Facts About Brightlingsea
In 1984 Brightlingsea Wharf was used to import coal during the Miners’ Strike, and up to a dozen ships could be seen out in the river waiting to unload at Wivenhoe. Kent miners came to picket and some were detained by Essex Police. Brightlingsea port came to national prominence again in the 1990s with an attempt to use the port again for a controversial cargo. Dubbed the “Battle of Brightlingsea” it comprised a series of protests against the live export of animals from the town for slaughter in mainland Europe.
Many people believed that the conditions in which the animals were exported were cruel and inhumane. The protest began on 16 January 1995 and ended on 25 October 1995. During this nine-month period, over 150 convoys passed through the town and 250,000 animals were exported; of these, 24 died, 28 were destroyed by the M.A.F.F., and 38 could not be exported. 598 people were arrested by the police, of whom 421 were local residents. The campaigners eventually won and the live exports ceased.
Brightlingsea is a coastal town and an electoral ward in the Tendring district of Essex, England. It is situated between Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea, at the mouth of the River Colne, on Brightlingsea Creek. At the 2011 Census, it had a population of 8,076. Its traditional industries included fishery and shipbuilding. With the decline of these industries, the town is largely a dormitory town for Colchester.
Brightlingsea is a limb of Sandwich, one of the Cinque Ports. The town retains an active ceremonial connection with the Cinque Ports, electing a Deputy from a guild of Freemen. Brightlingsea was for many years twinned with French oyster fishery port Marennes, Charente-Maritime, but the relationship fell into disuse.