Seaside funfair attractions on the south coast of England




BRIGHTON MARINE PALACE PIER - The only pier in Brighton at the moment is the Marine Palace. If no other pier materializes, then obviously the public will refer to this pier as Brighton pier. Purists will of course refer to it as the Marine Palace and why not. Both are correct, unless and until the West pier, or something on that site that is a pier is built. We doubt that Brighton would support a second pier with the economy as it is at the moment.





One of the UK’s most famous landmarks, Brighton’s Palace Pier, is being sold to a bar chain run by serial investor Luke Johnson for £18m.

The elegant Victorian structure has entered British popular culture with Greta Garbo, Grace Kelly and
Winston Churchill all reported to have promenaded along the pier. Musicians from the Who and the Arctic Monkeys have made more recent appearances on the pier, famous for its traditional fairground rides, arcade games and traditional fish and chips.

The pier is being bought by the Eclectic Bar Group, which has a variety of trading names including Dirty Blonde, Po Na Na and Coalition.

“We are very pleased to announce the acquisition of Brighton Pier, one of the most iconic and instantly recognisable attractions in the UK,” said Johnson, a former chairman of Channel 4, who is best known for turning Pizza Express into a national chain.

“The pier is hugely popular with the British public and it occupies a special place as a landmark at the heart of Brighton.”

The attraction has been owned by the Noble group since 1984. It put the pier up for sale in 2011 but changed its mind a year later.

According to Visit Britain, the pleasure pier is the fifth most popular visitor destination in the UK, with over 4.5m visitors in 2014, making it the UK’s most visited attraction outside of London. The attraction, originally known as The Brighton Marine Palace & Pier, opened in 1899, and cost £137,000 to build.

Last year the Grade II-listed pier made a profit before financial charges of £3.5m on sales of £13.3m last year.

To fund the deal Eclectic Bar Group plans to place up to £8.5m of new shares with investors, with Johnson, the executive chairman, subscribing for £2.5m of them.

A serial entrepreneur, Johnson and Hugh Osmond bought Pizza Express in 1993 for about £20m. The pair grew the business from 12 restaurants to more than 250 and raised the share price from 40p to more than 900p before selling in 1999.

Last year, Johnson parachuted in to help turnaround Eclectic, whose19 bars were struggling against intense competition with even its student clientele cutting back on drinking sessions. To get back on track it has slashed head office costs and is trying to sell under-performing bars.

There are no plans to move away from the pier’s winning formula and the current management team due to stay in place. “This acquisition represents the next stage in the group’s development to become a differentiated operator of leisure and entertainment assets,” Johnson said.

Eclectic, which is listed on the junior market, plans to change its name to The Brighton Pier Group, trading under the ticker “PIER”, once the deal completes.
By Zoe Wood





One of the south coast's most famous landmarks, Brighton Pier, is being sold for £18m.

Eclectic Bar Group, chaired by former Pizza Express entrepreneur Luke Johnson, is set to buy the Grade II* listed structure.

The group has entered into a conditional agreement to buy Brighton Marine Palace and Pier Company.

Brighton pier was put up for sale in 2011, but withdrawn the following year by owner the Noble Group.

Mr Johnson, a former chairman of Channel 4, said Brighton Pier, also known as the Palace Pier, was one of the most instantly recognisable attractions in the UK.

"The pier is hugely popular with the British public and it occupies a special place as a landmark at the heart of Brighton," he said.

"Brighton is one of the UK's most popular visitor destinations, with over 10 million visitors per year, making it the most visited place in the South East."

Brighton Marine Palace and Pier, which cost £27,000 to build, opened in 1899 and replaced the old chain pier, dating from 1823, which was used as a landing stage for passenger ships from Dieppe.

Brighton's Grade I listed West Pier is now a twisted shell after being destroyed by fires and

Other remains of the West Pier were removed from the beach to make way for the 530ft (162m) i360 tower attraction, due to open to visitors this summer.



Luke Johnson, ex pizza express boss


LUKE JOHNSON - Looks set to be the new owner of the Marine Palace Pier in Brighton. We wish him all the very best, hoping he can bring his pizza magic to keep this archaeological attraction solid for future generations.





Brighton's Palace Pier is officially the fifth most visited free attraction in the country.
[Being free to enter, but the attractions are charged per ride or on a Wristband system]

Official figures release by VisitEngland showed that only the British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern and Natural History Museum attracted more visitors.

