7 things you didn't know about Weston-super-Mare's Grand Pier
PUBLISHED: 18:10 17 October 2017 | UPDATED: 18:10 17 October 2017
Weston-super-Mare's Grand Pier has been one of the town's most popular tourist attractions for decades, but what secrets does the building hold?
1. History repeating itself
Everyone knows about the devastating fire which hit the pier in July 2008 but did you know this fire was not the first in the landmark’s history?
The original pavilion was destroyed by a fire on January 13, 1930.
2. Lights, camera action!
The Grand Pier has been the setting for many TV shows and even movies over the years.
Star-studded comedy Bliss with Steven Mangan and Heather Graham was filmed on the pier earlier this year and the 1993 movie The Remains Of The Day saw stars Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thomson share a scene there too.
Come Dine With Me, Don’t Tell The Bride, Flog It and BBC Breakfast have also used the pier as a location for filming.
3. How much?!
The original pier cost just £120,000 to build in 1903 but to rebuild the new pier in 2010 cost owners Kerry and Michelle Michael an eye watering £39million.
4. Cream tea for 555 people
October 2016 saw the pier stage an attempt at hosting the biggest ever cream tea event to be held at a single venue.
The Guinness World Record attempt saw 555 people enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a scone to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
5. Theatre on the pier
The pier runs a number of entertainment evenings for people to enjoy but did you know when the pier first opened in 1904, it was home to a fine Edwardian theatre which people would travel from miles around to visit?
It could accommodate 2,000 people and came complete with an orchestra pit and dressing rooms, and regularly staged operas, ballets and musicals.
6. Weston to Cardiff water taxi
The pier was originally intended to run regular passenger services from the pier to Cardiff but the tide and strong currents made tide mooring of ships too dangerous so the plan was abandoned.
7. Strong foundations
The pier is supported by 360 original cast iron piles from 1904 with 71 new steel piles added in 2010.
The entire structure was refurbished in 2010 to ensure a minimum of 25 years before the first maintenance of any structural element will be needed.