The Mayor of Southend-on-Sea and invited guests will attend the official Pier of the Year presentation on Friday 2 June.
Earlier this year The National Piers Society (NPS) voted Southend Pier as their Pier of the Year for 2023 with other famous and iconic piers such as Cromer Pier voted in second place and Brighton Palace Pier coming in third. This year is also nationally recognised as the Year of the Pier.
Members of the NPS were impressed with how Southend Pier’s older train carriages have been repurposed to form seating areas, by the mix of food and drink available in the brightly painted beach huts at the pier-end, and by the enthusiasm of pier volunteers.
As well as the official presentation featuring The Mayor, councillors, representatives from The National Piers Society and invited guests, the day includes lots of fun events and discounts on the pier including Punch and Judy shows at the Pier head at 12.30pm and 3pm, face painting and sandcastle competitions. Crazy golf will be reduced for the day to just £3 per player and £10 for a group of four. Every child that completes the golf course will also get a free prize.
The Hoy Shanty Crew will be singing their raw and rousing renditions of traditional shanties and local songs at the ‘dry end’ of the pier by the train station entrance between 11am and 12:30pm.
The Pier museum will also be offering free entry for everyone on the day and visitors can discover the history of the pier with exhibits from its beginnings in 1830 right through to the current day. The museum will bring back fond memories for some and will be a brand-new experience for younger generations.
Throughout half term visitors can step onboard the spectacular El Galeon, a 17th century replica Spanish tall ship and floating museum which is open to the public until Sunday 4 June. Full details can be found online.
Cllr Derek Jarvis, cabinet member for arts, culture, heritage and leisure, said: “We are delighted that Southend Pier has been awarded the Pier of the Year award by The National Piers society. It is our city’s most treasured and historical icon, and we are extremely proud of this achievement.
“The pier is more popular than ever having welcomed 412,300 visitors last year and 2023 is on course to continue this success. Last week’s bank holiday weekend was one of our busiest ever with over 5,500 visitors just on Saturday!
“We are continuing to see the results of ongoing investment and maintenance into Southend Pier which includes the two new electric trains. There’s also more to do on Southend Pier than ever before with a rich calendar of events alongside visiting ships and trips by Jetstream Tours, and we will continue to invest in the pier’s future successes.”