Latest News on the Pier
Planning permission is now in the process of being put forward for more huts on the Pier and other activities (details will follow shortly).
Works are taking place to make more storage in the buildings on the Pier (almost finished). You will notice on your next visit that the Pier Shop has now been refurbished and has some interesting stock.
Pier benches are yet to be painted and we will be asking for volunteers to help early this summer, along with the re-painting of the Pier Buildings (Shop, Gas Room & Sluice Room).
The last two Leases have now been signed and all 12 huts on the Pier leg are now occupied and trading. The two new huts are selling Vintage Clothing and Specialist Teas, Coffees and Biscuits. The first postcard picture has been fixed on Hut 1’s flap. Pop down and take a look when you can.
Final planning for Easter is taking place. If you can give up any of your time to help, please contact Lynn by email via: firstname.lastname@example.org a.s.a.p.
Next fundraising event following Easter - our Quiz Night which is hugely popular. We can either do Teams of 8 or you can be fitted on to a competitive table. Please send an email, as above, if you require tickets (or go to the Pier Shop or, text to 07767338400). Tickets are £8, which includes a Fish & Chip Supper, or you can order alternatives such as Pies, Sausage, Chicken or a Vegetarian Option. Doors open at 7 pm on Saturday 10th May at Herne Bay Junior School.
This year, funds permitting, the Trust intends to put see-through panels in the windbreak to allow the huts to be seen from both directions. All the painting work has been done by the volunteers and a successful bid covered the costs of the white paint and materials. The fire service came to our rescue and saved volunteers the job of pressure-washing the windbreak by hosing it down for us.
There is still work to do as the funds come in – the window panels in the windbreak and the painting of the front of the huts by local artists from Beach Creative. These paintings will be reminiscent of old saucy seaside postcards to carry through our quirky, retro theme. On the back of each hut we shall be adding a single big letter to spell out “Herne Bay Pier” and we are putting better signage at the entrance for which we have to get more planning permission. Hopefully, in time, we shall also be able to add festoon- lights to the pier for our Christmas market. Anyone who can obtain sponsorship for this, please contact us.
The helter skelter which was on the platform throughout the summer returned for the Christmas Holidays along with The Trusts Christmas Fair.
The current trustees are:
Chairman: Doreen Stone
Treasurer and responsibility for Volunteers: Lynn Faux-Bowyer
Health and Safety and Events: David McCormick
Membership and much more: Aileen Barker
Andrew Cook with responsibility for practical aspects of village
External Contacts: Joe Howes
The trustees have spent a lot of time duing last summer completing necessary paperwork - risk assessments for the leg walkway, the platform activities and one for each hut, an operational manual, the transfer of tenancy for utilities and the legal documentation required for all the tenants’ leases as well as our own. We have been on a steep learning curve and by allocating specific responsibilities to each trustee we have organised ourselves into a competent working team.
We are so lucky to have our energetic group of volunteers supporting the Trust and without them we would be lost. Thank you everyone who has given their time and effort in arranging events, painting, selling Trust goods, manning the shop, covering admin jobs and acting as marshals. This voluntary group is swelling all the time and if any of you can spare an hour or two occasionally please email the office and let us know what you would like to do. We have expanded our working areas this year. We have an office for administration in the Pier Gallery, the white building at the entrance to the pier as a shop and information gallery open Friday to Sunday, 12 huts to manage and lots of events to plan. This autumn the trustees will need to concentrate on presenting the best application for the advertised lease of the platform. This will be crucial to our plans for next year and for ensuring the people of Herne Bay get the best deal.
To improve our management skills, 8 trustees and hut tenants have recently attended a course and have also now been certified as competent to manage safe fire evacuation on the pier. David McCormick, our new trustee, is taking a recognised national qualification in health and safety and three trustees attended a course on searching for funding sources.
The platform lease
The trust is now the preferred host for the Pier and we are now awaiting a final decision by Canterbury District Council as to whether this will go ahead.
