Worthing Pier

Worthing, United Kingdom | C.1862

Photo Credit: @seasidelucy

From beach holidays to birdman competitions, Worthing Pier has been a gathering place for all kinds of events since its construction over a century ago. Since 2018, Worthing Pier has also been part of the annual Worthing Pride, an annual LGBTQ+ celebration hosted in the town of Worthing, England.

Designed by Sir Robert Rawlinson, the Pier was opened in 1862. It was the thirteenth pier to be completed in England and cost £6,500 to build. A tollbooth and souvenir shop were soon added and in 1888, the Pier was enlarged to include a 650-seat pavilion. Over the decades, the structure has bore witness to historic events, natural disasters, and world wars.

On Easter Day in 1913, a massive storm struck and waves washed away the decking between the pavilion and the shore. For a short time, the stranded pier was nicknamed “Easter Island”. When WWII broke out, the Pier became a fortress against possible invasion. Attempts to thwart enemy invasion involved blowing a 120-foot hole into the Pier’s decking to prevent Germany from using it as a landing stage.

By 1942, with fears of invasion waning, the Pier once again became a place for recreation as troops set up a canteen, library, and billiards. After the War, the Pier underwent major repairs to bring it back to its original glory. Today it continues to be used for leisure and events including weddings, movie screenings, and even the aforementioned birdman competitions where participants attempt to “fly” off the pier.

Most recently, the Pier has emerged as a stop on Worthing Pride. The parade starts at the Burlington Hotel in West Worthing, moves along the town promenade past the Pier, and wraps up at the Worthing Beach House grounds. The parade lasts multiple days, with up to 25,000 people in attendance.

One thought on “Worthing Pier

  1. sea-grape says:
    June 1, 2023

    What a fantastic place to float!

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