Eastbourne Pier

By | Category: Travel news
Eastbourne Pier

The building on the left was destroyed. This was where weddings and conferences were held

Yet another pier has been badly damaged by fire. This time it is Eastbourne Pier. You can’t have failed to see the story as it made all the main news bulletins and pictures adorn the front pages of many newspapers this morning.

The Grade II* listed pier caught fire yesterday in wood panelling in the arcade near the Ocean Suite which is the part of the pier closest to the shore. That has been badly damaged but the rest of the pier stretching into the sea appears intact. The owners, Six Piers Ltd, have made no comment on the future of the pier, understandably so since they won’t have been able to assess the damage yet.

The Ocean Suite is used for wedding, parties and events so many planned happy occasions will be affected as well as the tourism potential. About four milion people are siad to visit this pier each year.

It is just the latest in a string of pier blazes that I seem to report almost every other year, the last being the huge blaze at Hastings Pier. Brighton has had a blaze as has Weston-super-Mare before being almost completely rebuilt.

In The Telegraph this morning they quoted Tim Phillips, vice-chairman of the National Piers Society, as saying “My gut feeling with these fires is it is always an electrical problem – something shorts and flashes in a flammable void. They are so exposed to the elements, and you’ve got an intensely damp atmosphere. I wonder if it is something to do with the heavy rain we have had recently, and if the water has reached some wiring.”

Back in March, the local paper, Eastbourne Herald, reported that the owners were spending substantial sums on improvements and maintenance. Had this been completed? Like so many other fires, was this due to an error during that maintenance?

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