Streetlife mourns Birnbeck Pier jetty damage

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 January 2016

Part of Birnbeck Pier's north jetty collapsed during Storm Frank last week. Photo by Timmay Curtis.

Part of Birnbeck Pier's north jetty collapsed during Storm Frank last week. Photo by Timmay Curtis.

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Weston-super-Mare's Streetlife community has reacted with sadness after part of Birnbeck Pier collapsed during Storm Frank.

Part of the crumbling pier’s north jetty was unable to sustain the strong winds and heavy rainfall caused by the storm and fell into the sea during the early hours of December 30.

News of the jetty’s collapse spread rapidly around the town and while many people were upset, several called on the structure’s owners, CNM Estates, to carry out urgent repair works.

Many people turned to Streetlife to vent their frustration and call for change.

David Y said: “(The jetty’s collapse is) no surprise, sad to say.

“Unless a miracle happens it may well go the same way as the West Pier in Brighton. It was the first grade I-listed pier in Britain and we had to watch its slow disintegration into a few pieces of burnt twisted metal over 35 years as rescue plan after rescue plan failed to happen.

“Birnbeck has an advantage in that it has the island at the far end and is still rescuable.”

Brian J said: “I suppose some of us are lucky in as much as we can remember Birnbeck Pier in a reasonable condition (with the) lifeboat, amusements, café and paddle steamers.

“Times change and we need to move on, but it is still a shame to see such a nice area look so run-down.”

The Birnbeck Regeneration Trust, which is campaigning to save the pier and restore it to its Victorian glory, told the Mercury on Thursday how the jetty’s collapse would not hinder its long-term plan.

The group is hoping to raise thousands of pounds in funding in order to apply for a multi-million pound grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which would enable it to carry out a full restoration.

The trust used its Streetlife account to reiterate its aims.

Commenting as PM 4 BRT, a trust spokesman said: “Start the year off and help save her (Birnbeck).

“We need £40,000 to complete the structural surveys and feasibility studies, in order to build our bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

The trust also reassured Streetlifers that it was working with CNM Estates to secure Birnbeck’s future.

“CNM Estates has agreed in giving the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust a lease which, as a minimum, is 25 years rolling and will meet any requirement the Heritage Lottery Fund or Historic England require.”

To learn more about the trust’s work visit its website.

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