Hastings Pier: A look back at iconic site’s history in pictures

With the pier due to reopen to the public on Monday (April 1), the Observer takes a look at the attraction’s history through a series of pictures.

Friday, 29th March 2019, 12:28 pm
Updated Friday, 29th March 2019, 12:31 pm
Sheikh Abid Gulzar, present owner of Hastings Pier. Photo by Sid Saunders SUS-180619-165338001

Hastings Pier first opened on August 5, 1872 and in its first year was a huge success, attracting more than 480,000 visitors. The pier, since then, has had a tumultuous history, having suffered a fire in 1917 and more recently in 2010, where the structure was almost completely destroyed.

Hastings Pier closed to the public. Picture taken January 2019. SUS-190301-084940001
Hundreds queued up outside Hastings Pier in January this year to show their love for the landmark SUS-190114-140956001
Official opening of Hastings Pier in May 2016. Photo by Sid Saunders. SUS-160522-132447001
Madness playing at the Grand Opening Gala of Hastings Pier in May 2016. Photo by Sid Saunders. SUS-160522-132743001
The pier finally opens to the public on April 27, 2016. SUS-160105-095259001
The pier being rebuilt in April 2015 SUS-190329-114241001
The reconstructed pier starts to take shape in April 2015 SUS-190329-114230001
Hastings Pier after the fire. Picture taken on October 10, 2010
The devastating fire on Hastings Pier in the early hours of October 5, 2010
Hastings Pier closure in June 2006
The hurricane in October 1987 caused extensive damage to the pier, ripping up much of the floor where the pier meets the promenade SUS-190329-111758001
The paddle steamer Waverley off the pier in the late 1970s SUS-190329-111746001
A fashion show on the pier in the early 1960s. Picture courtesy of Hastings Museum & Art Gallery SUS-190329-111518001
The Rolling Stones arrived in Hastings on August Bank Holiday in 1964. The band had to be smuggled to and from the pier's ballroom in the back of an ambulance to avoid the hysteria. Picture courtesy of Andre Palfrey-Martin SUS-190329-111734001
Hastings Pier in the Second World War. Wartime precautions included cutting a 10-yard gap between the parade extension and the promenade to discourage potential invaders. Picture courtesy of Hastings Museum & Art Gallery SUS-190329-111542001
Hastings Pier in the mid-1930s. Picture courtesy of Hastings Museum & Art Gallery SUS-190329-111507001
By the early 1930s Hastings Pier featured a variety of illuminations, which led to the rise in popularity of night-time swimming. Picture courtesy of Hastings Library SUS-190329-111842001
The pier theatre in the 1930s. Picture courtesy of Hastings Library SUS-190329-111723001
The pier in 1924-25. Picture courtesy of David Padgham SUS-190329-111712001
The pavilion and ladies' tearoom were lost following the pier fire in 1917. Picture courtesy of Cynthia Wright SUS-190329-111820001
The mangled wreckage of the pier's pavilion after the fire in July 1917. Picture courtesy of Cynthia Wright SUS-190329-111831001
The crowds watching the pier on fire in July 1917. Picture courtesy of David Padgham SUS-190329-111809001
The opening of the bandstand in April 1916. Picture courtesy of David Padgham SUS-190329-111555001
Hastings Pier in August 1911. New attractions included the Joy Wheel, bowling alley and shooting range. Picture courtesy of Richard Riding Collection SUS-190329-111702001
The Halcyon takes on passengers by the pier in the summer of 1905 SUS-190329-111652001
A steamer by Hastings Pier, circa 1903-04 SUS-190329-111642001
Hastings Pier pavilion's interior, circa 1902. Picture courtesy of Steve Peak SUS-190329-111631001
The paddle steamer, Seagull in the early 1890s. Picture courtesy of Hastings Museum & Art Gallery SUS-190329-111531001
Promenading on the pier in the late 1880s SUS-190329-111619001
The opening of Hastings Pier in 1872. Picture courtesy of Steve Peak SUS-190329-111606001