The building on the shore end of Herne Bay’s pier is an eyesore! It is a huge silvery thing and looks as if it is made of aluminium. The pier is shorter than Bognor’s – and that is short! Even so, we couldn’t get past the ugly monstrosity to the end, so we asked the girl in a First Aid hut about it. She confirmed that the platform we could see out in the water is the end of the pier which, until 1972, was the second longest in Britain being half a mile in length! Then it collapsed in a storm, and some lunatic set fire to the remainder. By the time they had doused the flames, the few remaining ruins were a safety hazard, so they were removed leaving just the ends half a mile apart. The ghastly building on the shore bit has only been there a short time, and none of the locals like it either.
This girl told us that they are hoping for a lottery grant to completely restore the whole pier – we wished her luck but didn’t hold out much hope. We told her about Bognor’s bid which was unsuccessful before the most recent collapse that has still left more of the pier than there is at Herne Bay. Brighton was successful with its bid to restore its West Pier, but that was almost two years ago and work has yet to start. These Victorian piers round our shores were not really built to stand the battering of the sea for ever! We walked on about a hundred yards until we were at the end of the road where we had parked our car earlier in the day.
That ended Walk no.32, we shall pick up Walk no.33 next time in Herne Bay just west of the remains of the pier. We walked up from the beach to the car and had a cup of tea from the flask. I bought a paper so we could read in more detail of the dreadful events in America. We both felt very saddened about it even though we don’t know anyone personally involved, making today’s walk quite a sombre one. As we got into the car to drive home, it started to rain! Not a spot for all the three days walking – we couldn’t have timed it better!