Hastings PierA splendid Victorian pier fighting for its life
Hastings seafront, England UK [map], Photo/article © urban75, July 2012
Opening on 5th August 1872, and designed by the genius Victorian engineer Eugenius Birch, Hastings Pier served as a popular tourist attraction on the south coast of England for over a century.
[The pier in 2007 before the fire - source]
Reaching its peak of popularity in the 1930s, the pier's concert hall was still a big draw in the 1960s and the 1970s, playing host to notable artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Genesis, Tom Jones, Ten Years After, and Pink Floyd.
Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett notably played his last ever show with the band here, on January 20, 1968.
After suffering major storm damage in 1990, the pier was forced into its first closure, with a £1m refurbishment needed to make it safe.
After reopening, the pier closed to the public again between 1999 and 2002, then again from 2006 before a catastrophic fire in the early hours of October 5, 2010 destroyed 95% of its superstructure.
The Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust (HPWRT) say there is hope that the cast iron supports under the pier may be salvageable, although the future of the pier remains in serious doubt.
The plans proposed by HPWRT would see the Old Pavilion being restored to a 'good restaurant/bistro/bar/café with sliding walls opening up the building in summer months.
They also propose a new outdoor cinema, new visitor centre and a rooftop look-out.
View from the beach showing the burnt out remains of the pier.
You can see how seriously the pier buildings have been damaged in this view.
Just one building remained intact after the fire, although this has been plagued by vandalism.
The pier in Edwardian times.
The pier seen seen from Hastings Castle during the 'Queen Of May' celebrations.
High tide on Hasting Pier.
Pier view before the fire, August 17, 2005. [Wikipedia]
Similar view today.
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