Clacton – More Politics on the Pier
Political appearances at our seaside piers continues in the weeks approaching the 2024 election. This week, much news coverage was made from Nigel Farage’s visit to Clacton Pier, to launch his candidacy as the leader of Reform UK. The Telegraph reported positively of this circumstance, whilst The Guardian retorted with a characteristically aggressive (and artistically very good!) political cartoon.
ITV, however, reported on the effect of this political event on Clacton Pier itself. In an age of boycotts and extreme political opinion, the pier did well to remain entirely neutral in the matter and were quick to assert that the event was not sponsored or organised by the pier. The event was decided, in fact, initially without consultation from pier management, which left the announcement a surprise to them. They were later contacted by the Reform UK team on the morning of the event and, aside from an assault involving a milkshake, it passed as smoothly as could be expected.
Read More (Telegraph)
Read More (Guardian)
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Southend Pier – A Change in Direction
The administration of Southend City Council has recently changed and it appears that the decision to outsource pier operation to a private company has been abandoned. The pier had previously been reported to be operating at a £190,000 annual loss, provoking the previous plans, but the new Council believe that there is much unutilised potential with the pier that may reverse this trend. Recently reported events over the last year have demonstrated the deployment of these efforts, with life at Southend Pier seeming to be somewhat more lively than before. Whether or not these efforts succeed in reversing such substantial annual losses, it is encouraging to see the council investing in the pier’s operation with such confidence. The pier’s upcoming events are shown in the Events section of this newsletter.
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Worthing Pier – Its Relationship with P.S Waverley
A well-written article which relates to the Waverley’s past sailing schedule around Sussex and a past era when it docked at Worthing Pier. The paddle steamer does not appear to dock at Worthing Pier today, however it does so nearby at Shoreham-by-Sea during cruises to Beachy Head, The Solent and the Isle of Wight.
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Hunstanton Pier – The 1939 Fire
A Hunstanton resident records his and his family’s recollections of the fire which destroyed Hunstanton Pier’s pavilion just prior to WWII. Newspaper research which followed led to a detailed timeline of events at the pier as it recovered from the fire damage and continued to develop after the War. It was recorded that a replacement pavilion was reconstructed during the mid-1950s, this time at the shoreward end and spanning the North Promenade below. The concrete decking structure for this pavilion appears complete, but without the pavilion itself, in scenes of the 1957 film “Barnacle Bill”, which was filmed largely at the pier (shown in the header image). The former site of the old pavilion was used as a skating rink; a 1960 cine film of this activity is available on Youtube.
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Skating Rink Film

South Shields Pier – Proposed Repairs
The South Pier at the mouth of the River Tyne, notable for its substantial length and very much a landmark for the local area, saw severe damage to the lighthouse and parapets during a storm in 2023. The Port of Tyne have since battled with issues of vandals and trespassers disrupting repair works, but now Listed Building Consent has been applied for towards the replacement of the Grade-II listed lighthouse’s dome and some of the pier’s stone parapets and balustrades. (Image: Owen Humphreys)
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Folkestone Victoria Pier – Foundation Stone Recovered
Folkestone Victoria Pier opened in 1887 and succumbed to the commonly-seen sequence of damage inflicted during WWII, followed by terminal neglect from Post-War austerity. While it disappeared in 1954, its foundation stone was recovered and preserved in a local salvage yard. It has since been restored and installed within the Lower Leas Coastal Park, adjacent to the original position of the pier. (Image: Folkestone & Hythe District Council)
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“The Timeless Appeal of Clacton Pier”
Perhaps more so than most articles which appear on this newsletter, this item from The Spectator is a *Real* article; a fine piece of journalism! Conscientiously and artfully written, it indeed produces a vivid picture of Clacton Pier, amongst all the social troubles of its surroundings. Readers will certainly be able to confidently decide whether such an environment (with ham, egg and chips; flashing lights and fruit machines) will be their idea of a day out, but what the pier does do, it is undoubtable that it does exceeding well.
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Weston Birnbeck Pier – A New Interpretation Board
The recent news of North Somerset Council’s progress and timescales for the Birnbeck Pier Project have been displayed for the benefit of visitors at the pier viewpoint on Birnbeck Road. Paired with the existing Birnbeck Pier Regeneration Trust’s Information Hub, visitors to Weston will now be well-informed as to the future of the pier, which is gladly finally coming into focus after many years of uncertainty.
A reproduction of the new interpretation is shown below

A New Pier for Kyrgyzstan!
Britain is certainly home to the finest legacy of seaside piers in the world, although it is undoubtable that many countries elsewhere have produced some very original contemporary designs. Kyrgyzstan is now included in this category, with the completion of a new pier overlooking the Issyk-Kul Lake, as part of the Rukh Ordo cultural complex. It is modelled on a “Komuz”, a traditional Central Asian stringed instrument. Whilst the article is mostly restricted to subscribers, the attached picture surely tells one almost everything they need to know of this whimsical new structure…
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