Hope for pier investment

From: Rod Came, Brede, Rye

I am Hastings born and bred.

For two summers about 60 years ago I worked at the Monte Carlo Rally on Hastings Pier.

I remember the throngs of people, the red speedboat leaving from a landing stage on the east side of the Pier that used to take passengers for a rather damp spin. Also the steamers that used to berth at the end of the Pier to take people on trips. Because of those memories I invested a small sum in shares in the Pier.

I have to say that my intuition was that I might not see a return on that money because the announced plans seemed to me to be based more on hope than expectation, but hey ho, if you gamble you must expect to lose, and it appears that like many other people, I have.

I feel disappointed that after the expenditure of a colossal £12m there is little to show for the money. Some may feel that the large, windswept open space is an attraction in itself.

I cannot share that view. It is disappointing that sheltered outside seating is not available where people can enjoy their ice creams, lunches or just a drink, enjoying taking in the view whilst protected against the prevailing wind.

An opportunity missed I feel.

My wife and I, with daughter, husband and grandchildren recently visited on a Saturday evening when a band was playing. There were many people there but the cafeteria was shut, closed, not available, as were the inside toilets.

Four Portaloos on the concourse did not give the impression of a professional operation, nor were they sufficient for the number of people who wished to use them.

A fair number of people on the Pier and the cafe was shut. Another opportunity missed.

I can only hope that the new owner has the business acumen to make a success of Hastings Pier – and current reports indicate that he has – for the benefit of the town, the people of Hastings, and those who visit, and that Hastings Pier becomes the place to visit to enjoy the seaside experience.