It looks good in the picture doesn’t it? What more could you want in a pier? Well, a bit of length wouldn’t go amiss – it doesn’t actually reach the sea.
l must have been going to Hunstanton for around 50 years, often unwillingly, as my parents forced me to tour Sandringham, Norfolk Lavender and a variety of other boring horrors. As a youngster all I required was sand and water, progressing to arcades and birds as I grew older. Stately homes, lavender and art sales did nothing for me.
It’s a nice place but not really an aspirational destination for anyone under 40. It has a sensory garden, a blue crab scheme (blue crabs stencilled by drains to remind you that pouring unpleasant things down the drains is bad for wildlife on the beach) and a catering outlet called Tubbie’s. The grammar is confusing, maybe even dodgy but the food is cheap and stodgy, and, as it says on the side “Tubbilicious”. Four freshly cooked doughnuts and two very nice coffees cost £3.
Tubby, or Tubbie, is a well-rounded man, though Julia was not totally impressed. Let’s face it, she’s been a bit spoiled in that department. I’m not just Tubby, I look like I eat tubby men for breakfast.
The pier was opened in 1870 and was 830 feet long. By 1882 a steamer service travelled between Skegness and Hunstanton.
In 1939 the pavilion was destroyed by fire, and as there were more pressing things to do, it was never repaired. I imagine that the pier was breached in 1940 as an anti-invasion measure and after that it just deteriorated. They built a new arcade in 1964, which is the one I remember, though I’m not sure I actually remember the pier extending out to sea.
The pier was destroyed by a storm in 1978 and the arcade burnt down in 2002, which is when the new arcade was built. In 2012 an application was made to the National Lottery Fund for £7.5 million to build a new pier, but as you can see, it was not successful.
It was a pleasant few hours, and, as you will see in days to come, the town has a lot to offer.
For now I will leave you with a picture of the cliffs.