Struggling with the weather? ☀️🔜⛈️
Spare a thought for our award winning pier, which has endured these extreme conditions since its construction began back in 1862.
Find out how we maintain our prized piece in Chris’s blog below…
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Well the weather has been a game of two extremes, at the beginning of the week I was wishing the air-con in my car was colder and even a short sleeved shirt seemed to heavy and restrictive. By the end of the week I was running for my coat and changing the windscreen wipers on my car.
If you thought these extremes were hard work for a short time, think what it would be like having to standing still whilst someone throws water at you, the sun burns you all day, rain falls, snow lays and wind blows 24 hours a day for a whole year.
Well that is what our pier has had to endure and has done so since the first pile was driven into the seabed on 12th April 1862.
The pier has suffered quite badly since then when part was destroyed by gale force winds in 1913 and reopened again in 1914.
A fire broke out in the southern pavilion in 1933 and took 2 years to repair so that the pier could be reopened.
During the war in an attempt to hinder any attacks a 120ft hole was blown in the pier decking near the southern pavilion. The pier was repaired and reopened to the public in 1947.
Since then the council has given the pier all the love and attention that it deserves.
The sub-structure (steel pylons and framing) are inspected by our engineers almost continuously as the sea is very unforgiving and the pier decking is inspected monthly and replaced when necessary. We (surveyors) are responsible for everything else.
The pier has mains electricity, water, foul water and fire alarms installed under the pier and this is all at risk of damage, so inspections and testing is a regular occurrence. Not that long ago the water supply pipe was broken during stormy tides by a large piece of wood that had washed up near the pier. In any other place this would be a simple fix, but being located where it is; the water pipe has a heating element incorporated in it to stop the water freezing during the winter months so we had to replace the whole pipe.
As well as the main structure and the decking there are three buildings, being the café/restaurant on the southern end; a kiosk selling ice-cream, snacks and drinks slightly further down; and an amusement arcade near the centre. These all have cladding, roofs and electrics that have to be monitored.
There is lighting which runs the whole length of both the east and west on the decking which suffers quite badly with the elements and we have just replaced some of the main lamp holders which have been made to match the existing exactly. The Southern pavilion has decorative lighting around the top and these were changed to red, white and blue to show our patriotic side.
The pier has many uses including the landing stage to the side which is used by fishermen.
A centre screen which works as a windbreak and has now been decorated with tinted film to the most southern side and has stained glass panels to the northern side.
One of the most spectacular events to be held on the pier is the Lions firework displays which happen in July and November where fireworks are launched from the landing stage around the south side of the pier which attracts thousands of people, well worth a look for on YouTube.
Well I am assured that the weather will be turning hot again by the end of the week so enjoy before the snow hits us.