Worthing Pier named pier of the year for the second time

Worthing Pier. Picture: Kate Shemilt
Worthing Pier. Picture: Kate Shemilt

Worthing Pier has been named pier of the year for 2019.

After taking second or third place for the past four years the Grade II listed Art Deco Worthing pier has been voted Pier Of The Year 2019 by the members of the National Piers Society. Clacton came second and Clevedon third.

On Facebook, staff at the pier said: "Congratulations to everyone who helps to make our pier very special. Enjoy and share it."

According to the society's website, this is the 23rd annual competition run by the society. Worthing is one of very few piers to have won the award twice, the last time being in 2006.

Commenting on the Award the NPS Chairman Gavin Henderson said: “As a one time player in the town’s Municipal Orchestra I am really pleased to give three cheers to Worthing pier for all its historical significance and current glory.”

The Mayor of Worthing, Councillor Paul Baker, said “I’m delighted the National Piers Society has recognized once more what a fantastic pier we have; it really is an iconic landmark for the town”.

Worthing Pier opened on 12th April 1862, and the pavilion was erected in 1889. In March 1913, a storm severed it from the pier but the gap was bridged and the pier reopened in May 1914.

In September 1933, disaster struck as the pavilion went up in flames. It was replaced at a cost of £18,000 and reopened in August 1935. Two years later a matching Modernist style amusement arcade was added and a central windbreak was installed along the pier.

During World War Two, it entertained troops and was reopened to the public in June 1946, with the Denton Lounge being added in 1959.

Since then, the pier has been put to various uses including a model railway museum, a cinema and a zoo.

In the 1980s it became a night club but this closed in 2005 and the building lay empty until Phil Duckett restored it into its current form: a café, restaurant and events venue.