Do you remember the huge Hunstanton pier fire 15 years ago?
- Credit: (submitted) Derek Fairless
It was almost certainly the biggest blaze the town had ever seen.
Flames tore through an amusement arcade on Hunstanton seafront almost 15 years ago on May 18, 2002.
Fire crews from across Norfolk rushed to the scene in the early hours. As dawn broke, appliances fanned out on the Green around the blazing building, watched by crowds of locals and holidaymakers.
Smoke could be seen across The Wash in Lincolnshire. The fire was so intense that change from slot machines melted in the heat. The cause was never established.
The former Jungle Wonderland and CHS Amusements building was all that remained of the former Hunstanton Pier.
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The iron structure, built in the resort's Victorian heyday, suffered fires in the 1930s and 50s, before being washed away by a storm surge in 1978.
After the fire, there were calls to rebuild it. Campaigners claimed a covenant obliged the lease holder to replace it.
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But West Norfolk council said there was no legal obligation to provide a pier on the site and the stand-off has rumbled on ever since. Today a large bowling alley occupies the site at the foot of the Green.
In 2012, National Lottery officials turned down an application from Hunstanton Civic Society for £7.4m to rebuild the pier. They said there was too little of the original structure remaining.
MORE: Lottery bid for pier turned downWhile Hunstanton may never see another fire like it, it looks unlikely the town will ever see another pier. But Hunstanton Pier has found a new leash of fans, thanks to a song by Hunstanton rock band Deaf Havana of the same name.
MORE: Watch Deaf Havana's Hunstanton PierIt describes Sunny Hunny as 'a tourist town with less culture than Jeremy Kyle'.