Resorting to the Coast Conference

Club Critical Theory will be at this free conference on 27th April 2018 in Walton-on-the-Naze.

Here’s the new postcard to download – designed by Laetitia Zanga

A5 postcards-CMYK–Final_Version

Tickets and event information are here:



Free conference: Resorting to the Coast: Valuing the Past to Shape the Future

Might be of interest to those of you who attended our last CCT seaside cultures event at the Railway. This is a UEL/Essex County Council free conference on issues related to seaside cultures on North Essex coast.

Resorting to the Coast: Valuing the Past to Shape the Future


UEL, Essex County Council and the Cultural Engine social enterprise based in South Essex are co-organising this all day conference as part of Resorting to the Coast, a Heritage Lottery Funded and Essex County Council project, supported by Tendring District Council.

About the Conference

Date: Friday 27th April 2018

Time: 10.30am to 4.30pm

Venue: Columbine Centre, Columbine Centre, Princes Esplanade, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex. CO14 8PZ

‘Resorting to the coast’ has been a national pastime since the Victorian period, evolving to address demographic changes, greater mobility, fluctuating levels of prosperity and competing leisure activities. The conference will look at the current issues in the national debate around seaside coastal resorts in relation to promoting their often unsung heritage. Specifically, our focus will be on the Tendring coastal resorts of Dovercourt, Walton, Frinton, Clacton and Jaywick Sands. Local history groups associated with these resorts are heavily involved in archiving and promoting their seaside heritage, but we ask whether this valued work is sufficient to attract new visitors? In a world of uneven development, how does a resort set itself apart from the competition? How do you unite as a coastal region when the reality is you’re in competition with each other? Can lessons be drawn from the past in order to resuscitate the ‘Great British Seaside Holiday’ as an object of desire, or is it time to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch?

Confirmed Speakers, guests and activities include:

Dr Tony Lidington (Keynote speaker)

Dr Kathryn Ferry (Historian)

Dr Toby Butler (Historian)

Dr Daniel Burdsey (University of Brighton)

Dr Tim Gale (University of Bournemouth)

Joanne O’Connor (Journalist)

Tim Burrows (Journalist)

Club Critical Theory (University of East London)

Harwich Society

Clacton & Local District History Society

Frinton & Walton Heritage Trust

History Fair

Cinema screenings

‘Curator’s corner – ask an expert


Tickets: Free but reservation bookings via eventbrite are essential

Travel: Hourly trains from London Liverpool Street to Walton-on-the Naze

Buffet lunch and refreshments provided on the day, but please state any food allergies, vegetarian or vegan requirements clearly on your booking form (next to your name)

Links:  Resorting to the Coast Website

Conference Organisers:

RTTC Project Lead: Juliana Vandegrift (Essex County Council)

UEL Project Lead: Dr Tony Sampson

Organising Committee Members

Dr Toby Butler

Dr Andrew Branch (UEL)

Giles Tofield and Peter Vadden (Cultural Engine social enterprise)


Project Team

Social Media: Katie Holland (UEL)

Programme Co-ordinators: Rebecca Gilchrist and Jessica Currie (UEL)

Conference Activities and Events Management: Naomi Nanor and Amy Marks (UEL)

Graphic Design: Laetitia Zanga (UEL)

Landscape margin



Club Critical Theory present: Seaside Cultures

Club Critical Theory present: Seaside Cultures
Fri 17th Nov 2017. 8pm start upstairs at the Railway Hotel, Clifftown Rd, Southend-on-Sea SS1 1AJ


In light of comedian Paul O’Grady’s widely publicised remarks about Southend, CCT invites you to discuss seaside cultures. Is the seaside an irrelevant Victorian concept in decline or does it still hold value? Are swanky galleries, expensive coffee bars and property development part of its appeal or can we actively shape an alternative culture in Southend?

Guest Speakers
Dr Daniel Burdsey (University of Brighton) investigates race, whiteness and the English seaside. In 2016 he published his second book, Race, Place and the Seaside: Postcards from the Edge (Palgrave Macmillan). Dan is interested in social and cultural aspects of the contemporary English seaside including migration and ‘new’ spaces of multiculture.
Dr Tim Gale (Bournemouth University) has published work that explores the decline and restructuring of British seaside resorts, new tourism spaces, places and experiences. These interests are underpinned by ideas associated with the ‘new mobilities paradigm’ and critical realism as a philosophy of/ for the social sciences.
Panel discussion

Joanne O’Connor (Journalist and Travel Writer) is a former Observer travel editor and now freelances for the Guardian, Observer and FT. She has an interest in the arts, travel and regeneration. Born in Essex, and a regular visitor to Southend as a child, Joanne has recently returned to live in Essex.

Tim Burrows (Journalist and Author) writes about culture and place for publications including the Guardian, Vice and the Quietus. Recurring subjects in his work are Essex, the Thames Estuary and Essex myths, from Towie, Dr Feelgood and the “armpit of the world”. Tim lives in Essex.
CCT are Giles Tofield (Cultural Engine), Andrew Branch (UEL) and Tony D Sampson (UEL)

Next Club Critical Theory Event (Seaside Cultures) confirmed – 8pm Fri 17th Nov, 2017

News about next CCT event



CCT will be back upstairs at the Railway Hotel in Southend on Fri 17th Nov with a Seaside Cultures special starting at 8pm.

We have a fantastic line-up of confirmed guest speakers and panel discussants (see below).

More details to follow, but we expect to address the notion of seaside culture in light of Paul O’Grady’s widely reported comments about Southend and framing discussion around questions concerning e.g.  what’s different about the seaside as a place? Why have a seaside at all? Is it an outdated Victorian concept or is the seaside relevant today, and if so how?  What is a post-Brexit seaside culture like? What is artsy Southend?

The direction of discussion on the night will of course be spontaneous.

Here’s the confirmed line-up…

CCT Seaside Cultures 17th Nov
Confirmed Speakers
Tim Gale
Daniel Burdsey
Confirmed panel discussion (with Dan and Tim)
Joanne O’Connor
Tim Burrows


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News about Club Critical Theory Food Cultures and Southend Food Plan

Following up on our recent CCT Food Cultures event at Focal Point Gallery, CCT/Cultural Engine/UEL and a number of significant community groups met at Southend Borough Council yesterday to propose the Southend Food Plan. Here are the 10 agreed objectives.

Next meeting is in Oct – get in touch if you feel you can contribute to any of the areas of interest.

A Food Plan for Southend:

Ten Objectives

  1. Form a Southend Food Partnership to increase levels of collaboration, sharing of resources, knowledge and experience


  1. Join the Sustainable Food Cities movement


  1. Work towards the eradication of food poverty


  1. Influence Public Health – increase a broader perception of Food as Culture. Aim to reduce obesity and diet-related ill health through re-examining relationships with food and how to improve them


  1. Bring people together through food projects – collaborative cooking in communities, and creating links between cooking and growing schemes


  1. Support community growing projects and use of the wild harvest


  1. Develop an inclusive, vibrant local food and drink economy (support local producers, tourism and ‘sense of place’)


  1. Support Food and Growing schools and educational programmes


  1. Reduce food waste, encourage the redistribution of surplus food and fallen fruit


  1. Increase wider engagement with communities, integrating Food, Art and Cultural events and programmes

Images from CCT/Focal Point Gallery Food Cultures Event 10th June


Here’s some more images from the Club Critical Theory Food Cultures Event on June 10th at Focal Point Gallery in Southend.

If you want more food and a chance to talk to us about the Southend food plan come along to Metal’s Village Green Festival on Sat 8th July and find our pitch:

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