The end of the pier


“The piers”

Early piers

The seafront at Deal has been adorned with three separate piers in the town’s history. The first, built in 1838, was designed by Sir John Rennie, although its wooden structure was destroyed during a storm in 1857. Originally intended to be 445 feet (136 m) in length, financial problems meant just 250 feet (76 m) was completed, which when opened, was just the sixth pier in the country.

In 1864, a second 1,100 feet (340 m) long pier designed by Eugenius Birch with extensions in 1870 adding a reading room and a pavilion in 1886. It sustained impact damage several times during the 1870s and was acquired by Deal Council in 1920. A popular pleasure pier, it survived until the Second World War, when it was struck and severely damaged by a mined Dutch ship, the Nora, in January 1940. Permission to demolish the pier was authorised by a Winston Churchill, which left just the shore-side toll house, itself later demolished in 1954.

In December 1950, the Deal Corporation received a grant of £750 (equivalent to £23,500 in 2019) to compensate for damage sustained during the war.

Present pier

The present pier, designed by Sir W. Halcrow & Partners, was opened on 19 November 1957 it is 1,026 feet (313 m) in length and ends in a three-tiered pier-head, featuring a cafe, bar, lounge, and fishing decks. The lowest of the three tiers is almost permanently underwater except for the lowest tide and has become disused. A notice announces that it is the same length as the RMS Titanic, but that ship was over 100 feet (30 m) shorter. The pier is a popular sport fishing venue.

In 2018, the pier underwent restoration at a cost of £500,000, in addition to installing more than 300 metres (980 ft) of gas mains supply, as the pier’s own gas supply had developed problems. Refurbishment works included resurfacing, replacement and repainting of railings and an upgrade to the drainage system. The works coincided with the 60 year anniversary of the pier’s official opening.

A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.

Ansel Adams (Feb. 20 1902 — Apr. 22, 1984)

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