The Ball family have been involved in the amusement business for five generations, as far back as the 1800’s and originally travelled around London and the Home Counties with their amusement equipment. It was in 1946 when William Alfred Ball the third generation of the family involved in this line of business moved to Clacton-on-Sea with his young family and opened his amusement games and equipment on the Butlins Holiday Camp. The family continued to operate at Butlins for a number of years as well as operating their equipment at some of the country’s most prestigious travelling fair grounds like Oxford St Giles Street fair which is still held to this day.
It was in 1954 that Mr Ball agreed a deal with the owners of Seawick Holiday Park, in the neighbouring village of St Osyth to provide amusement facilities at their camp, and the family still operate from this site today. As Mr Ball’s only son William Ball left school, he to joined the family business and over the years expanded and opened amusement arcades and sites in the surrounding area and has been involved in centres in St Osyth, Jaywick Sands, Walton-on-the-Naze, Ipswich and more recently Clacton-on-Sea.
William married in the late seventies to Lynn Codona, whose father and brothers operated arguably the most successful and well known Amusement Park in Scotland. The park at Aberdeen is now one of Scotland’s top tourist attractions and is still run by one of the brother’s and his family today. William and Lynn went on to have two sons William (Billy) & Elliot; both sons are actively involved in the business and are entirely responsible for the day to day running of the family’s Company’s.
Having been involved directly in the entertainment business in the resort for over 60 years and with a wealth of skills and expertise gained from years in the industry it would seem only logical for the family to agree a deal to buy the pier from the Harrison family once they had decided to sell. It was March 2009 that the deal was finally signed and the newly formed Clacton Pier Company took ownership of Clacton Pier with Billy & Elliot Ball appointed as Executive Directors of the company responsible for a new era in Clacton’s History books and fortunes.