If you walk along Southend-on-Sea’s High Street, towards the sea, your eye will be drawn in a straight line towards the longest pleasure Pier in the world. Standing for over a century it extends 2.158 metres (1.341 miles) into the Thames Estuary. http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=588500&y=184500&z=3&sv=southend+pier &st=3&tl=Southend+Pier,+Southend-on- Sea+&searchp=newsearch.srf&mapp=newmap.srf
The First Pier at Southend-June 1830 In the early-19th Century, steamships began to carry holidaymakers from London down the Thames. Southend's development as a resort, however, was initially hampered by its lack of good landing facilities. Travellers often bypassed the town, preferring to continue to Margate rather than hitching a lift with a fisherman into Southend! The construction of a pier helped to stop this trend.
The pier was popular with locals from the beginning. When Sir William Heygate brought the news from London that Parliament had passed a bill allowing the construction of a pier, he was mobbed by enthusiastic crowds. By the 1880s, however, the wooden structure was unsafe, and it was decided to construct an iron pier. James Brunlees, who built Britain's first iron leisure pier at Southport, designed it. But the old pier was not wasted - a Mayoral chair was made from some of the wood in 1892!
Brand new development -2012 Structures being lifted by crane at Tilbury to be delivered to the end of the Pier
Chronologly of the Pier 1830 First Wooden Pier 1887 First Iron Pier structure 1931
Organise key events in the history of the Pier 1945 Pier opens to record number of visitors 4.57 million between 1948-1950 1962 Entrance to Pier is turned into a bowling alley. 1830 The first wooden Pier opens 1831 1 st tragic accident, man killed by electric tram. 1976 Fire destroys part of the pier and deemed unsafe. 1887 The wooden Pier is replaced by an iron pier. 1939 WW2 starts. Pier closes to public. 1959 Fire hits the Pier at the shore end. 500 trapped and rescued by boat.
Organise key events in the history of the Pier 1980 Pier still closed but protests enable the Pier to open again. 2009 The winnng design for the end of the Pier is chosen called Wind and Wave. 1989 Full bridge repairs were competed. 1983 HMS Kingsabbey crashed into the Pier. Leaving a huge gap in the Pier head. 2000 New sundeck is built. 1995 The bowling alley is burnt down again. 1982 £1.3 million pounds is spent on the pier and 2 new trains. 2005 Fire damages Pier head, ice-cream shop and shop.