South Parade Pier
The South Parade Pier is a pier in Portsmouth, England. It is one of two piers in the city, the other being Clarence Pier. The pier has a long hall down its centre which houses a seating area and a small restaurant. The outside of the hall is a promenade which runs the length of the pier and connects the entrance building with the small funfair at the southern end.
The South Parade Pier, in Southsea, part of the English city of Portsmouth, is a pleasure pier offering typical seaside attractions including souvenir shops, ice creams, indoor amusements and a small children's funfair. It also contains a fishing deck and two function rooms which are often used for live music.
The history of the pier has been eventful; like many UK piers. Construction started in 1875 and was officially opened in 1879. It was partly dismantled during the Second World War in an attempt to hinder any invasion and it has also caught fire several times, most famously in 1974 during shooting of the film Tommy. In the 1980s the pier's Gaiety and Albert ballrooms were used several times a week for discos organised by Portsmouth Polytechnic students. The pier appeared in an episode of Mr. Bean entitled "Mind the Baby Mr. Bean."
The Pier was sold to three businessmen in 2010, who pledged to restore it to its former glory. The iconic pier is now owned by Frederick Nash, director of Hampshire property firm Matchams South Coast, and partners Tony Marshall, a London lawyer, and Cambridgeshire stud farm proprieter David Moore. Very little has happened to the pier since the purchase in early 2010.
Pier status as of April 2012
The deck was closed to the general public due to health and safety concerns in April 2012. Limited access was granted to people fishing, but access was withdrawn for all other potential users.
Pier status as of November 2012
At the beginning of November the pier was completely closed and fenced off by Portsmouth City Council as it was a danger to the public. A couple of days later the council reopened the front of the pier, which included part of the arcade and other bits which are on land.
In December 2012 an attempt to sell the pier at auction failed.
Parts of the boat deck at the end of South Parade Pier have been broken off after being battered by bad weather on the night of 5 February 2014, after this, the front deck of the pier was boarded up.
Pier status as of June 2015
In April 2015 the boarding on the front deck was removed and the Ice Cream Parlour and Newsagents resumed trading. The rest of the pier still remains closed to the public.
South Parade Trust - The People's Pier
The trust aim to acquire and improve, sustain and develop the property and business of South Parade Pier. They want it to be structurally sound, safe and welcoming and under local ownership. The trust are in active discussions with the current owners but no agreement has been signed.
- "Southsea's South Parade Pier fails to sell at auction". BBC News. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012.