Behind scenes at special pier evening of talks

AN EVENING of talks and updates as part of the national Heritage Open Days event will give members of the public a chance to meet the new team tasked with bringing Hastings Pier back to life.

The free event will take place on Thursday, September 12, from 6pm to 7.30pm, and will be repeated on Friday, September 13.

Hastings Pier Charity’s project engineer Peter Wheeler will begin the evening with a talk on the historical variations in the pier’s structure and overview of the types of trusses, and an explanation of Victorian engineer Eugenius Birch’s famous ‘screw pile technique’.

Peter will then give a short history of the pier with reference to the First and Second World Wars.

Beatrice Rapley, education and learning manager, will then talk briefly about the mods and rockers riots in Hastings.

This will be followed by an update on pier construction plans from project manager, David Spooner, with an opportunity for the public to ask questions afterwards.

Jo McLaughlan, the education volunteer coordinator, will also be on hand to answer questions about volunteering opportunities.

The event, which is fully accessible for wheelchair users, will start outdoors, meeting by the South African memorial on the promenade opposite the White Rock Hotel, before going into the hotel’s café bar (but will not be going onto the pier itself or the shingle beach).

Advance booking is required.

Heritage Open Days is a national celebration of history that takes place in September every year.

All over the country historic buildings and locations will be throwing open their doors and welcoming the public from Thursday, September 12 to Sunday, September 15.

It gives people the chance to see inside special places of historic interest that are usually closed or not well-known, and is known locally as 1066Heritage.

For details of events visit