The thousands of people who descended upon Eastbourne seafront this weekend were greeted by a display of photos and historic information surrounding the devastated pier.
While Airbourne was the main event, the skeletal remains of the burnt-out arcade was no doubt an attraction to the many visitors to the Sunshine Coast this week and for most of them, it was a pleasant surprise to see the Victorian landmark already getting back on its feet.
The hoarding surrounding the entrance to the pier has been adorned with photographs of the town and snapshots of the pier from decades ago, with snippets of information about the pier’s past and it’s imminent future.
Eastbourne Borough Council designed the montage and paid for the wooden panelling made by Signtek. The design also includes useful safety information.
The pier’s clean-up process is well underway and just before the start of Airbourne, the promenade underneath the pier was opened up to the public after it was deemed the decking above the walkway is in a good condition.
Of all the concessions on the pier affected by the blaze, eight wished to set up stalls along the seafront during Airbourne in an attempt to get their businesses back on their feet.
Six of them – Fishing Tackle Shop, Pier Gift Shop, Pic n Mix Sweets, Sugar Rush, Hotdog stand and Daniel’s pop up café - were located east of the pier. A further two, The Glass Studio and Military Bears, traded near the Carpet Gardens.
The benevolent fund set up to raise money for those concessions currently stands at £5652.50 thanks to the generosity of the public. A further £50,000 will be added to that sum, taken from the £2million Government handout.
Up to £10,000 will also be donated from profits of a new beer brewed by The Long Man Brewery and Eastbourne’s Curious Beer Club as a tribute to the town’s fire-damaged pier.