September 18 2014 Latest news:
Donna-Louise Bishop, Reporter
Saturday, July 26, 2014
If you do like to be beside the seaside then grab your bucket and spade for today’s celebration in Cromer of 200 years of piers in Britain.
• July 26 marks the 200th anniversary of the opening of the first ever seaside pier at Ryde, Isle of Wight.
• There are 58 piers left out of about 100 built in Victorian times, of which just under 50 are open for business.
• Piers have been subject to the vagaries of wind, waves, vandalism, fires, ship collisions and even being eaten by gribbles. And also the effects of climate change, such as rising tides and falling beach levels.
There will be an open day from 10am on Cromer Pier, home of the last remaining ‘end of pier’ show in Europe, and organisers of the event are urging people to love their local pier by coming along.
Rebecca Wass, general manager, said: “Piers are a great British institution and an important part of our national heritage, which is why we wanted to mark 200 years of this seaside tradition by bringing the magic and excitement of our famous shows out onto the boardwalk of the pier and into the town. “Pier shows have been a staple of family entertainment for generations, so we’re urging the people of Norfolk to love their local pier, come and visit us and support one of the region’s most iconic attractions.”
Cromer is home to only one of five working piers in the country and today organisers will be bringing a flavour of traditional seaside entertainment from the past 200 years with walkabout acts.
Jugglers, stiltwalkers, clowns, fortunetellers, musicians and dancers will be entertaining visitors.
And the pier will be opening its doors at 11am, noon, 2pm and 3pm to give a rare opportunity to see behind the scenes areas not normally accessible to the public.
Two hundred balloons are also being given away to mark the occasion - one of which will contain a special prize of a £200 holiday voucher to spend with Norfolk Country Cottages.
Tim Wardley, vice-chairman of the National Piers Society, said: “[Today] celebrates the 200th anniversary of the oldest surviving seaside pier in the United Kingdom, at Ryde on the Isle of Wight.
“Cromer is entering into the spirit of the occasion as close and valued partners of ours in the promotion of everything good and attractive about seaside piers.”
For more information about Cromer Pier and the Cromer Pier Show please visit www.cromer-pier.com or call the Box Office team on 01263 512 495.