The pier attracted 4,5million visitors last year - up 12.5% on 2013.
[Operators claim 6 million currently]

The pier's general manager Anne Martin said: "We are thrilled. "We have always been reasonably high in the list but to come just behind the big guys is fantastic.  "It shows the enduring popularity of piers in general and Brighton Pier in particular.

"We get millions of visitors a year who keep returning, so obviously we are doing something right. "And the fact that we are a free attraction - something we are really proud of - no oubt encourages people to keep coming back over and over again."

Visits to free attractions were up 4% overall in 2014. The British Museum marked its seventh consecutive year as the most visited free attraction in England with 6.7 million visitors, followed by the National Gallery (6.4 million visitors, up 6.4% YOY).

The Tate Modern saw an impressive growth of 18.4% to 5.8 million visitors in 2014, but The Imperial War Museum saw the greatest increase on the list, with 915,000 visitors – up 153% YOY due to their reopening in 2014.

Across the country, the most visited free attractions regionally include Brighton Pier, The Library of Birmingham, Ashmolean Museum and Avenham and Miller Park in the North West.

VisitEngland, chief executive James Berresford, said: “It is wonderful that attractions across the country are experiencing an increase in visitor numbers and the benefits are being felt across regions. We know that England has a fantastic range of unique and outstanding product, which generate high levels of satisfaction for visitors.

"Our attractions are core to England’s tourism offer; contributing to economic growth and employment and we are fortunate to have such a wonderful and wide variety available to suit all visitors.”

Tourism Minister Tracey Crouch said: “I'm delighted that more visitors are enjoying England's world-class attractions, especially after English tourism experienced a record-breaking start to the year.

"I'm looking forward to working with the tourism industry to build on this success with the government's new five point plan for tourism - which aims to attract even more tourists to experience our amazing attractions, create great careers, and help local economic growth."
by Emily Walker, Chief reporter




Brighton Marine Palace Pier with the bigish wheel in the background





Super Saver Price Min Height

Turbo Coaster £4.50 1.3m A 
Air Race £4.50 1.2m A 
Booster £6.00 1.4m A 
Helter Skelter £1.00 0.9 A 
Crazy Mouse £4.50 1.2m A 
The Waltzers £3.50 1.2m A 
Trampolines £3.00 0.9m A 
Galaxia £4.00 1m A 
Dodgems £3.00 1.2m A 
Carousel £2.50 0.9m A 
Wild River £4.50 1m A 
Horror Hotel £4.00 1.1m A 
Twist £4.00 1.2m A 




ENERGY BILL - We wonder if the energy used to power all those rides and light bulbs is from fossil fuels? It is more than likely. We would urge the owner(s) to think about sourcing a sustainable energy supplier.



Kiddies Price Min Height

Carousel £2.50 0.9m K 
Helter Skelter £1.00 0.9m K 
Trampolines £3.00 0.9m K 
Mega Slide £2.00 1m K 
Fantasia £2.00 0.9m K 
Cup 'n' Saucer £2.00 0.9m K 
Bouncy Castle £2.00 0.9m K 
Dragon Fly £2.00 




BIG-ISH WHEEL - Super boring is the only way to describe this ride. It's a low budget, copycat version of the London wheel, without any of the city sights to see. Most people who take this ride spend their time on mobile phones, trying to fill the void.



Buy Online Wristbands

Online wristbands can only be purchased at least one day in advance
Mon - Fri Sat - Sun & Bank Hol
SuperSaver Over 1.2m £15.00 £17.50
Kiddies (Under 1.2m) £5.00 £5.00

Save up to 25% when you book online

Pay on the Day Wristbands
Pay on the day wristbands can only be purchased on Brighton Pier
Mon - Fri Sat - Sun & Bank Hol
SuperSaver (Over1.2m) £20.00 £20.00
Kiddies (Under 1.2m) £7.00 £7.00

Road and rail map London to Brighton





Many towns on the south coast are within easy reach of London by car (90-120 minutes) and from Victoria Station by train, (90-134 minutes) roughly the same time by car.


By Road - Nearest major road is M23. Follow A23 to town centre then seafront.

