People to demonstrate against Hastings Pier closure

Hastings Pier has been closed to the public until March 2019
Hastings Pier has been closed to the public until March 2019

A group of concerned residents will be holding a demonstration to show their ‘love for Hastings Pier’.

People will be forming a single-file queue along the seafront promenade to show they want Hastings Pier to be ‘part of our community’ on Saturday morning (January 12).

The group said: “A family (and dog) friendly community gathering to demonstrate: that we love Hastings Pier and want it to be part of our community; that we are not happy about being shut out of it after so many people worked tirelessly to save it and bring it back to life.

“The pier has been part of our lives since it reopened in 2016 and we have invested our money and our time in its restoration.”

The demonstration has been organised in response to owner Sheikh Abid Gulzar’s decision to close Hastings Pier until March to allow time for ‘essential repairs’ following a fire in November 2018.

Mr Gulzar’s decision was criticised by the Friends of Hastings Pier, a community group which had sought to keep the pier in public ownership.

The group said this weekend’s demonstration is not connected to the Friends of Hastings Pier.

They added: “We wish for this to be a fun yet peaceful event: to celebrate and thank all the former pier employees of 2018; to show solidarity to the future employees of the pier; to celebrate tourism in Hastings and the potential for the pier to be part of that; to show our love for the pier as an asset for the local community and a tourist attraction to bring visitors to our town.

“Our seafront promenade is a stunning location. It will make a very photogenic backdrop for the community queue.”

The group said abusive behaviour, placards, banners or any vandalism will not be tolerated.

Anyone wishing to attends Saturday’s demonstration has been asked to meet at The Goat Ledge, lower and upper promenades, in Warrior Square, St Leonards, at 10.30am.

The group will reach the pier at 11am where an ‘orderly-queue’ will be formed.

Related stories:

Hastings Pier closure ‘could have been handled better’ says council leader

Community group calls for answers over Hastings Pier closure

Pier to close until March for essential repairs

More than 1,000 sign petition to reopen Hastings Pier

Amber Rudd calls for ‘urgency’ in reopening Hastings Pier