Speaker: Dr Anya Chapman
Victorian seaside pleasure piers are unique to the British coast, but many are now over 150 years old. This important part of British heritage is under threat: in the early 20th century nearly 100 piers graced the UK coastline, but almost half have now gone. These structures face a myriad of risks: climate change, rising costs of maintenance and repair of these aging structures, funding issues, and a global pandemic all present challenges to their future longevity. The talk charts the historic development of British seaside pleasure piers, from their beginnings as humble landing stages, through the ‘golden age’ of pier building, to the challenges faced by piers in more recent decades. Examples of ‘best practice’ piers are outlined and Anya identifies some of the critical success factors to ensure that piers not only survive, but thrive, in the 21st century. This illustrated talk will appeal to anyone with an interest in seaside piers and aims to provide recommendations to ensure the future sustainability of these iconic structures; so that we can enjoy them for another 150 years!
Dr Anya Chapman is Principal Lecturer in Tourism Management at Bournemouth University and is also Honorary Secretary for the National Piers Society. Anya has visited all the seaside piers in the UK, and in her role with the NPS Anya has worked with national and local government, charitable organisations, local and national media, and pier owners to aid the regeneration, and raise awareness of, seaside piers.