By Rail - Nearest station is Brighton. London Victoria to Brighton (72 mins)
London Kings Cross to Brighton (1 hour)
Direct services from the West Country, South Wales and the North 







How many people visit Brighton Pier each year? 

Over 6 million people a year visit the pier

Who designed Brighton Pier?

The Palace Pier was designed by Richard St. George Moore (1858-1926)

Are there any parts of the original Chain Pier still on the Pier today?

Some of the original kiosks and signal cannon from the old Chain Pier still exist today

How many fish and chips do you sell?

The pier serves around 1200 portions of Fish and chips on a busy day. Heston Blumenthal is quoted as saying: "we are the ‘Spiritual home of Fish and Chips" (Channel 4 programme Heston’s Fishy Feast, broadcasted at 9pm on 14/1/2011)

How many light bulbs light up Brighton Pier?

On a night it takes 62,000 light bulbs to illuminate Brighton Pier. We use a selection of energy saving bulbs, neons and low voltage lights







The Pier can be hired in sections, or even the whole thing, if you have a bulging wallet. They claim to cater for: Private Parties, Functions, Filming, Commercials, Annual events, Award ceremonies and more. They are willing to offer you a bespoke package tailored to suit your needs.

For information about hiring on the Pier contact:

Telephone: 01273 609361


Brighton Pier has food and drink to suit most tastes, from the Palm Court Fish restaurant (classic fish and chips) to their three bars; Victoria's, Horatio's and Glitter Ball.

They have both sweet and savoury food kiosks offering everything from Chinese noodles to sweet churros. You might want to try the whelks from the Shell Fish kiosk or have a bag of sugared doughnuts - a childhood memory of mine that everyone should savour. They also serve savoury filled Crepes, New York Hot Dogs, and Tasty Burgers. Or rty the New Sausage Sizzle stand, serving meaty Bratwurst, Polish and Cumberland Sausages. 

You can take home a Brighton Pier stick of rock as a souvenir of your great day on Brighton Pier. 

If it's sweet treats you are into then they have ice cream's on their forecourt alongside bags of warm doughnuts. They have Churros with chocolate, Rainbow striped rock, sweet filled Crepes and Moo Moos Milkshake corner.

For a bit of fun take their doughnut challenge; can you eat a full sugared doughnut without licking your lips? 







1) Victoria's Bar - Named after the late and great Queen of England this cosy bar offers you a royal view of Brighton's regency seafront, with freshly cooked food, cold beers and afternoon tea's complete with clotted cream scones.


2) Horatio's Bar - The Largest of the 3 venues, this 350 capacity bar is the place to be to watch live sports and Enjoy a drink over the beautiful panoramic beer garden. There is also offer free live music and entertainment through out the year as well as hosting some fantastic parties.


3) Glitter Ball Bar - The place to start your Saturday night, karaoke and all the latest tunes are pumped out of this bar courtesy of the residential D.J's on board. Cocktails and drinks offers are available. There is no entry charge.

To book a table call: 01273 609361




Once there were two piers but all that remains of the West one is a steel cage in the sea. Brighton Pier (formerly Palace Pier) opened in 1899 and is the most popular in the country. Many films have been shot here including Brighton Rock, Quadrophenia and Carry On At Your Convenience. It’s a typical “kiss me quick” attraction with lots of rides and amusement arcades and even has its own radio station. The Palm Court Restaurant serves the best fish and chips in town and there’s a Glitter Ball Bar. The pier is still very popular with film and TV companies and as a conference venue. Schoolchildren can follow the heritage trail, introduced to mark the millennium. The site is also licensed for weddings



THE ARGUS - Wednesday 29 June 2011 - PIER FOR SALE

Brighton's landmark Palace Pier has been put up for sale by owners the Noble Group.

Property firm GVA Humberts Leisure is handling the sale of the Grade II listed structure which includes the entire issued share capital of the Brighton Marine Palace and Pier Company, which was established by Act of Parliament in 1888, to develop and operate the pier.

The firm has not disclosed a guide price.

The Palace Pier, also known as Brighton Pier after a controversial re-branding in 2000, has been owned by the Noble Group since 1984. The group said it has invested £35million in the structure. David Biesterfield, Noble’s development director, said: "Brighton Pier is unique.

"It is a dynamic, modern business based on and sustaining our heritage. Since 1984, Brighton Pier has re-established itself as one of the UK’s leading attractions in one of the country’s most popular and forward looking city resorts.

