Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Pier Group Pressure

Reader Tom writes:

Hi ECR. I saw an article in the Telegraph yesterday about how they've just spent £51m restoring the pier in Weston-super-Mare after it burnt down in 2008. Apparently it's got brand new attractions like a laser maze, a 4D cinema and an aerial assault course.

Contrast that with the Dreamland roller coaster burning down in 2008 leaving Margate with a car park, and the possibility of a few bob being spent by 2012 on some old rides that nobody under 60 will touch with a barge pole. Why Weston managed to attract the money for this lord knows.

Keep up the good work. Tom.

Well, er, thanks for that Tom. And really, having read the piece I'm still none the wiser as to where Weston-super-Mare (Weston-super-Mud in old money) got the moolah.

Speaking of wise spending, reader Brian has sent me his idea for Tory Cllr Wise's ten grand plan to repaint the lighthouse on the end of Margate Harbour Arm (Pier in old money). Brian says it's based on the official flag of Fannit and would be a fitting tribute to an upstanding member!


Mrs T P said...

Could it be insurance money?
Could it be that the owners of the pier thought it was worth investing in because it is busy there?
The website makes it sound exciting.
Must look in next time I'm on the M5!

Richard Eastcliff said...

And I wonder where the insurance money for Pleasurama, the Scenic Railway and all the other attractions that have burnt down here in Thanet have gone, Mrs T P?

Thanks for the link, which I've added to the item.

Peter Checksfield said...

It isn't often Tracey Emin talks sense, but I think her suggestion that there should be a public inquiry into why Margate failed is a good one.

I've always been curious why "Godden's Gap" was allowed when other buildings in the great(est) fire of Margate were rebuilt (perhaps DrM our expert on local planning can answer that one?).

Readit said...

I see Margate pier gets a mention in the Telegraph article, no mention though, of the pyrotechnical expertise loaned by Margate to Weston-super-mud in 2008.

Margate should try a similar idea, they could call it "a flash in the pan" and walk round it in the name of ART.

Anonymous said...

You should join the National Piers Society.
THey even have a pier of the year contest.
There is also a page on Ramsgate Marina Pier.

Anonymous said...

Why this country has a fixation with preserving so much of the past beats me. The whole country seems to be a living museum. As of 2006 there were 370,000 listed buildings in England, 46,000 in Scotland, 22,000 in Wales and 8,500in Northern Ireland plus another 20,000 held by the National Trust not to mention on top of all this Monuments. There are twice as many listed buildings as in 1980 and three times as many as 1970. English Heritage in or around 2006 received £115.2 million p.a. from Government and £38.4 million from other sources and spent £44 million on salaries. Not only have we got people wanting to live in the past, in this sick society we stop the rebuilding of schools in favour of preserving Heritage and refuse to allow society to evolve as it would do without interference from people who have probably lived most of their lives anyway and want to preserve stuff for their own selfish reasons. I'm in my mid-40s and want to look to the future and see this country get on its feet without old busy bodies interfering in progress.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12.42

(1) It appears that Weston super Mare pier has been restored to house bang up to date attractions like hi-tech cinema and rides.

(2) Your argument has a number of flaws. One of these is that it is nonsense to believe that a Ministry of Funny Walks decided between spending money on old buildings and spending money on schools.

(3) If modern schools offered the solution to the economic decline of UK we would have seen at least some sign of that. In fact they churn out more students of Drama Studies than they do students of electrical/electronics engineering. They churn out endless streams of parasites who study Management or Sociology or Media or Psychology etc.

(4) For example: In Wales at the beginning of its Barnett formula funding stream local press there appealed for Grammar School level pupils to not take jobs in the public sector but to leave admin jobs to the Secondary Modern level leavers. Grammar School students were asked through the press to choose the more difficult science and maths A levels and then to go to university and study engineering or science. Deaf ears. And there is no doubt now that taking a public sector parasite job was the best option for that period of half a century. Look at the job security of the public sector these past few decades (whilst all around them coal and steel and manufacture was overdosed with monetarist medicine and died from the treatment). Now there is the reckoning. The public sector gravy train must end. The lessons of decades of public funding of Wales must be applied to us all. And if you want to invest in education abandon the idea that all can pursue it like a publicly funded hobby. The mass of pupils requires only to be prepared for a lifetime of inactivity. For the more able there needs to be elite education for it is they who might just propel the country out of its decline.

Perhaps Anon it is in fact you who is fixated with the recent past as a model for the future ? When in fact the recent past is a model for decline and must be abandoned.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12.42, couldn't agree more, The past is the past, Nuclear bombs, war, terrorism, bullying race hate etc... not a good example, lets remember the past, live the present, and look to the future

Anonymous said...

Yes I really want to see anything more than 40 years old demolished so I can live in a double glazed Barrett home with a Tesco Extra at the end of the road 12:42. Not.

He who forgets the past is doomed to repeat it, like all our bankers and politicians did recently.

The only way forward is to learn the lessons of history, cherish the achievements of the past, but look to the future as 9:29 said. Weston pier seems like a fantastic combination of heritage architecture put to a modern use, and I wish it every success.

Anonymous said...

Yes the pier has been restored but it hasn't had a load of old rides sited there, it has though had incorporated modern rides and attractions.
On public sector parasites I was one of them for 22 years preventing the importation of illegal drugs, indecent material, firearms, high value revenue goods. I think I did a more useful job than a window salesman in the private sector. I'm glad I left, seems the public sector take the blame for the failures of the private sector. You didn't deserve my motivation, ability to be flexible, to work 32 hours without overtime (it happened). On schools, my daughter is at Secondary School, Hartsdown, and has taken Maths, Science and English a year early with expectations of A grades. One good reason to abolish Grammar Schools, she is doing better than a lot of Grammar School children. Getting rid of the education streaming as it is would save money. Hartsdown needed rebuilding more than most other schools. This whole country can live in the past, I won't.

Anonymous said...

i'll raise your career with an Army career - and yes I will live in the past and future. The real parasites live in the financial world and the odd developer sponging heritage money.