This week Brighton Pier marked their 110th anniversary with a very elegant celebration in the Palm Court Restaurant on the pier. As well as entertainment by local musical artists, an invited audience had the opportunity to enjoy a display of the pier’s history. One of the most stunning exhibits was a collection of huge scrapbooks which contained hundreds of newspaper cuttings of the pier’s history.
Beginnings in 1891
The first screw-pile of the new Palace Pier was driven in November 1891, but progress was slow and the construction beset by problems. In 1898 Sir John Howard formed a new company which purchased, and then completed the Palace Pier, opening it to the public on 20 May 1899.
The ‘place to be’
The Palace Pier was an instant success and was certainly ‘the place to be’. ‘Promenaders’ paid two pence each for the pleasure of walking up and down its decks and enjoy the experience. 110 years on and Brighton Pier is in the top ten of tourist attractions in this country. People still ‘promenade’ but gone are the elegant dresses and top hats; today’s visitors are more likely to favour jeans and trainers.
Have you any special memories?
Do you have any special memories of the pier? Did you see any of the famous entertainers that visited the pier theatre. Have you been brave enough to try one of its scarey rides? Let us know – post a comment below.
And if you want, you can learn more about the history of the pier in our section here.