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Pier Towers, Withernsea
|Population||6,159 (2011 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|• London||150 mi (240 km) S|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Withernsea // is a seaside resort town and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, and forms the focal point for a wider community of small villages in Holderness. Its most famous landmark is the white inland lighthouse, rising around 127 feet (39 m) above Hull Road. The lighthouse – no longer active – now houses a museum to 1950s actress Kay Kendall, who was born in the town.
The Prime Meridian crosses the coast to the north-west of Withernsea.
Like many seaside resorts, Withernsea has a wide promenade which reaches north and south from Pier Towers, the historic entrance to the pier, built in 1877 at a cost of £12,000. The pier was originally 399 yards (365 m) long, but was gradually reduced in length through several impacts by local ships, starting with the Saffron in 1880 before the collision by an unnamed ship in 1888, again by a Grimsby fishing boat and again by the Henry Parr in 1893, leaving the once grand pier with a mere 50 feet (15 m) of damaged wood and steel, which was removed in 1903. The Pier Towers have been refurbished.
During the mid-19th century the Hull and Holderness Railway was constructed, connecting the nearby city of Hull with Withernsea (via Keyingham and Patrington) and making possible cheap and convenient holidays for Victorian workers and their families, as well as boosting Withernsea's economy. It closed in 1964 and all that remains of it is an overgrown footpath where the track used to be.
Withernsea, like many British resorts, has suffered from a decline in the number of visiting holidaymakers.
Following an unsuccessful attempt to purchase the Proudfoot Supermarket, Tesco opened a competing store which originally struggled to attract sales. Tesco resorted to a campaign of price flexing, offering customers £8 off for every £20 spent in their Withernsea branch. This led to an investigation by the Competition Commission. After their market share increased, Tesco prices returned to a level closer to the national average. Subsequently, Aldi took over the former Proudfoot supermarket, and are now offering very competitive opposition to Tesco. Meanwhile, the Withernsea Town Council has bought a former pub and nightclub, centrally located opposite Aldi, and has renamed it the Meridian Centre. A lottery bid for over £400,000 - Reaching Communities building fund - has been successful, and the building is now being refurbished to provide a community centre, including a cinema and performing arts venue.
There is a 9-hole golf course and leisure centre complex (with a gym and indoor pool) and a variety of pubs and restaurants are situated around the centre of the town.
Some of the town's better-known tourist attractions and landmarks include:
- The lighthouse situated on Hull Road with a museum dedicated to the actress Kay Kendall.
- The Pier Towers leading onto a Blue Flag beach.
- Valley Gardens with a large square and outside stage for local events and celebrations.
- Various amusement arcades (informally known as 'muggies') that line the road opposite the Valley Gardens.
- An RNLI lifeboat museum.
- The parish church of St Nicholas, a Grade II* listed building.
- The Greenwich Meridian; Just outside the town.
The area is served by BBC Radio Humberside, Viking FM, Seaside FM, Capital Yorkshire and Greatest Hits East Yorkshire. Ofcom awarded Seaside FM a community radio licence to broadcast to the town on 105.3 MHz and the station launched on 5 October 2007 from studios at 27 Seaside Road. Weekly newspaper The Holderness Gazette also has offices on Seaside Road.
There are a number of primary schools located in Withernsea which serve the surrounding area. Withernsea High School is the main secondary provider and also includes a sixth form and has a technology college. The high school was refurbished in 2015.
Withernsea has its own hospital owned by the NHS which was subject to services cuts and lost its Accident and Emergency Department facility, it is now a community hospital. Withernsea has five emergency service stations located within the town, Yorkshire Ambulance Service; Humberside Fire and Rescue Service; Humberside Police; Her Majesty's Coastguard and lifeboat station.
- Dick Davis, English-American poet, teacher, and award-winning translator of Persian poetry, grew up in Withernsea during the 1950s.
- Charles Hotham was vicar of Withernsea from 1640 to 1644.
- Birthplace of jazz musician Kenny Baker (1921–1999).
- Birthplace of footballer Stuart Gray.
- The Ruby Red Performers, a group of dancers who appeared on the 9th series of Britain's Got Talent in 2015, are from Withernsea.
- UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Withernsea Parish (1170211289)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
- UK Census (2001). "Local Area Report – Withernsea Parish (1543504330)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- "BBC Bus – Withernsea". BBC Humber. BBC. 22 August 2003. Retrieved 22 July 2008.
- Price, Peter (1 January 1989). Lost Railways of Holderness, The Hull Withernsea and Hull Hornsea Lines. Hutton Press Ltd. ISBN 0-907033-86-5.
- Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
- "Reinventing the seaside". BBC News Online. BBC. 19 August 2006. Retrieved 22 July 2008.
- Pratley, Nils (6 January 2005). "Shop tactics". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 July 2008.
- "main party responses emerging thinking no 3" (PDF). Retrieved 19 September 2008.
- "Groceries Market inquiry: Main party submission" (PDF). Retrieved 19 September 2008.
- "Withernsea Town Council – home page". Withernsea Town Council. Retrieved 22 July 2008.
- Historic England. "Church of St Nicholas (1366257)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
- "£13 million school rebuild starts in Withernsea, Yorkshire - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. 11 December 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
- "Hospital – Withernsea Community Hospital Managing Trust Information". National Health Service. Retrieved 22 July 2008.
- Chrystal, Paul (2012). Lifeboat stations of North East England through time : from Sunderland to the Humber. Stroud: Amberley. p. 80. ISBN 978-1-4456-1376-5.
- "Jazz great Baker dies". BBC News Online. BBC. 9 December 1999. Retrieved 22 July 2008.
- "Kay Kendall: Blue plaque commemorates Withernsea actress". BBC News. BBC. 7 September 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
- Chalk, Gary; Holley, Duncan; Bull, David (2013). All the Saints: A Complete Players' Who's Who of Southampton FC. Southampton: Hagiology Publishing. p. 334. ISBN 978-0-9926-8640-6.
- Campbell, James (14 April 2018). "Britain's Got Talent returns to ITV - we look at what Hull's stars are doing now". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
- Gazetteer – A–Z of Towns Villages and Hamlets. East Riding of Yorkshire Council. 2006. p. 12.
- "Parish and Town Council elections". East Riding Council. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
Media related to Withernsea at Wikimedia Commons