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Marine Parade West Playground, Clacton Seafront, Essex

Marine Parade West Playground

Tendring District Council approached Russell Play to fulfil a very specific brief for a new playground they were creating at Clacton Seafront. This request was to recreate play versions of two historic icons of the area, a helter-skelter and a boat, for the children to play on in the new park.

Timber carved boat and lighthouse outdoor play structures


The helter-skelter constructed for the playground was to be based on a helter-skelter originally located on Clacton pier for many years. It was a very popular local land mark which was sadly blown over in 2013 as high winds hit Essex during a severe storm.

The play boat is based on a real boat named Nemo II which used to operate sea trips for holiday makers along Clacton sea front up until the 1960’s.

Boy playing on steel tube slide of lighthouse themed play equipment


The client was clear from the outset what they wanted to achieve: an attractive play area with a reference to the helter-skelter and the Nemo II. The nature of the play equipment meant that bespoke Spielart products supplied by Russell Play would be the ideal solution. This gave the customer the flexibility they wanted in the design and construction.

The impressive helter-skelter structure includes a long tube slide, a rope net climber, a climbing ramp, climbing tunnels and platforms with windows to look out from. The boat, ‘Nemo II’, complements the helter-skelter and has great possibilities for young imaginations. The themed items make for a visually striking and appealing playground.

Boy climbing up inside tube cage on timber lighthouse themed playhouse


As a Council we were looking for an iconic play structure to reflect our seaside town. The helter-skelter on the pier had recently been removed and when I approached Russell Play they were excited to become involved with the project. We worked with them and Spielart through the design process and the result is a bespoke item of play equipment that has become focal point on our seafront. The whole process with Russell Play was seamless, and we are currently looking at another project using them and Spielart to develop a bespoke structure.’

David Hall, Open Space and Bereavement Services Manager, Tendring District Council.

Timber carved boat play structure for nautical themed playground