On key measures of poverty, some resorts now had problems as severe as deprived inner-city areas. Living standards in these and other coastal towns had declined beyond recognition and locals were now bearing the brunt of social breakdown.
Now, old faded guest houses have been turned into bedsits, offering an abundance of cheap accommodation. This attracts people living on low incomes and welfare claimants, as well as less economically-active people such as single-parent families, pensioners, pregnant teenagers, single parents, and the out-of-work. Coastal towns are now veritable dumping grounds for people with substance abuse problems, those with mental health issues, and ex-offenders.
Saddened by the further decline of places like Clacton-on-Sea, I ponder on what will happen in the future. Like draws like, and predators feed on the resulting hopelessness. I can't help thinking that children raised in this ailing environment don't stand a chance of escape.
My divorced mother raised three girls on a meager income. In the 1940's, we had no luxuries or entertainment, yet I never felt poor. My mother had high expectations, and passed them on to my sisters and me.
Everybody has a story. Did you rise above a humble background?