Southend Pier in Detail
Two remarkable articles have appeared over this week, which each cover differing aspects of Southend Pier in considerable detail. The first article, by the insurers of the pier, provide some fascinating insights towards the operations of the pier from an insurer’s standpoint. The second article introduces the Council’s proposals for repair works to the Prince George Extension. Far from a typical news article, it reveals meticulous technical details of electronic procurement management portals, engineering and construction contracts, concrete reinforcements and heritage frameworks… for those interested in such details!
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Lowestoft Claremont Pier – Crazy Golf course completed
A new Crazy Golf course has been completed in the former nightclub, on the first floor of Claremont Pier’s amusement complex. It is pirate-themed and has been fondly welcomed at the opening last Friday.
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Clacton Pier is the subject of a “social media influencer” video – on pool maintenance?
Clacton Pier’s Log Flume was recently drained and cleaned, as part of the pier’s wider maintenance schedule. Curiously, this has become the subject of a video log from a social media influencer, who has evidently cornered the market in “pool-cleaning videos”. The presence of such a market, and one with millions of subscribers, is surely quite a revelation to many of us!
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A “Message in a bottle”, of Roker Pier origin, is located.
A five-year-old’s message, sent in a bottle from the end of Roker Pier last year, has been located on part of the Danish coast. A light-hearted news story that was surely of considerable excitement to those involved.
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Cromer Pier – Pier of the Year 2024
Cromer Pier was announced as “Pier of the Year” by the National Piers Society on Monday, with Llandudno in second place and Swanage Pier in third place. This is the third such award for Cromer, having been previously named Pier of the Year in 2000 and 2015. Only Clevedon Pier can match Cromer for its POTY record. Below is a link to a most detailed and enthusiastic statement from pier owner North Norfolk District Council and their operational partners Openwide International.
Read More (Norfolk Council)
Read More (NPS News Release)

Southampton Royal Pier – A Short Documentary
Operators of Steamship Shieldhall, a preserved steamship based in Southampton, have produced a series of short video documentaries of subjects around Southampton that are visible from the deck. One of these was devoted to the Royal Pier, and contains an impressive selection of archive photography and cine films to accompany the historic narrative. A well-conceived production which gives context to what today’s ruins once were… although the concluding remarks are rather optimistic given the pier’s post-closure history.
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Hastings and Eastbourne Piers – Pier to Pier Charity Walk
“Pier to Pier” charity walks are quite a common occurrence across the country, aided by the proliferations of not just seaside piers but *pairs* of piers, separated by an appropriate distance for a long-distance walk: Clacton and Walton; Lowestoft and Southwold; Brighton and Eastbourne; and Eastbourne and Hastings have all enjoyed walks of this nature. Most recently, a charity walk between Hastings and Eastbourne Piers was completed in fundraising for “Blue Bear Freedom”, which combats against sex trafficking and exploitation.
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“Brighton West Pier is terrible”, according to the internet?
A rather provocative news article which compiles a number of “opinions” of Brighton’s West Pier, which is noted for its presence in Brighton as historical husk of the Victorian era, truly static in time. Whilst appreciated by many for its poetic qualities, inevitably a stream of rather ignorant complaints are made known about too, naturally with the word “eyesore” thrown about liberally! But for us pier enthusiasts, West Pier’s ethereal presence over the beach may surely be enjoyed for many years more, even if the physical structure gradually reduces over the course of time. The West Pier Trust continues to act as custodians for the Pier’s legacy at their base in the King’s Road Arches.
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A Brief Pier-Photography Guide
The photography website EPhotozine often offers photography guides for particular subjects, and this time it is for seaside piers. In this guide, Cleethorpes (Pier) and Tynemouth North (not Pier) appear in the photographic demonstrations.
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Weston Birnbeck Pier – Proposals Submitted for Planning
After much anticipation, North Somerset Council have submitted planning applications for the first phase of works to Birnbeck Pier. This phase, funded by £4.47 million from the Government’s Levelling Up fund, proposes the stabilisation and partial restoration of the Grade-II listed buildings on Birnbeck Island and the foreshore; the extension of the Pier Master’s Cottage to form visitor facilities; and the installation of critical infrastructure across the site. The proposals have been prepared by Haverstock Architects and the set of documents are available to view on the application page as linked below. Listed Building Consent has been proposed in a separate application. It is certain that many discerning pier enthusiasts will be keen to examine the voluminous documentation in considerable detail; it will take many hours to fully absorb the material and is by any standards most exciting news!
