Eastbourne Pier, East Sussex

Eastbourne Pier is one of the fourteen seaside piers built by Eugenius Birch.  The pier was started in 1866, officially opened in 1870 and completed in 1872.

A domed pavilion was added later in 1888, and two years later a theatre.

A landing stage was built in 1893 and two saloons half-way along the pier a little later.  In 1925, a music pavilion was constructed at the shoreward end, which later became an amusement arcade.

During the Second World War some of the decking was removed and anti-aircraft guns mounted.  However, its only war damage happened in December 1942 when the local police strapped a mine to it and the mine did what mines do and exploded.

Apart from at the hands of the police, the pier has sustained fewer mishaps than most, although it has suffered damage from storms and fires.

In 2015, Mr. Gulzar, a local hotel owner, bought the pier and has since come in for criticism from all sides, filling many column inches in the local papers.  He has certainly taken a cavalier approach, by amongst other things, banning fishing and picnicking, but the pier has had a new coat of paint.

The council have taken a highhanded attitude, refusing permission for children’s rides, thereby hampering the financial viability of the pier.  Without putting their hands in their own pocket, they seem to expect a say in what happens to it.

Painting of Eastbourne Pier