BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
 Sunday, 29 December, 2002, 16:44 GMT
Changing face of historic pier
Prince Charles and restoration engineer Jonathon Ornell
Prince Charles visited the restoration project in 1999
Brighton's historic West Pier has remained largely unchanged for 80 years and is England's only Grade I listed pier.

Designed by Eugenius Birch in 1866, it was built using dozens of cast iron-threaded columns screwed into the seabed.

Back then it was just an open deck with six ornamental houses.

But by 1916 its final building, a concert hall, had been completed.

Brighton West Pier in 1938
The pier was built in 1866
The hall and theatre had been regarded as two of the best surviving examples of Victorian and Edwardian seaside entertainment buildings.

In the 1920s visitors arrived on paddle steamer excursions to hear recitals by the pier's resident orchestra in the concert hall.

After World War II its theatre was converted into a restaurant, the concert hall became a tea room and amusements, arcades and fairground rides were added.

It was finally closed to the public in 1975 because of fears it would collapse.

Pier restoration

The Brighton West Pier Trust bought the freehold and has spent 1.5m strengthening the pier in a bid to return it to use.

But the owners of the area's other pier, Brighton Palace Pier, have appealed to the courts to stop the restoration getting 14.2m of lottery money.

They argued that it would make the restoration a state-aided commercial venture and would be "outrageously" unfair competition.

The European Commission ruled against them but they are appealing to the European Court of Justice.

Meanwhile the West Pier Trust is continuing with its 30m plans to restore the pier's appearance to the way it was in the 1920s.

Work could start as early as September 2003 as long as planning permission is obtained.

Despite its collapse, the trust hopes the pier will be able to re-open to the public by 2005.


Click here for more from Southern Counties
See also:

29 Dec 02 | England
10 Jul 02 | Entertainment
31 May 00 | UK
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes