November 21, 2012
Pierless effort by community
Scotland doesn’t really do pleasure piers which probably has something to do with the climate. Pleasure piers seem to belong to a bygone era, and when they fall into disrepair or burn down (as a lot of them seem to do) they’re often left standing in their neglected state. We don’t usually cover On The Ground stories from south of the border but the tale of Hastings Pier is exceptional and stands testimony to what can be achieved when a community has a common focus.
A blog by Hastings resident Jess Steele, recording her reaction to hearing the news that Heritage Lottery Fund had just agreed to £11.4 million funding to restore the Hastings Pier.
Ba-Ba-Boom! Huzzah! Wow! OMG! Thank the Gods!
Sometimes when things work out well we can hardly believe it’s because of us. We want to feel the thunderbolt and praise Thor!
But you know what? It wasn’t Thor. I know for definite that it’s all down to the dogged persistence of local people. Tell the story one way and it’s a classic Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has” but tell the true story and it’s actually loads of people – the whole of Hastings and our allies far beyond.
This pier is going to make a lot of differences. It’s a catalyst, and it’s ours, all of ours. That’s what’s so brilliant about it – it’s classless, ageless, baggage-free, it really is for everyone.
This will transform Hastings, slowly and with lots of help. I know that there are business people thinking of investing; there are artists who want to make something happen; there are local residents who met their husbands and wives long ago on the pier who want to rekindle; there are people waiting for jobs and the chance to learn something right here at home, there are anglers who will catch the biggest fish; there are teenagers wanting to snog; and somewhere there’s a couple who love each other very much who are waiting till the pier is rebuilt to get married.
The People’s Pier is on its way. I’m just fit to burst with pride and happiness.
Click here for the report from the Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust’s website and a glimpse of what the new pier will look like