Supporters take first step towards restoring pier to former glory

C141501-1 Bog Jan15 Coffee  phot kate''Jan Malpass who organized the first coffee morning for the Pier Trust.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C141501-1 SUS-150701-144501001
C141501-1 Bog Jan15 Coffee phot kate''Jan Malpass who organized the first coffee morning for the Pier Trust.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C141501-1 SUS-150701-144501001

PIER enthusiasts have been boosted by their first regular coffee morning.

A bumper turnout of some 35 supporters filled the gallery at the Regis Centre for the initial event by 
the Friends of Bognor Regis Pier.

Bognorian Lyn Debenham was among them. She said: “I have fond memories of the pier. It was part of my family holidays. I would be there most days of the summer holidays.

“I always used to hope my uncle or aunt would come down and I would go on the little train on the pier with them.”

Lyn, 63, of Felpham, said she could remember seeing divers plunge into the sea off the diving board at the landing stage off the pier’s end when she could only have been five or six.

She also recalls slot machines there. “The pier now is quite lovable but it’s careworn.

“It needs a lot of love,” she said.

“Whether or not it will be back to its former glory in my lifetime, it would be nice to think people will be able to walk right to the end of the pier again sometime in the future, even if it’s not the original length.”

She was joined at the coffee morning by Hazel Denman, 63, who moved to Aldwick three years ago.

“When people think of Bognor, they think of Butlin’s. It would be nice to have a restored pier so people think of something else.

“The pier has a marvellous history and a colourful history.

“It is not celebrated as much as it should be.”

She said she would like to see the whole area around Waterloo Square improved, along with a restored pier to enable community events to take place there.

“It would be good to have a big square so events like Rox can be held there with a big capacity,” she said.

“There are a lot of things Bognor does well but they could be done on a bigger scale with better facilities.”