EASTBOURNE PIER IS A MONUMENT AT RISK
TERRY VALERIANO - Terry is a trustee of the Cleaner Oceans Club and our security specialist. Having lived in Eastbourne for most of his life, he is keen to see Eastbourne pier restored. Terry says: "It is going to be an uphill struggle for the whole team, but if we all pull together, we can move mountains."
HERALD ONLINE - 15:47 Tuesday 22 September 2015
EASTBOURNE HERALD COMMENT CORNER, 13 COMMENTS
FIRE TRAGEDY - It made many people weep to see this icon reduced to a pile of scrap steel. The problem with steel in fires is that the rolled girders twist and distort, making it impossible to repair. The only way is to take it down and start again.
GETTING THE COMMUNITY INVOLVED
If we are successful in restoring the pier we want to get the community involved. The room that was used as a penny arcade will be made available to performing artists for plays and exhibitions. The Blue Room was built as a music pavilion with moderate seating capacity. Hours of opening will be strictly controlled so as not to cause neighboring premises inconvenience.
FUNDING - We cannot see the point of contributing to a fund that has not published rescue plan. If that is not correct, for goodness sake let us know straight away. If another group are serious about restoring the old music pavilion, then the Cleaner Oceans Club will not need to use their resources in that direction.
EASTBOURNE PIER - Is a monument at risk. A fire ravaged the 144 year old Victorian icon in 2014, but there is no legal requirement to rebuild the Blue Room from the insurance payout. The pier is a loss maker at the moment, leaving the owner to foot the bills for repairs. Unless an extremely wealthy private owner can stump up something in the order of $4.6 - 6.1 million dollars (£3-4 million pounds), there is little chance that the Blue Room will see the light of day again. The final figure is likely to be far more of course.
The present owners are caught between a rock and a hard place. Obviously the pier has some commercial value, with the Atlantis night club and a few other minor enticements bringing in some revenue. Not though enough to warrant major investment.
An alternative to a private developer is a 'Heritage Trust' that might attract a mix of state funding, private patrons and commercial sponsors, with the specific aim of raising the finance to rebuild the once proud structure that Eastbourne was famous for. If you, your organisation, or your company might be interested in joining such a consortium, please contact the Cleaner Oceans Club Ltd. We are a not for profit concern with charitable objects, one of which is the conservation of historic buildings. We also have an in-house planning consultant who is prepared to work on such a project on a free basis.
The pier could be operated on a not for profit basis, as a museum and for social projects concerning the sea for the benefit of mankind.
Local authority address:
Eastbourne Borough Council
1 Grove Rd
Contacts: Hayley Stebbings (events manager)
Terry Valeriano (events security)
Christina Dusart (events admin)
Tel: +44 (0) 1323 831727
FIRE BRIGADE - It took 80 fire fighters to bring the blaze under control. Not though in time to save the music pavilion. Indeed, one could argue that with all the combustible materials consumed, the fire was simply prevented from spreading to other substantial buildings. What then was the pier constructed of to make it burn so fiercely?
RED ARROWS FLYOVER - If the pier is recognized as being a monument at risk by English Heritage, why are the local authority encouraging the RAF to fly over the historic site? During World War II (26 November 1944) a Royal Air Force Hawker Typhoon fighter plane hit Brighton's west pier, subsequently crashing onto the beach. It's just a matter of time before acrobatics like that seen above end in tragedy.
GOOGLE MAPS - The above is a satellite view from one of the most famous search engine companies. The snapshot was taken in September 2015, but still shows the Blue Room intact.
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