History of Lowestoft’s South Pier

PUBLISHED: 13:04 12 July 2015 | UPDATED: 13:04 12 July 2015

Lowestoft South Pier

Lowestoft South Pier


Lowestoft’s South Pier finally reopened this week after being closed for two years at the seaward end. Journal editor ANDREW PAPWORTH looks at its long history.

Lowestoft South PierLowestoft South Pier

Dating back 1846, a reading room was added in 1853/4 and a bandstand jetty in 1884 - both of which were destroyed by fire in 1885.

Another reading room/pavilion was constructed in 1889/91 and, in 1928, the pier was strengthened with concrete.

The reading room/pavilion was badly damaged during the Second World War, with the remains later demolished.

Associated British Ports took over ownership of the pier and leased it to what was then Waveney Borough Council. Some areas were leased to other individuals at varying times.

A new pavilion was built to the design of coal architects Skipper and Corless and was officially opened by the Duke of Edinburgh on May 2 1956. At that time, even miniature railway ran the length of the pier.

Substantial alterations were made in 1974/5, with the shoreward end building was replaced by a 220ft long leisure centre costing £220,000. The pavilion was also improved.

In more recent times it has faced a troubled history, with ABP closing the seaward end due to structural problems in 1987.

The full length of the pier remained closed for some time while ABP sought ways to finance improvements. After refurbishment by the council costing £30,000, the pier opened to its full length again in June 1993.

The pier underwent a major refurbishment programme during 2008.

The South Pier now has a family entertainment complex, along with a bar, restaurant, gift shop and food outlets.

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