So that we are in readiness for this decision we are looking to build a covered community stage next year for many groups, schools and bands to use. We would like to build more retail huts and also an all-weather building for community activities, toilets, a larger café, museum/ educational space and whatever other suggestions we think would be popular. Email us your wish list. With your support we can make the platform of the pier the place to visit.
We are seriously considering a suggestion from one of our members that an all-weather building could be produced via the Royal Institute of British Architects competition system for the most attractive design. Another idea is to find out if we could bring the metal shell of the old pier head café to shore. It is interesting to note how well the Victorians and Edwardians built their structures – it was the weak replacements built in the mid twentieth century to join the pier together again after the war which fell foul to storm damage not the Victorian parts of the long pier.
Rebuilding the long pier
We have by no means been neglecting plans for the rebuild. The Board of Trustees is fully committed to extending the Pier and we shall be revisiting various grants that previously the Trust thought to be impossible to receive. The Board is involved in positive discussions with an international businessman the feasibility of putting forward a proposal to create a Long Pier using educational training as a driver which would require support from central government. He is offering both his engineering background and business experience to support the proposals. We shall be able to provide members with more information as the proposal is discussed.
The Board also strongly believes that by making what we have already, 'the platform and walkway' a vibrant business we will be able to attract private funding whilst giving an excellent attraction to the town at the same time. Proving we can generate income on the pier which will pay for its future maintenance will strengthen our bids.
Retail Beach Huts
We now have a thriving community of tenants in all of the huts.
Scrumptious pancakes with a wide range of fillings and Victorian lemonade and hot chocolate is provided by Nadia in Hut 3.
You can have a cup of tea in china pots and cups 1940’s style with home made cakes and snacks from Stacey in hut 12.
Daniel, a qualified goldsmith, designs beautiful silver jewellery; Katy in hut 11 sells goodies in her vintage retro sweetshop; Ray our photographer is also a bespoke master picture framer and the non-reflective glass he has on offer was a revelation. Have a look – he is very interesting to talk to and featured as a profile in the Gazette last week. Stacey was also a feature in the same paper earlier.
We also have two sisters, Claudia and Alexis, selling a range of goods. Claudia sells ladies’ craft-made bags, scarves and hats with designer style. Alexis sells beautiful home decorative goods many hand-made and many imported from the Far East.
Trina in hut 11 also sells beautiful beaded items for gifts and decorative effects.
Gary made his aromatic debut selling candles, home gifts and seaside decorative items.
We have two new tenants coming to sell new and second hand books and seaside goodies and beach wares. There are more on the waiting list for the new huts – Petit Poisson, a Thai food seller, a whitebait stall and more. We are hoping to keep the goods on sale quality, retro, quirky while avoiding competition with each other and town traders.
When the council have completed their renovation on the wood of the platform, we can go ahead with phase 2 - a further 6 huts or possibly a triple tea shop hut and three other food ones.
Thank you for you continued support for the Pier Trust. We are currently renewing our website through a volunteer with computer skills.
Doreen Stone, Chairman HBPT on behalf of all the trustees.
Concessions on the Pier
Bring your business onto the pier and provide goodies for the summer visitors
The Council have been working with the Pier Trust assessing the mix and suitability of the applications from a number of businesses for a spot on the pier. Beach hut rentals are available for this year. We welcome further applications for quality goods and services with hopefully a retro seaside theme – so if you are interested in a concession on the pier, get in touch with the Pier Trust at The Shop 81a Central Parade or The White house on the pier to obtain the application form.
An hour or two to spare?
Your skills and experience will be appreciated by the Trust
We are looking for volunteers with the following experience who can spare a few hours helping us with – carpentry, book-keeping, office skills, driver with a van, membership, general willingness to give our team a hand when needed. We promise not to over-work you.
Herne Bay Pier Trust, the Trust are sited at the entrance to The Pier within The White house
Opening hours are 11am – 6pm. Friday-Sunday inclusive each week The Herne Bay Pier Trust welcomes interested volunteers to help between Fridays-Sundays inclusive during the summer season.
For all enquiries please contact Colin Barker on email: email@example.com, or Alan Beales firstname.lastname@example.org