Bognor Regis Pier
The 1000’ long pier opened in May 1865 during the great age of pier building in England.
In 1867 a coal ship crash into it causing significant damage and as revenue from visitors was thin, the owners declared bankruptcy. The council took it over but unfortunately it lost them money, so they sold it 1908.
Old photographs of the 1910s and 20s show an attractive looking pier.
The pier was used as part of the war effort in one way or another for both World Wars, but neither did it any favours.
Storm damage in 1964 and 1965 caused the pavilion to sink into the sea, then fires did their worst. It closed 1974, throughout this time it changed hands several times.
In 1978 the pier became the venue for the Birdman Rally, in which contestants attempt to fly 100 meters off the end of the pier before hitting the water. The event moved to Worthing pier for a couple of years, but is now back, with both piers holding the event.
At the time of writing, it is difficult to know what’s in store for the pier. In 2016 the Bognor Pier Trust was working to secure £5 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, but the owners withdrew support for this application in late 2016. It’s a shame that an owner cannot be found with the cash and imagination to make the most of it; what is there looks like it has great potential.