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 Tuesday, 21 January, 2003, 09:54 GMT
Campaigners battle to save Brighton pier
Brighton's West Pier
There are still hopes that the pier can be restored
Campaigners say they are determined to save Brighton's crumbling West Pier, despite another part of it collapsing on Monday.

The rear part of the ballroom, which partially collapsed at Christmas, completely fell into the water soon after high tide.

Crowds flocked to the beach to collect mementos of the 150-year-old Grade I listed structure which was closed to the public in 1975.

Geoff Lockwood, chief executive of the West Pier Trust, which owns the pier, said determination to restore it had only been strengthened by the latest development.

Anything of value is heavy and will fall to the seabed and we can recover it

Geoff Lockwood, West Pier Trust

Members of the trust met engineers on Monday and are due to be discussing the future of the pier with partners, Heritage Lottery Fund and St Mowden from the private sector, on Tuesday.

Mr Lockwood said: "It is now at a 45 degree angle almost in the water and a lot more wooden panelling has gone.

"People are very interested and they are going along the beach to take photos and a bit of drift wood which we don't mind.

"Anything of value is heavy and will fall to the seabed and we can recover it."

He said he was angry because earlier action could have avoided the latest collapse.

But he added that a 30m renovation scheme to authentically repair the pier would not be prevented by its deterioration.

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  The BBC's Chris True
"The collapse happened soon after high tide"

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29 Dec 02 | England
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