Read More (North Somerset Council Statement)
Read More (BBC)
Read More (Planning Application)

Llandudno Pier – Second Prize for Pier of the Year 2024
Published just too late for last week’s newsletter, this brief article notes the proceedings for the 2024 awards and provides a thankful statement from Llandudno Pier management. The pier previously won the award in 2005 and has frequently appeared in the top three in recent years. It was given third place consecutively over three years in 2015-17 and second place in 2021. As investment continues at the pier, its second POTY year will surely come before long.
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Southend Pier – Proposals in the Green Party’s Manifesto
The South East Essex Green Party have released a manifesto in preparation for the election. Amongst their ambitions, it is proposed to erect a series of wind turbines and solar panels along the length of Southend Pier. This rather surreal idea was said to potentially be “iconic” by councillors… for all that means? Installing wind turbines on the pier deck would likely require considerable strengthening works to the structure and may well benefit from an independent piled structure. Wind turbines on piers are indeed achievable, however, as was seen at Skegness Pier during a 3-month trial in 2023 for an experimental onmi-directional wind turbine, installed at the end of the pier. Aside from solar panels, which might only find space on the pier head, the marine setting of Southend pier may open opportunities for tidal or wave-power generators under the deck.
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Deal Pier – Structural Survey Begins
A preliminary structural inspection of the pier structure revealed defects in the concrete columns last year. A detailed structural survey has begun, inspecting the structural condition of the entire pier. The vague observation of “rusting legs” should be clarified as the exposure of the steel reinforcements embedded in the concrete columns and their subsequent corrosion. A budget has been allocated for any immediate repairs that are deemed to be necessary in the ongoing survey.
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Eastbourne Pier – Mixed Reviews?
Rather like last week’s article, The Argus now turns from Brighton West to Eastbourne Pier with a rather sensationalist heading that suggests a poor reputation. Several negative reviews from Tripadvisor have been singled out, although it is not necessarily proportional since a scroll through Tripadvisor shows most visitor’s experiences to be quite positive. The article was shared to a local Eastbourne Facebook page and over 200 comments were garnered from it. It probably makes for more informative and meaningful reading than the article itself! The pier’s landing stage has recently been reinstated in preparation for a calling by PS Waverley in September; to see the list of active calling points from true “seaside piers” is certainly good news. Numerous additional kiosks and “pavilions” have also been erected on the pier neck in recent years, replacing those lost in the 2014 fire. Whilst noticeably primitive in construction, they loosely imitate the appearance of the existing structures. The two new pavilions appear to offer an amusement arcade and a Crazy Golf facility.
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Clacton Pier – A Successful First Year for the General Manager
A commentary on Clacton Pier’s management operations, highlighting the achievements of General Manager Harry Peak, during his first year at the pier. A notably busy year for the Pier, new attractions were introduced and a healthy stream of events were carefully organised to considerable success.
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Read More (Clacton Pier Release)

Cromer Pier – 11 Historic Photographs
The history of Cromer Pier, shortly following its POTY winnings, has been visually tracked in a series of photographs dating to between the early decades of the 20th Century and 2013. Whilst the basic configuration of the pier has remained the same since 1901, the metamorphosis of its finer details can be tracked in the series of photographs: the arrival of the lifeboat station; the coming and going of the bandstand and amusements; and the changing nature of the entrance buildings.
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Colwyn Bay Victoria Pier – Screening of Eurovision 2024
The public uses of Victoria Pier continue to extend with the planned screening of Eurovision on the pier on the 11th May. This event is being organised by the Colwyn Victoria Pier Trust and proceeds for the sale will contribute to ongoing prospective work towards the future extending of the pier.
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Harwich Ha’penny Pier – Opening of the “Deck 1853” Restaurant
Milsom Hotels, having recently purchased the pier entrance café building, has successfully re-opened it as a versatile restaurant and cafe. Offerings range from as little as sandwiches to pasta dishes and pizza; dog-friendly foods will also be offered as well as ice cream in a kiosk setting. The internal seating area, attractively decorated, contains seats for 24 and augments the various outdoor seating across the deck surrounding the building.
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Worthing Pier – Two Years of “Perch on the Pier”
The Southern Pavilion of Worthing Pier has operated under the guise “Perch on the Pier” for the last two years and this article highlights its successes. The restaurant has received an impressive reputation during this period and the interior design work involved in its development is truly impressive to witness. Evidently a number of partition walls along the upper gallery were removed during the work, admitting rather more daylight (and awareness of the marine surroundings) than was evident during my visit in 2018. Viewing the photographs on the restaurant’s Google Maps listing is highly recommended, for the interior views are quite spectacular and tie well to the Pavilion’s 1935 vintage.
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Weston Birnbeck Pier – Exhibition on the RNLI’s 200th Anniversary
During the RNLI’s 200th year, an exhibition of the local Weston RNLI is being held at Weston Library throughout May. This ties with future proposals for reinstating RNLI presence on Birnbeck Pier, and the event is part of a programme of community engagement for the pier regeneration project. The below link leads to North Somerset Council’s details for the exhibition, which in itself offers a number of useful links to related concerns.
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Southend Pier – A Busy and Optimistic Time
Four news articles relating to Southend Pier’s programme for visitors have been released this week; therefore, there are rather a lot of links below. Firstly, pirates have been welcomed to the pier for the entertainment of visitors. The first appearance of the entertainment ensembles “The Blackwater Pirates” and “Old Time Sailors” took place on the 27th April and was by all accounts a considerable success; the event also incorporated fundraising towards Haven Hospice.
Further events are taking place over the May Bank Holiday, 4-6th May, and the Old Time Sailors will join a number of other bands and ensembles in a variety of styles. Further to maritime shanty songs, there will be Jazz, folk music, world music, rock and the output from a “DJ Collective”. Gin and cocktails will be served from the Offshore Restaurant, on the pier head. On Friday and Saturday, the closing time will be extended to 20:00.
A new pier gift shop is presently under development, and appears to be based in a unit within the shoreward-end entrance building. It is expected to open before the end of the month.
Southend Pier will act as a regular calling place for the PS Waverley during its London and Thames Estuary sailings between the 27th September and 13th October. Sailings via Southend include, most frequently, cruises along the Thames into London (including at night), but also journeys along the River Medway, Orwell and Blackwater. Maritime features including the MV Ross Revenge (Radio Caroline), the Maunsell Sea Forts and the Principality of Sealand (based at one of the former) will be visited on many of these sailings and other local piers will be called at, including Clacton, Southwold and Gravesend.
Read More (Previous Pirate Event)
Read More (Upcoming Pirate Event)
Read More (Pier Webpage on the Event)
Read More (Gift Shop)
Read More (Waverley)
Read More (Waverley Timetable)

Southport Pier – Contractor Secured for Restoration, But Funding Barriers Persist
A E Yates have been previously engaged by Sefton Council to complete the intensive structural inspections of the pier structure. Now that this process is largely completed, the Council have proceeded to agree the contracts with the same contractor for the design process of the reconstruction work. A number of architects and consultants have also been appointed, so the future reconstruction of the pier seems to have been quite robustly prepared for. Fundraising is still ongoing, with the first £3 million of the £13 million target secured.
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Llandudno Pier – Reinstatement of “Happy Valley” entrance
Structural issues with the original pier entrance, joining Happy Valley Road, have led to it being closed to the public for a number of years. It is now intended to be reopened once necessary structural repairs are completed, which will involve the replacement of a number of steel girders and complete re-decking as far as the intersection the later pier-entrance extension.
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Clevedon Pier – Replacement Fenders for Landing Stage
The landing stage’s existing fenders, installed for the 1997-98 pier head restoration work, are to be replaced with fenders of an improved design. The fixings of the originals were found to succumb to shear forces when a landing vessel glanced across them, and thus many of them are damaged or missing. Listed Building Consent has been applied for and is expected to be determined by the middle of June. Future and past planning applications concerning the pier can be found on North Somerset Council’s online planning register, although the pier’s applications are listed with highly misleading address of “Toll House”, The Beach, Clevedon”, preventing them from being found with the search string “Clevedon Pier”. The correct property can be found by entering the UPRN “000024041784 ” into the property search box.
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