"Brighton is cosmopolitan and vibrant. It is Britain’s Green Capital with six Green Flag Parks and one of the world’s best beaches.

"Over eight million visitors come to Brighton annually and its status, as 'London by the Sea', the resurgence of British tourism and the forthcoming Olympics represent an exciting opportunity for further increasing the number of visitors to the pier. "We anticipate a great deal of interest in the sale of this world renowned asset.”



Brighton seafront trash collection


DIRTY BERTIE - Commenting on quality report, a spokesman from the city council is quoted as saying: “The water here is usually rated excellent." “It is rare that it dips below that standard and usually only happens when heavy rainstorms wash dirt from the land to the sea. “During the summer we display the results of testing on notice boards along the seafront so people can be confident of the quality of the water’s quality before they take a dip or a paddle. “Combined with a clean beach, people can usually be guaranteed a pleasant visit.”

In total 80% of coastal resorts in the UK were found to have an excellent quality of bathing water in 2013. This was a vast improvement on the previous year when wet weather blighted the south coast water quality. Visitors to Brighton's beaches and the pier should be told that their trash is killing fish and marine mammals.

A spokesman from Southern Water, which spent billions of pounds improving the quality of the bathing water along the south-east coastline in 2012, is quoted as saying: “As part of our continued commitment to environmental improvement, we recently completed a £300 million wastewater treatment for Brighton and Hove and the surrounding area.”



Lou McCurdy and Chloe Hanks


THE ARGUS NOVEMBER 2013 - A supermarket created out of plastic collected from Brighton and Hove’s beach has caught international attention.

The Dirty Beach supermarket-come-art exhibition features a mock shop made from pieces of plastic collected from the city’s beach.

The installation was launched at Brighton’s ONCA Gallery on November 14 with the aim of encouraging more sustainable use and recycling of plastic.

However, since going on display to the public, the supermarket’s creators have been invited by 5 Gyres, an environmental non-governmental organization, to New Orleans next year to create a similar exhibition from plastic recovered from the Mississippi River.

Lou McCurdy, who created Dirty Beach with Chloe Hanks, said the pair had also been asked to exhibit the supermarket at a National Trust visitor centre in Eastbourne and at the University of Plymouth.

Lou said: “It’s been amazing. We have had more visitors to the installation in the first day we opened than any other single day at any other exhibition at ONCA Gallery and people can’t quite make out whether we are a real supermarket until they enter.

“The shelves are brimming with water bottles, juice bottles, milk cartons, cleaning products and a massive plastic fragment pick and mix range.

“We are keen to engage people in the environmental issues and impacts of single use plastic as it all seems to all end up in the sea.”

Lou said Britain only recovers around 5% of plastic produced, with some 50% going to landfill. The rest, she claims, is unaccounted for and is “ultimately washed out to sea”.

With partner Chloe, Lou spent three weeks collecting beach plastic from Birling Gap to Shoreham, going through five bags and 11 hours of cleaning in the process.

Lou added: “We had an amazing turnout for out Rubbish Talk at the Sallis Benney Theatre on Monday night with an inspiring panel of speakers.

“Dirty Beach is going on tour to Plymouth, New Orleans and so on but we want people to know this project started in Brighton.”

A Dirty Beach fundraiser for the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) took place at The Blind Tiger club in Grand Parade, Brighton, on December 17 from 4pm with DJs and stalls.



The true cost of energy drink cans in terms of ocean pollution


Plastic bottle caps kill seabirds by the thousands each year


DIRTY BEACH - is a Brighton-based collaboration between artists Lou McCurdy and Chloe Hanks. The name is a nod to "saucy" seaside postcards of yesteryear and typifies the humour and satire that characterises much of their work.

From initially exhibiting individual works under the name "Dirty Beach", the artists began develop an installation concept - an immersive, fully-fitted "supermarket" that mimics the visual language of large modern retailers but stocks only plastic items recovered from beaches.

The aim of the project is to inspire awareness around marine pollution using humour, irreverence and mimicry to create an installation that is simultaneously provocative and popular, accessible yet surreal.

