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Walton-on-the-Naze is a small town in Essex, Englandmarker, on the North Seamarker coast in the Tendring district. It is north of Clactonmarker and south of the port of Harwichmarker. It abuts Frinton-on-Seamarker to the south, and is part of the parish of Frinton and Waltonmarker. It is a resort town, with a permanent population of about 6,000. It attracts many visitors, the Naze being the main attraction. There is also a pier.

Walton has an HM Coastguard team and houses Thames MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre), organising rescues from Southwoldmarker to Herne Baymarker.

Walton-on-the-Naze railway stationmarker is on a branch of the Sunshine Coast Line.

The Naze

"Naze" derives from Old English næss "ness, promontory, headland". In 1722 Daniel Defoe mentions the town calling it "Walton; under the Nase".

The Naze is a peninsula north of the town. It is important for migrating birds and has a small nature reserve. The marshes of Hamford Water behind the town are also of ornithological interest, with wintering ducks and brent geese. Many Bird watchers visit at migration times.

The Hanoverian tower (more commonly known as the Naze Tower) at the start of the open area of the Naze was a sea mark to assist ships on this otherwise fairly featureless coast.

The Naze is eroding rapidly (at a rate of approximately 2 meters per year) and threatening the tower and the wildlife. The Naze Protection Society was formed to campaign for erosion controls. The Naze has become popular for school fieldwork into erosion and methods to protect the coast. Protection includes a sea wall, a riprap, groynes and a permeable groyne as well as drainage. Millions of tons of sand have been added to the beach to replenish it and stop the cliff eroding. However, the cliff near Naze Tower is greatly eroded. The cliff is receding fast and within 50 years Naze Tower may have tumbled into the sea like the pill boxes that can be seen on the beach.

The cliffs themselves are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the base of which is London Clay (54 million years old) which is overlaid with a 2 Million years old sandy deposit of Red Crag. This sandy deposit contains a large number of fossils including shells, sharks teeth and bird skeletons. The clay base is considered one of the best sites for pyritised fossils (mainly wood).

Walton Pier

The original pier was built in 1830, one of the earliest in the country. It was built for landing goods and passengers from steamers and was 300ft (91m) long. The pier was badly damaged in a storm in the 1890s. In 1895, the Walton-on-the-Naze hotel and pier company (then owners of the pier) opened a replacement pier 500ft longer than the original. Several extensions have increased the pier's length to 2,600ft (793m), the third longest in the UK.

When the new pier opened in 1895, an electric tramway was installed to take passengers from the steamers to the front of the pier. This was in use until 1935 when it was upgraded to a battery-powered carriage. In 1945 fire damaged the pier, and the carriage was replaced by a diesel locomotive train. This was removed during the 1970s.

Today, the pier remains a popular attraction, with amusements and fun-fair rides in a hangar-type building. Beyond this, the pier extends into a promenade popular with anglers.

War memorial

The unusual war memorial commemorates a Halifax crew which all died when they crashed on the Naze. It also has a tribute to Herbert George Columbine ,who won the VC and after whom the local leisure centre is named, and a tribute to those lost in World War I in HMS Conquest.

Notable residents

The artist Frank Paton moved to Walton-on-the-Naze shortly before his death in 1909.

Cultural references

Walton was inspiration for the fictional Balford-le-Nez in Elizabeth George's "Deception on His Mind." Hamford Water and the town of Walton-on-the-Naze are the location of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons book, Secret Water.

Walton features as a turning point in the song "Tracy Jacks" from the album Parklife by Blur. The song's character, Tracy Jacks, takes "the first train to Walton" and stands "on the seafront". (Three of the band's members grew up in Colchester from where it is possible to take a train to Walton-on-the-Nazemarker.)


Image:Naze Tower 800.jpg|The Naze towerImage:Walton22.JPG|The seafrontImage:Walton23.JPG|Regency terrace on The ParadeImage:Walton_War_Memorial.JPG|Walton War MemorialImage:Columbine1.JPG|Herbert Columbine MemorialImage:Halifax1.JPG|Halifax MemorialImage:Walton Beach Hut1.jpg|Walton Beach and Beach HutsImage:Columbine Leisure Centre.jpg|Columbine Leisure centre named after the VC winner


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