I was greatly relieved to learn that our lovely pier has been saved from serious damage as a result of the recent fire, thanks to the prompt action of Paul Westover.
It must have been so upsetting for the young couple to have their wedding reception ruined, but it was a blessing that there were no casualties.
The previous fire, in September 1933, was also the result of a carelessly discarded cigarette.
At that time, my father, Reg Paine, was piermaster.
There had been a spell of hot, dry weather, and he had taken to hosing down the wooden decking every day, but that was not enough to prevent the fire from taking hold.
The cigarette had fallen between the planks of the decking where it had smouldered for some time.
Once the fire was noticed it was spread rapidly by the wind and the pier was soon reduced to an empty shell.
In those days, the importance of the pier was recognised by the council and was rebuilt within a couple of years.
Sadly, I doubt whether that would be the case today, so many thanks to all concerned for saving it.
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