs £4 per person.

As the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown progresses, 150 Anniversary Wheel Afternoon teas will be able to be held inside at Armstrongs restaurant at Clacton Pavilion from May 17.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Afternoon teas will be served in Armstrongs at Clacton Pavilion from May 17 

The afternoon teas cost £25 per person, which includes a ride on the anniversary wheel for free

Mr Peak said advanced booking are recommended.

To pre-book the Clacton 150 Anniversary Wheel Afternoon Tea and Ride, call Clacton Pavilion on 01255 688819.