A truly collaborative project, Tru-Cost Super-M-Art has benefitted from the help of foremost experts in marine plastic pollution (Dr Richard Thompson of Plymouth University) and sustainability (Cat Fletcher, Freegle). The list of project partners is extensive and includes the National Trust, Marine Conservation Society and The Roddick Foundation. The work is rooted in science and sustainability and reflects our combined backgrounds and passion for art, graphic design, branding and education. We always welcome opportunities to collaborate. Contact:





The Brighton Marine Palace and Pier is a pleasure pier in Brighton, England, which opened in 1899. It is generally known as the Palace Pier for short but has been informally renamed Brighton Pier since 2000 by its owners, the Noble Organisation, as it is now Brighton's only non-derelict pier, a term not recognised by the Piers Society or by the majority of Brightonians. The West Pier was its rival but was closed in 1975 and was subsequently severely damaged by fires and storms, with the remaining iron structure being partially demolished in 2010. Historically, the now destroyed Royal Suspension Chain Pier was the first pier structure built in Brighton.

Work began on the Palace Pier in 1891, the inaugural ceremony for laying of the first pile was held on 7 November 1891, overseen by Mayor Samuel Henry Soper. The pier opened in May 1899 after costing a record £27,000 to build. This was Brighton's third pier. A condition to be met by its builders, in exchange for permission to build, was that the first, the Royal Suspension Chain Pier of 1823, which had fallen into a state of disrepair, was to be demolished. They were saved this task by a storm which largely destroyed the Chain Pier.

A concert hall opened two years later, and by 1911 this had become a theatre.

During World War II the pier was closed and some decking removed as a security precaution.

Summer shows with stars such as Dick Emery, Tommy Trinder and Doris and Elsie Waters were held in the theatre until the 1970s.

During a storm in 1973, a 70-ton barge moored at the pier's landing stage broke loose and began to damage the pier head, particularly the theatre. Despite fears that the pier would be destroyed, the storm eased and the barge was removed. The damaged theatre was never used again.

In 1986 the theatre was removed, on the understanding that it would be replaced. This has not happened, and the present seaward end building looks fairly modern in comparison with the rest of the structure, supporting a domed amusement arcade and several fairground rides, including several thrill rides, children's rides and roller coasters.

A bomb planted by the IRA near the pier in 1994 was defused by a controlled explosion.

The pier was renamed "Brighton Pier" in 2000, although this legal change is not recognised by the National Piers Society or some of the residents of Brighton and Hove. The local newspaper, The Argus, still refers to the structure as the Palace Pier.

The Palace Pier suffered a large fire on 4 February 2003 but the damage was limited and most of the pier was able to reopen the next day. This was a fraught period for Brighton's piers, with much damage occurring to the West Pier (of 1866) shortly before and after this event.

In 2004 the Brighton Marine Palace Pier Company (owned by the Noble Organisation), admitted an offence of breaching public safety under the Health and Safety at Work Act and had to pay fines and costs of £37,000 after a fairground ride was operated with part of its track missing. Judge Nicholas Ainley, passing sentence at Hove Crown Court, said that inadequate procedures were to blame for the fact that nothing had been done to alert staff or passengers that the ride would be dangerous to use. As a result, the management team was replaced and began a new training programme. The company subsequently employed a full-time health and safety manager.

The pier was listed at Grade II* on 20 August 1971. As of February 2001, it was one of 70 Grade II*-listed buildings and structures, and 1,218 listed buildings of all grades, in the city of Brighton and Hove.


On a clear day you can see the Isle of Wight from the top of the Helter Skelter.





CHEAP THRILLS - The offending fun fair that is so lucrative that even council officials are sitting on their hands, when they should be demanding a solid timetable for the restoration of the original theatre. The fact is that without this fun fair, the pier would be nowhere near the popular seaside attraction that it is today. The owners of the West pier site are no doubt scratching their heads as to the lack of heritage enforcement action.  Money talks.




THEATRE SEATING PLAN - This is what should be where the fun fair is. Or at least a building with the flavour of the original, perhaps without the seating.





DAILY MAIL 5 FEBRUARY 2003 - Brighton's Palace pier devastated by funfair blaze

Brighton's famous pier was feared to be about to collapse into the sea today after a devastating blaze ripped through the Victorian landmark.

Firefighters tackled flames that leaped more than 60 feet into the night sky and the enormous blaze could be seen from more than 13 miles away.

