All posts by Jon

Jamie Oliver’s not feeling any pier pressure

Southend PIer

For those who have been out and about on Southend Pier this past week you may have seen Jamie Oliver and his great pal Jimmy Doherty filming a new series of Jamie and Jimmy’s Food Fight Club.

Sienna Miller and Usain Bolt have made appearances so far and following it’s first series we expect a few more a-listers to be treading the pier boardwalk!

The premise of the show is to promote Great British food from their cafe “Jamie and Jimmy’s” on Southend Pier. Celebrities are invited along for cookery lessons to learn how to make the most of all that Great Britain has to offer to the culinary world.

Guests from season 1 included Alan Carr who whipped up a tasty toasted sandwich, Gywneth Paltrow who rustled up a ragu, Jonathan Ross baked up a delicious Bread and Butter Pudding and Take That’s Gary Barlow who made a Steak and Ale Pie.

It’s not all bad news!

Blackpool Central Pier
Blackpool Central Pier

Recent media reports about the declining piers around the UK has led to Michael Williams speaking out about how their piers in Blackpool and around the country are showing positive signs.

Mr Williams is the MD of Six Piers who own and operate both Blackpool’s Central and South Pier as well as LLandudno and Eastbourne Piers.

These iconic structures on the Blackpool shoreline draw huge amounts of visitors each year by offering a diverse range of activities that has something for all of the family.

Piers are attacked daily by mother nature so it’s not surprising that they have significant upkeep costs.  Maintenance, renewal and improvements should all form part of the piers long term “care plan”.  Salt water, tidal forces and extreme winds batter a pier 365 days a year so need constant maintenance.  With dwindling visitor numbers some pier owners have reigned in their maintenance spending choosing to merely repair piers over preserving them.

Co-operatives UK recently published their “People’s Pier” study – Download Here – Highlighted the fact that some of the UK’s most historic piers are facing decline as piwer owners are “trapped in a cycle of neglectful ownership with only periodic attempts at conservation.”

In response to this Michael Williams said that “Some of the piers deteriorating are in towns where footfall has declined.

“From our point of view in Blackpool, numbers have started to improve and the amount of people coming here over the bank holiday weekend was exceptional.

“We have people of all ages and families visiting the piers who come here for our shows and attractions.

“There’s something across the three piers that appeals to everyone.”