Remembering the day Clevedon Pier partially collapsed 50 years on

PUBLISHED: 12:23 24 September 2020

Clevedon Pier after its collapse.

Clevedon Pier after its collapse.

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Next month marks 50 years since Clevedon Pier’s partial collapse into the Bristol Channel – the trust will be celebrating those who saved it from being demolished.

Fifty years since the Pier collapsedFifty years since the Pier collapsed

People involved in the campaign are being invited to take a walk on the Grade I-listed pier and share their stories.

At around 10.20am on October 16, 1970, two spans of the Victorian landmark fell into the muddy waters, while a team of maintenance workers were undertaking a bi-annual load test on the structure.

Many people across the town reported hearing a creaking and groaning noise before the pier – after years of neglect – succumbed to the elements.

A public inquiry was later held, as a result of 10 years of lobbying from the community, angered by a subsequent decision to demolish what was left of the pier.

A spokeman for Clevedon Pier Trust, said: “At the inquiry with the help of Sir John Betjeman – who described it as the most beautiful pier in England – the threat of demolition was lifted, and after a huge restoration effort Clevedon Pier was saved for future generations, reopening in 1989, 19 years after the collapse.”

Chairman of the trust, Phil Curme, said: “The pier has always been special to the people of Clevedon. Over the course of more than 150 years, it has been at the heart of the community.

“Many local people have happy memories of steamer trips, late night dancing and watching sunsets from the pierhead.

“The people of Clevedon saved it from destruction, they enabled the restoration and they continue to support it with passion today. It is truly a people’s pier.”

To mark the occasion the model of the pier which was used at the public inquiry will be on display in the pier’s café area; and the story of the collapse and the campaign to save it will be displayed in a storyboard around the pierhead.

A commemorative 50-year pass – effectively a lifetime membership – will also be on sale.

Anyone who remembers the pier’s collapse and has stories to share is asked to email enquiries@clevedonpier.com


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