Clevedon Pier has been named Pier of the Year 2021, 50 years after the partly-collapsed 1869 structure was saved from demolition by the local community.
Beating fellow piers in Llandudno and Cromer to the top spot, staff at the 152-year-old structure hailed the award as a “vote of confidence” for the pier’s future.
“We are the only pier to have won this prestigious award three times and our wonderful team of staff and volunteers are thrilled and proud,” said chair of Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust Phil Curme. “We are not unique in having faced major challenges during the current pandemic but when we have been able to open the Pier has offered a refuge from day-to-day worries.”
“The classic walk along our promenade deck has done much to help the local community weather the Covid-19 storm. We reopened last month and hope to have all areas of the Pier fully operational in time for the summer. The award is a real vote of confidence and a great start for what we hope will be a very successful season.”
The pier, located in the Bristol Channel, was built in 1869, and remained continually open to the public until routine load testing in 1970 caused a number of the pier’s eight arches to collapse.
Though plans were put in place to demolish the remaining structure, the community rallied round to save it, with the pier eventually being reopened 19 years later.
“Still very much the simple promenade it was designed to be, the pier has won over generations with its Victorian engineering and timeless beauty,” said a spokesperson for the National Piers Society.
“Thanks to a large and loyal team of volunteers the pier has a strong community focus and the welcome at the Victorian toll booth is a famously warm one. Throughout lockdown, tales from the pier’s archive posted on Twitter have kept fans connected to this special Somerset landmark.”
Pier of the Year 2021 marks the 25th year the National Piers Society has handed out the award, with Llandudno Per being named in second place, and Cromer Pier taking third place.