Grand Pier picture gallery: Open at last!
PUBLISHED: 13:07 25 October 2010 | UPDATED: 15:31 25 October 2010
AFTER more than two years, and a mind-boggling £51million, Weston's new Grand Pier was opened to hundreds of eager fun-lovers on Saturday.
AFTER more than two years, and a mind-boggling £51million, Weston’s new Grand Pier was opened to hundreds of eager fun-lovers on Saturday.
Some 816 days after the old pavilion was destroyed by fire, a gleaming new model was unveiled to an excited public at 10am.
Owners Kerry and Michelle Michael opened the gates, and Weston MP John Penrose declared the landmark attraction open for business.
The news was greeted by huge cheers from hundreds of people, many of whom had queued patiently for hours through torrential downpours to be among the first to set foot on the remodelled pier.
Hundreds filled the attraction throughout the morning, desperate to try out a new generation of thrill rides and a host of traditional favourites, albeit with a new modern twist.
And the verdict from pier fans was a resounding thumbs up.
Louise and Ian Jelf travelled from Bromsgrove near Birmingham, to be there for the big reopening.
They said: “We got up at 5am to come down, and were in the queue in the hailstones, but it was worth it.
“We love Weston and we were big fans of the old pier, so it’s like welcoming back an old friend.”
And Simon and Claire Moore, with eight-year-old Matthew, were among hundreds of families from Weston checking out the new-look pier.
They said: “It’s fantastic, much better than the old pier. It’s really good that they have kept the old machines for the children and got more for the adults.”
* Click on the link at the top of the page to see our picture gallery from the Grand Pier reopening.