VIDEO: First stage of pier restoration begins

A COLUMN supporting Hastings Pier has been replaced, marking the very first stage of the restoration of Hastings Pier.

David Spooner, project manager, Hastings Pier Charity, said: “During the past five years one column broke at a point below the beach level and collapsed.

“Because of its location this is a critical column and its replacement was essential.

“Controlled by the tides, the work had to be carried out before dawn last Thursday and Friday, when we had very low water, ensuring that work was stopped in time to get the plant and equipment away before the incoming sea cut off the access.

“Local specialist, South Coast Structures carried out the work which involved erecting the steel column (which is nearly six metres in height), bolting to the underside of the main trusses and clamping to the remains of the pile.

“This pile will have been one of the original screw piles installed by Eugenius Birch in 1869.

“We then had to concrete around the base of the column with a steel casing around it to form the abrasion protection.

“This column should now last for at least 50 years.

“There are two more columns near the promenade to replace which will be completed before the start of the main steelworks in January.

“Taking advantage of the same low tide, we also had the local soil investigation company, In Situ Site Investigation, carry out testing to help establish the ground conditions for where we have to install foundations for the new visitor centre.”

Cllr Peter Chowney, deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council, and lead member for regeneration, added: “After so much work and planning, it is just brilliant to see the work of restoring Hastings Pier actually getting under way.

“It is especially pleasing that local contractors are being used.

“I know that work starts in earnest in January, and I will be watching progress avidly as I pass the pier on my way into the town hall every day.”