Herne Bay Pier, Kent
Herne Bay’s first pier was built in 1832 and at the time was the longest in the UK. Steamers carried passengers between London, Herne Bay, Dover and Boulogne. Built of wood, it slowly disintegrated.
The second pier was built and opened in 1873, but was far shorter than the first and too short for steamers to dock.
The third incarnation was a long extension to the second pier to enable steamers to resume docking and bring customers again; this opened in 1899.
The pier survived intact during the First World War, although there were no steamships to visit – they had been commandeered for the war effort.
The Second World War saw parts of it split to deter enemy invasion, but these were patched-up after the war and steamers started visiting again in 1947. However, in 1953 storms inflicted significant damage and since then it has been the usual story of refurbishment, fire and storm damage.
In 1978, a bad storm made the pier unusable and in 1980, for safety reasons, the pier head was stripped and left as we now see it.
Today there is a trust trying to raise the money needed to restore the pier.