Remembering the glory days when St Leonards Pier was big attraction

St Leonards Pier 2 SUS-170221-121649001
St Leonards Pier 2 SUS-170221-121649001

Gone - and nearly forgotten is the theme of a talk on the long-vanished St Leonards Pier.

It is being given by local author and historian Steve Peak, who wrote the recently published book on the history of the two piers.

It takes place at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Bohemia Road, on Sunday February 26 at 2pm.

The illustrated talk will feature many rare images of St Leonards Pier.

St Leonards Pier was a popular attraction in the years after the First World War and its facilities attracted many new visitors to the town.

The pier was re-launched as ‘The New palace Pier’ in 1934 and boasted a striking new Art Deco style frontage as well as dances and bands every day.

In 1935 the pier was home to Chipperfields Wonder Zoo, which has lions, tigers, bears, monkeys and kangaroos and claimed to be ‘the greatest collection of wild and rare animals, birds and reptiles ever seen on the South Coast’.

St Leonards Pier came to the end of its life as a public amenity in September 1939 at the outbreak of the Second World War, despite 44,000 people packing onto it on the August bank holiday weekend.

The Pier was requisitioned by the military and a section of it removed as a defence measure.

It was eventually damaged by a major fire at the shore-end on March 7 1944. It was eventually demolished and moved entirely by 1951.

Admission is £5 and £3 for Museum Association members. Steve’s book is on sale at the museum.

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