IT may no longer be quite the booming seaside resort it once was, and whether or not it will ever truly return to its former glory days remains to be seen.

But, despite its flaws, Clacton still retains just enough nostalgic charm to draw in thousands of day-trippers when it does snap into life during the summer months.

Its ability to attract tourists and families every year stems just as much from its strip of traditional arcades as it does its reputation for once being the go-to weekend away.

Holidaymakers flocked to the town in the 1950s and 60s due to its bustling Butlins holiday park, which many grandparents who now visit the area with their own grandchildren will still fondly remember.

Having opened in 1938, the holiday camp was the lynchpin of Clacton’s tourism for more than 40 years before shutting down in 1983.

But it was specifically the summers of the 1950s which truly elevated the town’s position as one of the greatest seaside destinations to head to when the sun came out.

In addition to attracting film stars such as Joan Collins and Maxwell Reed, who enjoyed the Blue Lagoon, British darts champion Dixy Newbury also paid a visit.

A multitude of shows and performances were also proving to be a popular attraction with out-of-towners and local entertainment-lovers alike.

Clacton quickly became the place to be and, as a result, a record number of visitors, with their swimming costumes in hand, started making a beeline for the town.

George Hardwick, a Clacton historian, said: “Butlins was really busy and there were so many shows to see in Clacton 60 years ago.

“At Century Cinema, Dick Whittington and his Cat was performed on ice on a special rink installed on the stage.

“And many thought that the Ocean Revue, which starred local comedian Wally Dunn, was as good as a West End show.

“Record numbers of visitors came to Clacton including 74 Blackpool hoteliers who spent a holiday here and they ranked Clacton and Yarmouth as their main rivals.”

In fact, the town was becoming such a hit, the Mayor of Southend is even said to have become increasingly concerned with “Clacton getting more and more popular”.

The tremendous weather also helped Clacton Carnival break all post-war records for money raised, of which £2,000 was donated to victims of the Devon flood disaster.

But the sizzling weather of 1952, which continued through August, also proved to be as much of a sweltering nuisance as it was a glorious blessing.

Mr Hardwick said: “The heat caused problems on the railway for travellers as the lines buckled in the heat at Thorpe.

“There was also one occasion where sheep went onto the tracks at Weeley to looking for some water to drink which caused a hold up.”

That same year a horse named Happy Clacton ran at Newmarket, which hundreds of holidaymakers are said to have bet on.

It eventually crossed the line in last place and as time has passed, Clacton has also slipped down the list of go-to destinations.

But whether that is the case or not, at least Clacton was the Red Rum of holiday destinations once upon a time.