The National Piers Society awards its 25th annual prize to CLEVEDON recognising the community value of this historic Grade I listed pier that was saved from demolition 50 years ago. LLANDUDNO PIER was voted in second place, followed by CROMER PIER in third.
Picture: Clevedon Sunset by Andrew Holl
Victorian elegance and a warm welcome
The eight graceful arches of Clevedon Pier have stretched out into the Bristol Channel since 1869. Still very much the simple promenade it was designed to be, the pier has won over generations with its Victorian engineering and timeless beauty. Thanks to a large and loyal team of volunteers the pier has a strong community focus and the welcome at the Victorian toll booth is a famously warm one. Throughout lockdown, tales from the pier’s archive posted on Twitter have kept fans connected to this special Somerset landmark.
A safe walk in the fresh air
Clevedon Pier is no stranger to difficult times. After part of the structure collapsed during routine load testing in 1970 the local community was galvanised into action to save it. It took nineteen years to restore the pier to its former glory and, until last year, that was the only period during its 152 year history that the pier had been closed to the public. Members of the National Piers Society applauded the creative solutions staff and volunteers came up with to re-open safely when COVID-19 restrictions eased last summer. A traffic light system controlled access and attractive flower pots lined the full length of the deck to create a one-way system.
‘It’s a beautiful pier, it has excellent attractions and the staff are always helpful and friendly’
(National Piers Society member)
Phil Curme, Chairman of Clevedon Pier & Heritage Trust Ltd says he is absolutely delighted to have won the award for 2021: ‘We are the only Pier to have won this prestigious award three times and our wonderful team of staff and volunteers are thrilled and proud. We are not unique in having faced major challenges during the current pandemic but when we have been able to open the Pier has offered a refuge from day-to-day worries. The classic walk along our promenade deck has done much to help the local community weather the COVID-19 storm. We reopened last month and hope to have all areas of the Pier fully operational in time for the summer. The award is a real vote of confidence and a great start for what we hope will be a very successful season. A big “thank you” to all of the National Piers Society members who voted.’
National Piers Society Patron Gyles Brandreth sent his congratulations ‘to the wonderful people at Clevedon Pier – what a fantastic thing it is to achieve the triple whammy!’
President of the National Piers Society, Gavin Henderson offered up ‘Three cheers for Clevedon as third time winner of Pier Of The Year! This unique and elegant structure was our founder John Betjeman’s favourite. It is a fitting tribute to all the passionate local endeavour that refused to let it ‘dissapier’.’
The Society’s Chairman, Tim Wardley, added his ‘Congratulations to Clevedon Pier. Always enterprising and finding ways of adapting to the economic challenges of the Covid pandemic. A worthy winner.’
For further information please contact: Joe Novell, Visitor & Community Engagement Coordinator 01275 878846 JoeNovell@clevedonpier.com or Kathryn Ferry, Media Relations Officer, National Piers Society 07941 805673 firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture: Clevedon Pier by C Ron