6 July 2012
Last updated at 04:20
The seaside town of Jaywick in Essex, once a haven for Londoners in the 1930s seeking to escape the capital, is today one of England's most deprived towns. The BBC visited ahead of the Olympic flame passing through the nearby district of Tendring later.
Last year councillors from Tendring lobbied 10 Downing Street when the torch route was announced, as the whole district had been overlooked. Locog later announced it would take the flame about 100 metres into the area, before entering Colchester. It is believed this could be one of the shortest legs of the relay.
The town still welcomes hundreds of tourists every year who stay in several caravan parks in Jaywick. Many who visit say they do so because of cherished family memories of childhoods spent on the beach.
Debbie Gleeson (pictured), owner of Deb's Den, has lived in Jaywick for more than 12 years with her husband Den after moving out of London. Following holidays in the town for many years, she decided to relocate and “hasn't looked back since”.
Jaywick Martello Tower (pictured top right) has been used as a community and arts venue since 2005. Essex County Council converted the 200-year-old sea defence fort, which is now used by a variety of established artists. The venue is also used to host weddings and has spectacular views from the roof.
Tendring District Council leader Neil Stock said: “It's embarrassing that we're only 50 miles from London. We're in the Home Counties and in affluent Essex and yet this is the most deprived place in England.” Mr Stock added that an "opportunity had been missed" by the Olympic flame not visiting the town.
Beryl (pictured right), who visits the town regularly with her mother and father as they used to live in Jaywick in the late 1940s, said: “It's like a little shanty town. You can see where people care and those who have let it become run down. It has a bad reputation. There's a lot of good in this town, despite the negativity. A lot of people love being here.”
Although Jaywick will not have its “moment to shine” as the Olympic flame will not pass through the town, people who live in the area say they do care about the Games. Linda Marshall, who owns LJ's beach bar, is planning to make the 40-mile round trip with her daughter to see some sporting events.
The town is hosting “Jaylympics” on Saturday 14 July at Crossway Parks. CoastNet, which works with coastal communities, is holding a variety of events ahead of the Olympic opening ceremony.
One local shop owner said the 3,000 people who lived in Jaywick loved the "quirkiness" of the unique homes and properties.
Jaywick was created in the 1930s by Frank Stedman as a holiday resort for motor car enthusiasts for the summer months. Much of the original housing remains in the town.
Jaywick is often overshadowed by the popular neighbouring resort Clacton-on-Sea. However Jaywick was once referred to as "the happiest resort on the Essex Coast".