The well-heeled residents of Southwold were choking on their gin and tonics today after it was revealed their posh resort has been twinned with Clacton.
Southwold is the jewel of the Suffolk coast, a favourite haunt for wealthy Londoners who have snapped up all the town’s property.
But news that Suffolk and Essex county councils have agreed the charming seaside town must be twinned with Clacton to promote economic diversity has gone down like a shot pheasant.
Signs into Southwold will now proudly display: “Twinned with Clacton”.
And any Clacton people visiting Southwold, with proof of address, are entitled to half-price Adnams from the town’s brewery.
But what is really getting the Southwolders upset is the news they must open up their beach huts at least twice a week to those visiting from the grubby Essex town.
Local Southwold woman Lorraine Fisher, 34, who lives in Islington, said: “Clacton is for common people and we do not want their kind in Southwold.
“If the council thinks I’m going to let an Essex person into my beach hut, they’re in for a shock. I’d have to nail everything down.
“Our beach huts are worth more than their little houses.”
She pointed out that the North Sea wind farms were succeeding in keeping Essex smells from wafting over to Suffolk, and they should stop people migrating, too.
While many Clacton and nearby Jaywick folk are expected to flock to Southwold, not a single Southwold person is expected to visit Essex.
Already, Southwold’s famous lighthouse has been remodelled to welcome visitors from Clacton.