At first light today the scale of the damage could be seen. Flames destroyed the rides and wooden structure of the pier.

Accident investigators were today trying to establish how severe the structural damage is and expressed fears that the 19th century structure could collapse.

One said: "We urgently need to establish how bad the damage is. If the fire has got at the main structure of the pier it could collapse and that would be a tragedy."

Despite a two-hour battle, involving 10 Sussex appliances and up to 80 firemen, hundreds of local residents lining the seafront watched in despair as the parts of pier - commonly known as the Palace pier - were destroyed.

The fire comes just weeks after parts of the city's other pier, the historic West Pier, collapsed into the sea in high winds before planned restoration work could begin.




OPENING CEREMONY - Shortly after midday on Saturday 20th May 1899 a procession of local dignitaries, including the Mayor and Mayoress made their way to the end of the unfinished structure. They lead by the bandsmen of the Brighton Rifles. Once the formal ceremony was completed the party returned to the pier entrance. The Mayor and Mayoress then entered the pier for a second time but this time paying the two pence toll.



Witnesses from as far away as Worthing reported seeing the fire, which started in the ghost train while more than 100 people were on board and rapidly spread to the rollercoaster and dodgems.

Flames ripped through the rides and part of the amusement arcade rooms, destroying much of the funfair section at the end of the pier and engulfing the wooden decking, chunks of which could be seen falling into the sea.

Dozens of staff and visitors had to be led to safety while firefighters, whose vehicles could not pass along the narrow pier, ran the quarter of a mile to the end of the pier to tackle the blaze.

Fire crews also battled the flames from boats beneath. Incredibly there were no serious injuries, although a ride operator is believed to have hurt his hand trying to put the fire out before raising the alarm.

The pier was today closed to the public. A Sussex police spokesman said the fire started at around 7.20pm and was not put out until 9.25pm.

"It is just incredible that no-one has been seriously hurt," he said. "The damage appears to be extremely severe."

Andrew Phillips, 29, who watched the blaze, said: "The sparks were like a waterfall plunging into the sea. The fire had literally taken over the end of the pier and started spreading very quickly."

Resident Christine Hall, 54, said: "It so terribly sad. It breaks my heart to see this."
  By Laura Smith and Colin Adamson




HERITAGE LOST - You can see from this satellite generated picture, that the character of the Palace pier has materially altered, with the fun fair now being the dominant feature of a nationally important icon. Compared to other fun fairs such as Thorpe Park, the rides are mediocre, mainly constrained by the limited size of what should be the ocean theatre..





In 1889 the Marine Palace and Pier Company purchased the chain pier for £15,000, with the intention of constructing a brand new pier.


Brighton's Palace Pier was one of the last piers to be constructed in England. Designed by R St George Moore, it was to be built solely as an amusement and pleasure emporium. At 1,760ft (533.3m) in length, and boasting a wider than usual deck, the pier had everything the discerning tripper could wish for. A 1,500-seater pavilion at the seaward end was complimented by smaller pavilions containing dining rooms, grill rooms, smoking rooms and reading rooms. Government consent was granted on the condition that the old pier, which closed to the public in October 1896, should be demolished. 


There were ornamental arches for the electrical illuminations, and an electric tramway ran up the centre. Provision for bathers at the pier head, and a landing stage for pleasure craft completed the picture. A contemporary report at the time stated that the pier was "unequalled by any similar undertaking in the United Kingdom". It had taken an unprecedented 10 years to complete, a record for any British pier.


Work commenced on the new Palace Pier in 1891 but continued slowly due to financial problems. On 4th December 1896 a mighty storm destroyed the old chain pier. Substantially constructed of timber, much of the larger debris from the old pier continually smashed against the screw piles of the new pier, resulting in serious damage. It seemed somewhat ironic that, in its final moments, the old pier should strike a blow against its sibling rival. The bulk of the new pier was completed by 1899 and, despite the fact it would take a further two years to complete the seaward end platform and an accompanying pavilion, it was decided that the official opening should go ahead.





With the completion of the seaward end on 3rd April 1901, the finished Brighton Palace Pier had cost a staggering £137,000. It covered an area of 2.5 acres, and had used 85 miles of planking throughout the structure. An ornate pavilion and winter garden was added at the centre of the neck in 1910. Such splendour, admirably complimented by the beautiful Victorian West Pier, and further enhanced by the town’s Regency architecture, gave Brighton an enviable appearance that no other resort could match.

