44,000 signatures to save Birnbeck Pier?

PUBLISHED: 13:30 01 October 2015

Terry Hutt at Dismaland's locals day.

Terry Hutt at Dismaland's locals day.

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A WELL-KNOWN Weston man who has been campaigning to save Birnbeck Pier collected 44,000 signatures from Banksy fans during Dismaland’s duration.

Views of Weston 's Birnbeck Pier. Part of the jetty's bridge section near collapse.Views of Weston 's Birnbeck Pier. Part of the jetty's bridge section near collapse.

Terry Hutt was at the Tropicana asking for people to support the old pier from day one of the Banksy event, when he camped overnight to secure entry to the Mercury’s locals-only day.

But even after seeing the artwork inside, Mr Hutt visited the exhibition every day during its five-week run to highlight the plight of Birnbeck Pier.

The pier has been named as one of the top 10 most at-risk structures in England and Wales by the Victorian Society, but Mr Hutt is determined to see it rebuilt.

The 80-year-old said: “I would get there at about 8am and all the early birds were there.

“I would tell visitors what was happening, what time they might get in judging by where they were in the queue and they really appreciated what I was doing.

“When they came out they would all be lining up to sign the petition.”

Thousands of people visited the exhibition and Mr Hutt said: “Banksy has brought the world to Weston.

“I have been interviewed by TV crews from all around the world and the support is incredible. Everyone wanted to sign the petition and wants to see Birnbeck Pier restored to its former glory.

“To be honest, I couldn’t quite believe I got 44,000 people.

“I haven’t got a lot of time left in me, but I’m going to stand on that pier before I die.”

Mr Hutt now plans to take his petition to parliament in the hope it will bring more attention to the decaying structure and help the Birnbeck Regenration Trust secure grant funding through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Heidi Griffin from the trust said: “We are so grateful for all Terry has done.

“He is one of our most prolific volunteers and he’s very well known.

“We don’t know how he was able to keep it up at 80, but he was there every single day, come rain or shine.”

The trust is looking for more volunteers. To find out more visit www.birnbeckregenerationtrust.org.uk

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