Cromer is best Pier – But we already knew that!

Just Regional
Mar 17, 2015 2 mins read

Cromer has been voted Pier Of The Year 2015 by the members of the National Piers Society. It previously won the award in 2000.

Cromer Pier is in its 114th year. It was designed by John James Webster (1845-1914). Initially a toll of 2d (1p) was levied, rising to 4d when concerts were given on the bandstand. In due course this was roofed over and converted into a roller skating rink. But by 1921 it had become a fully-fledged theatre and welcomed its first concert party, the Rolling Stones (!) Astonishingly the Pavilion Theatre has survived ever since and is now home to the UK’s last surviving End Of The Pier show, which is produced by Openwide Coastal and runs twice daily for 13 weeks in the summer and 4 weeks at Christmas. Such is its popularity that the theatre’s auditorium has had to be enlarged. Only four other pier theatres survive in the UK.

The pier is picturesquely situated below the Victorian splendour of the Hotel de Paris, where Oscar Wilde stayed in 1892 and Stephen Fry worked as a waiter in the 1970s. Children love to fish for crabs from its decks. An RNLI lifeboat station at the pier head contains a museum and shop. The Pier has been used in films such as Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, and will feature in a forthcoming BBC drama series Partners In Crime, starring David Walliams and Jessica (Call The Midwife) Raine.

The pier sustained severe damage during the winter storms of 2013, forcing the cancellation of nearly two weeks’ performances in the Pavilion Theatre. Both the Box Office and Restaurant were destroyed but repairs are almost complete.

The National Piers Society’s President Gavin Henderson commented: “There’s No Business like Show Business, and Cromer Pier proves it! Congratulations to all concerned.” Tom FitzPatrick, Leader of North Norfolk District Council, which owns the Pier, said: “This is a fantastic reward for the significant investment in repairs and refurbishment that has enabled us to return Cromer’s iconic landmark to its former glory”.

PICTURE: Gail Sparks

PICTURE: Gail Sparks

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