Worthing Pier in October 2011
|Official name||Worthing Pier|
|Design||Sir Robert Rawlinson|
|Total length||960 feet (290 m)|
|Opening date||12 April 1862|
Worthing Pier is a pier in Worthing, West Sussex, England. Designed by Sir Robert Rawlinson, it was opened on 12 April 1862 and remains open. The pier originally was a simple promenade deck 960 ft (291m) long and 15 ft (4.6m) wide. In 1888 the pier was upgraded with the width increased to 30 ft (9.2m) and the pier head increased to 105 ft (32m) for a 650-seat pavilion to be built. It is a Grade II listed building.
The first moving picture show in Worthing was seen on the pier on 31 August 1896 and is commemorated today by a blue plaque. In 1897 a steam ship began operation between Worthing Pier and the Chain Pier in Brighton, twelve miles to the east.
In March 1913, on Easter Monday, the pier was damaged in a storm, with only the southern end remaining, completely cut off from land. Later, it was affectionately named 'Easter Island'. A rebuilt pier was opened on 29 May 1914.
In September 1933 the pier and all but the northern pavilion were destroyed by fire. In 1935 the remodelled Streamline Moderne pier was opened, and it is this that remains today.
Worthing Pier was sectioned in 1940 for fear of German invasion after the retreat at Dunkirk. A large hole was also blown in the pier to prevent it being used as a possible landing stage in the event of invasion.
The pier is owned by Worthing Borough Council (formerly Worthing Corporation).
The Pavilion Theatre and Denton Cafe is situated at the northern, land end of the pier; at the middle is the 1935 amusement arcade, which from 1956 - 2006 carried a distinctive 'New Amusements' sign that was featured on the cover of the album To See the Lights (1996) by Britpop band Gene. Since 2006 the sign has changed from 'New Amusements' to 'Pier Amusements'.
The Southern Pavilion (the sea end) is currently home to tearoom and function area, having undergone extensive renovation between September 2013 and the re-opening in April 2014, having previously been used as a nightclub named The Pier, which opened on 20 December 2007, and prior to that a cafe, dance hall and to house a model railway layout. It can be hired for weddings and is used as a live music venue.
Since 2008, Worthing Pier has been the home of the annual International Birdman competition, which moved to Worthing after it could no longer safely be held on the pier at Bognor Regis, some 15 miles (24 km) to the west. However, Birdman competitions were held in both towns from 2010. On 24 February 2016, it was announced that the Birdman will be cancelled for that year and that the Worthing Town Centre Initiative (WTCI) were unsure whether it would return in 2017.
- 2006 - National Piers Society - Pier of the Year
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- "International Bognor Birdman - The Official Bognor Birdman Website". www.birdman.org.uk.
- "Two kite surfers jump over pier". 16 November 2009 – via news.bbc.co.uk.