PIER WESTON SUPER MARE
PIER - Looking good in in the coastal sunshine
BRISTOL POST APRIL 2014 - WESTON SUPER MARE £1 TO WALK ON PIER
Visitors to Weston-super-Mare's Grand Pier will now have to pay to go onto the seafront landmark. Turnstiles have been installed at the entrance to the pier and visitors will be charged £1 admission, while entry remains free for children in pushchairs. Owners Kerry and Michelle Michael who bought the pier in 2008, say it costs £20,000 a week just to open the pier and described the admission fee as 'modest.' They added that the operating costs of the new pier, rebuilt after a devastating fire in July 2008 were now three times more than those of the original pavilion. Grand Pier General Manager Paul Charalambous said: "We always wanted free entry for the first year following re-opening to give everyone a chance to visit, we have managed to keep it free for three years. "The operating costs of the new structure are more than three times that of the original pavilion it replaced. "Most other piers charge admission.”
The pier was rebuilt at a cost of £39 million and re-opened in October 2010 and was described by the Michael’s as ‘the best pier in the world.’
Money raised from admission prices will also go towards the maintenance of the pier. Mr Charalambous added: “During the re-building, we spent in excess of £9m on the sub-structure. "That work came with a minimum 60 year lifetime guarantee and a minimum 25 years to first maintenance. "However, that doesn't allow for damage caused by the sea . " It's just like having to maintain the foundations of your house on to stop it falling down. ”These have to be repaired on a regular basis or the protective coating applied at such great cost is compromised and the guarantees become worthless.
“Since the re-build, we have already had to use structural netting to access the underside of the pier and carry out repairs and there is still more work to be done.
“ Unfortunately Birnbeck is a prime example where regular necessary maintenance hasn't been carried out with the inevitable outcome.
“A modest admission fee will provide the funds necessary to ensure the Grand Pier is properly maintained for years to come.”
Clevedon Pier - the only Grade I listed pier in the country - currently charges £1.80 admission.
ANOTHER ONE - What is it with piers and fires
The Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare is a pleasure pier on the Bristol Channel approximately 18 miles (29 km) southwest of Bristol. It is located in North Somerset.
The pier is privately owned and is one of three in the town together with Birnbeck Pier, which stands derelict awaiting possible restoration, and the much shorter SeaQuarium aquarium built towards the south end of the seafront. It is supported by 600 iron piles, and is 400 metres (1,300 ft) long.
The Grand Pier has been damaged by fire on two occasions, in 1930 and 2008. Following the 2008 fire, which completely destroyed the pavilion, the pier was rebuilt at a cost of GB£39 million and reopened on 23 October 2010.
Work began on building the pier on 7 November 1903, with P. Munroe acting as engineer, and it opened on 11 June 1904. At the pier's end was a 2,000 seat theatre which was used as a music hall and for opera, stage plays and ballet. On 16 May 1907 an extension of the pier measuring 500 yards (1,500 ft) was opened, with the intention that the pier would be used as a docking point for boats to Cardiff. The dangerous currents in the bay made this too difficult, however, and the extension was demolished.
The theatre at the pier's end was destroyed by fire on 13 January 1930. As the building was underinsured the pier was put up for sale and bought by Leonard Guy, who opened a GB£60,000 new pavilion three years later. This second pavilion housed a large undercover funfair rather than a theatre.
The pier was sold in 1946 to Mr. A Brenner, who went on to improve the pier's facilities, adding new shops and an amusement arcade to the pavilion in the early 1970s. As a result of the extra investment, the pier became a Grade II listed building in 1974. It won the National Piers Society Pier of the Year award in 2001. One scene from the film The Remains of the Day was filmed here in 1992.
Brenner continued his ownership of the pier until 6 February 2008, when it was sold to brother and sister partnership Kerry and Michelle Michael. The pier immediately underwent a multi-million-pound revamp, which included a new branding scheme. GB£1 million was spent installing a new go-kart track, a fully licensed bar, and a climbing wall into the pavilion. However at 01:35 BST on 28 July 2008, a fire at the foot of the north tower on the shoreward (eastern) end of the pavilion triggered the privately monitored fire alarm, but the Essex-based alarm monitoring company were unable to contact the key-holder by mobile phone and no further action was taken. It was not until 06:46 BST that the Avon Fire and Rescue Service was notified. It deployed 13 fire engines, special appliances, and more than 85 firefighters to tackle the blaze, but the building was soon destroyed.
Robert Tinker, a Grand Pier employee, was later praised by the fire brigade as he braved the extreme intensity of the heat from the flames to rush around the side of the building to remove several gas canisters which had been stored within the premises, had these not been removed the fire brigade claimed that the blaze could have been much worse, with the possibility of local residents and traders needing to be evacuated. Preliminary investigations suggested that the fire started due to a number of deep fat fryers which had been located within the area pavilion, however after further investigation this was later ruled out, as was arson. On 22 October 2008 at a news conference held by the fire brigade it was announced that the cause of the fire would be recorded as unknown, but that the most likely cause was electrical.
Work began dismantling the wreckage on 12 September 2008, and the Bristol architects Angus Meek won the contract to design the new pavilion on 15 October. North Somerset Council approved the plans, which also included a rotating observation tower 91 metres (299 ft) in height, on 12 March 2009. Contractors John Sisk and Son were selected to construct the new pavilion, which was expected to be completed by June
2010, but was delayed following several setbacks and instead reopened in time for half-term break on 23 October 2010. The opening day attracted more than 52,000 visitors, and an estimated 100,000 for the whole weekend.
In January 2013, security company System 2 Security Limited was
proven in court to be responsible for the fire damage to the pier in 2008 due to negligence. Kerry and Michelle Michael, the pier owners, were awarded GB£30 million by a judge at Bristol Mercantile Court.
Grand_Pier_Weston super Mare
Post Weston Super Mare Grand Pier- harge admission detail
Grand Pier Official Website
Grand Pier Official YouTube Channel
showing the work on the location of the destroyed Pavilion
(updated approximately once per minute)
Pier microsite by the Weston & Somerset Mercury
Pier microsite by the BBC
destroys iconic pier – ITV West
Grand Pier fire wreaks havoc – Daily Telegraph