The pier was extended in 1938 but was sectioned as a war precaution two years later. When it was re-opened after the war, the pier continued to prosper. It is said that the roof of the Pier Theatre was clad with the aluminium from the roof of the Dome of Discovery after London's Festival of Britain closed in 1951 but this is as yet unsubstantiated.


Little work, other than routine maintenance, was undertaken until 1973 when it was decided to demolish the unused landing stage at the pier head. Whilst this work was being carried out a gale caused a 70 tonne barge to break free of its moorings. In the heavy seas the barge was repeatedly smashed against the pier substructure resulting in severe damage. The oriental theatre suffered badly, with one side left precariously hanging over the sea, and the wrecked landing stage was eventually demolished in 1975.


In 1984 The Palace Pier was purchased by the Noble Organisation, and plans were announced to restore the damaged theatre. It was duly dismantled in 1986 and stored prior to restoration. But where was it stored?

As is sometimes the case with developers, planning obligations are sidelined, taking advantage of complacent local authorities. The whereabouts of the dismantled theatre is now uncertain. Despite protests from the Theatre Trust and other bodies, the future restoration of the theatre seems to be a distant memory, where the substantial amusement and pleasure dome now occupies the old theatre site - and the owners will not want to lose the income from that installation. The public remain largely unaware that their continued custom for cheap thrill seeking is and has caused the loss of part of a Grade I listed structure. Greed (profits and dividends) is a possible motive behind the stalling tactics of this operator - and we would welcome an explanation for the delays. Please respond. We are advocates of balanced and fair reporting and the right to impart ideas and information. It could be that the operators are simply saving up for a big push once they have enough in the kitty to pull the plug on the fun fair! If that is the case we simply need a schedule of implementation to satisfy the concerns of Historic England and others.



A mermaid on the beach at Brighton, near the Palace Pier


MERMAIDS - A fishy visitor to the Palace pier sporting a great outfit, but a potentially dangerous one for the lady wearing it. She cannot walk and so must be carried to the sea for photographs, etc.




The Noble Organisation Ltd. owns and operates amusement parks. The company was formerly known as Formsubmit Limited and changed its name to The Noble Organisation Ltd. in September, 1992. The company was founded in 1990 and is based in Houghton le Spring, United Kingdom.

44 Newbottle Street
Houghton le Spring, DH4 4AF
United Kingdom
Phone: 44 19 1584 5636


Madeira Dr, Brighton BN2 1TW

Phone: 01273 609361
Hours: Open today · 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.


Telephone: 01273 609361

CVs to:


Youtube Official Brighton Pier
Twitter Brighton Pier


Brighton Pier PLC
Brighton Pier
Madeira Drive
E Sussex




Kings House
Grand Avenue,

Bartholomew House
Bartholomew Square,

Hove Town Hall
Norton Road,

Brighton Town Hall
Bartholomew Square,

Planning applications:

Phone: 01273 292222

Building control:

Phone: 01273 292050

Switchboard phone: 01273 290000



FUN FAIRS - The real draw for families is the fun fair at the seaward end of the pier. This is where the income is generated to pay for the upkeep of this massive structure. And that is the paradox, the fun fair was only supposed to be a temporary arrangement to enable the pier owners to reinstate the historic theatre. The owners seem to have forgotten the purpose for these rides, seemingly basking in the complacency of council officials who have been, "in effect" mesmerized by the money. Corruption in local government is such a grey area. Other phrases that spring to mind are negligence and complicity. Councils have a duty to protect the historic built environment. Did you know that. Ask Historic England, formerly English Heritage - if you are in any doubt. Do not forget that this is a Grade II listed building. Why? How can a fun fair be Grade II listed. The listing status should perhaps be downgraded, or struck from the register. That would be more honest. Why not write to your MP seeking clarification. If a heritage asset is too far removed from the original, it loses its appeal. The operators ought to be fined or otherwise made to pay compensation to the nation for allowing this to happen. That said, we like quality family entertainment provided it is suitable sited.




DUSK - The pier is attractive at night with the lights blazing, warming up the planet nicely of course, but lighting is essential for safety reasons as well as to attract customers. The energy bill must be considerable for the fun fair also.










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