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Champagne, new year

Hastings Pier

Hastings Pier has had a lively History!

Work on Hastings Pier, designed by Eugenius Birch began in December 1869 and it was opened on the first every August Bank Holiday (1872). 

In 1885 a landing stage was built and in 1910/11 a small building housing a shooting gallery, ‘animated pictures’ and slot machines were added, followed in 1912 by a rifle range/bowling alley.  The shoreward end of the pier was sold to the council in 1913 to finance a new arcade, shops and a tea-room.

The pavilion was destroyed by fire in 1917 but was replaced in 1922.  An Art Deco façade was added in the 1930s.  The pier was sectioned during World War Two and was taken over by the armed forces.  It suffered bomb damage during the conflict and reopened in 1946.  The West View and East view solaria were added in 1951 and 1956.

In 1966, Hastings Council built the ‘Triodome’ to house special embroidery marking the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings; the Triodome was later sold to the pier company in 1968 and was converted into an amusement arcade and the bandstand shelters became kiosks and shops.

From 1993 to the 2012 Hastings Pier suffered a multitude of complications – including being struck by lightning; several heavy storms and a devastating fire in October 2010.   Throughout 2011, Hastings Borough Council (HBC) employed experts to assess the full extent of the damage and attempted to get the owners, Panamanian registered Ravenclaw, to carry out the repair work.   This proved lengthy and unsuccessful; HBC began steps to compulsorily purchase the pier, the intention being to work with a local campaign group, Hastings Pier & White Rock Trust (HPWRT) to restore the pier to its former glory.

In May 2012 the first plans of the restored pier were published and made available by HPWRT, now Hastings Pier Charity.  Then in November 2012 it was announced that the Heritage Lottery Fund had awarded Hastings Pier a grant of £11.4M towards the total cost of £13.9M for the rescue and restoration of the pier.

In August 2013, ownership of the Grade II listed structure was passed to Hastings Pier Charity, enabling work on the project to commence.

Following the much needed refurbishment and over two years of work, Hastings Pier will re-open to the public in Spring 2016 with a gala celebration being planned for May.


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