8 Oct 2010

Hastings Pier - another landmark destroyed

Reading about the ravaging of Hastings Pier by fire a few days back brought a lot memories of the time when I was in Hastings & St. Leonards.  I look into my old albums of pictures of the pier taken when I was there and only found a few, how sad.
Hastings Pier in the distant background
The pier was built in 1869 and opened to the public in 1872.  I should say it has passed its prime when I was there.  You can read a bit more about Hastings Pier here and view postcards pictures of its heydays.

I had left my footsteps on its wooden floorboards
I remember walking out to sea the length of the pier feeling the cool breeze blowing, and hear the waves breaking beneath against its support pillars.  There were small shops selling souvenirs and offering penny slot machine games when you reach towards the middle.  I never did get to the very end of the pier, all 275m out to sea.  Now, I recall the smell of freshly made doughnuts and the taste of the ice cream .... ahh  memories!

Please excuse the grainy photos.  There were none of the digital thingamajig in those days, after all it was taken over 34 years ago.  Yes, that was how long ago that I was in Hastings as a student in the Hastings College of Further Education studying for my A-levels.  I have visited it again twice since then.

I hope the people concerned can restore the Pier but it would be hard to imagine it being possible considering almost 95% of it was destroyed by the fire.


  1. It might be even better, when they rebuild it - there is an iconic pier in Redcliffe, north of Brisbane, which was unsafe and falling to bits - the new structure is wonderful!
    It's nice to have the old pictures to remember it as it was.

  2. Thirty four years ago I was along the coast at Bognor, doing a course at Chichester College of Further Education! I have photos somewhere that look very similar. Piers were a great thing in their day, but I am afraid that no-one would build one today. :( The one at Bognor was closed back then due to being unsafe.

  3. The English seaside piers are slowly being destroyed by fire which is such a shame because they are monuments to a by-gone age and will probably never be replaced.
    I found it so interesting that you visited Hastings

  4. Maureen, they can rebuilt the pier but it will not have the nostalgic feeling of the original.

    Snowy, Sally,
    I was in Hastings for two years. My accomodation was a bed-sit facing the sea at Undercliff. That was all I could afford with my student allowance, :( After my A-levels I attended Leeds University for another three years.

    Sally, what make me even sadder is that it was not an accident, that it was arson.

  5. I was there also, some twenty years ago, and reading your entry reminded me of that visit and that place.

    So very sad. I think the fire burning away the old pier is as much about seeing our past obliterated from the world today as if it never were, as it is about the actual destruction of the tangible structure, which can indeed be rebuilt. Tugs the heartstrings.

    ♥ Fox

  6. It is such a shame. I know Hastings well, from family holidays, and my Aunt living in Bexhill. It is in the same County of Kent where I live now.


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