NPS Year of the Pier Events
Online Lecture Series
We’re delighted to get Year of the Pier underway with a series of online lectures which will run on the third Thursday of every month from January to May then September to December. Our expert speakers will be covering a range of seaside subjects beginning with a look at early pleasure piers by Allan Brodie. In February Fred Gray will showcase the wonderful pier photographs taken by Tom Martin in the 1980s. Bette Baldwin will tell us about the Clevedon Pier Archive in March then Sarah Kerr of the Association of Lighthouse Keepers will take us on a tour of her favourite lighthouses in April. In May we welcome NPS Archivist Martin Easdown to talk about his new book, published by the NPS, on the projected piers that were never built. Our autumn lecture series begins in September with Jackie Marsh-Hobbs talking to us about the Brighton Aquarium designed by Eugenius Birch. In October Rachel Lewis will be speaking on Birnbeck Pier then in November we’ll be investigating the crucial importance of railways to seaside history with Richard Furness. Our series concludes in December with a survey of international piers by Martina Weyreter.
For full details of each lecture and to book your tickets please click here.
A major element of the Year of the Pier is the series of events created by individual piers. The schedule runs from 4th March and the launch event will take place on Clacton Pier with a special fireworks display. Events will take place from March until November, other piers including Bangor, Clevedon, Blackpool North, Cromer, Bournemouth, and Mumbles will be participating in the programme.
For the latest on-pier events please see our what’s on pages.
Piers on Posters Exhibition
The NPS is delighted to be working with Richard Furness and Barry Thompson, authors of the forthcoming ‘Piers on Posters’ book, to put together a travelling exhibition of posters from the golden era of rail travel. Taking a journey around surviving and lost piers, the poster artwork captures the heyday of the British seaside holiday and the important role piers played in it.
The exhibition will open at Lowestoft Claremont Pier at 2pm on Saturday 22nd April. The National Piers Society will be there to celebrate the launch – please join us! The exhibition is free to attend and features over 50 vintage posters from around the British coast. The exhibition will be at Lowestoft Claremont Pier until 13th of May, and will then be touring to the following locations:
May 15th – June 2nd: Britannia Pier, Great Yarmouth
June 3rd – June 25th: Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare
July 1st – July 15th: Swanage Pier
July 22nd/23rd and July 29th/30th from 10am to 4 pm: Pavilion Theatre Atrium, Worthing Pier
August 5th – August 29th: Clacton Pier
Further dates and locations to be announced.
AGM Weekend at Weston-super-Mare 16th to 18th June
Our Year of the Pier AGM weekend will be based around the Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare where we will hold our Friday evening drinks reception and lecture, followed by our Saturday pier tour, AGM and Gala Dinner. On Sunday we will hear about plans for the restoration of Birnbeck Pier before moving on to Clevedon for a tour of the pier there.
For further information on the AGM weekend please click here.
Exclusive Pier Visits for Members
A special programme of visits for NPS members to selected piers forms an integral part of the Year of the Pier.
North East Coast Tour: Friday 12th to Sunday 14th May
The first of these visits will be a weekend visit to some of the north east coast’s finest piers from Friday 12th May to Sunday 14th May 2023 in conjunction with our friends at the Association of Lighthouse Keepers. Members can choose to participate in all the events and activities or select the ones that appeal. This weekend’s programme of visits will include St Mary’s Lighthouse which offers superb views of Whitley Bay, Sunderland Roker Pier for a guided tour and talk of the pier, the pier tunnel, and the lighthouse, Sunderland’s Souter Lighthouse, a trip south along the coast to Redcar for an informative talk on Coatham and Redcar piers, and then on to Saltburn for a ride on the spectacular Cliff Tramway and a guided tour of Saltburn Pier. Reservations for this tour have now closed.
Isle of Man Tour: Tuesday 25th to Saturday 29th July
Tour highlights include visits to Ramsey Queen’s Pier, a tour of the Gaiety Theatre at Douglas, and the delights of the Manx Transport Festival, including visits to the Isle of Man Steam Railway and the Manx Electric Railway. Further details of the tour can be found in the Winter edition of PIERS magazine. Reservations for this tour have now closed.
Scottish Piers Tour: Friday 18th to Thursday 24th August
Tour highlights include visits to Fort William Pier, cruising on PS Waverley calling at piers including Largs and Rothesay, an excursion on the Jacobite steam train, and visits to Wemyss and Dunoon Pier. Further details of the tour can be found in the Winter edition of PIERS magazine. Reservations for this tour have now closed.
Piers That Never Were
Martin Easdown is recognised as one of the leading authorities on the history of the seaside pleasure pier and has been the Archivist of the National Piers Society since 1994. He is also a prolific writer on piers and his new book,‘Piers that never were’, is being published this year and will tie in with a lecture Martin will be giving in May about piers that were started but never finished, and the resorts which failed to build a pleasure pier despite many attempts.
Year of the Pier Artwork
A series of specially commissioned artworks have been produced by Nicky Thompson to help us celebrate 2023 Year of the Pier.
Nicky’s original artworks will be on display at Clevedon Pier in June and at the West Pier Trust, Brighton in September.