The road to Shanklin Pier, or the leading case that never was

John E Stannard
2020 Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly  
On the night of 15 th October 1987 a huge storm hit the south of England. It was recorded as the greatest storm to hit the area since the Great Storm of 1703. 1 In places the wind reached a speed of over 100 knots. 18 people were killed, and an estimated 15 million trees were lost. In some cases the landscape was changed irrevocably. 2 One of the casualties of the storm was the Victorian pier at Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight. According to the BBC website, 3 this pier was built under statutory
more » ... owers by the Shanklin Esplanade and Pier Company and opened to the public in the summer of 1890. From then on the pier had a relatively uneventful career for most of its existence. We are told that the pier was used for a number of activities, including fishing and clay pigeon shooting. Cruises were provided round the island from the landing stage, and those who felt more adventurous could sail to Brighton or Eastbourne, or even to Cherbourg in France. Regattas and water carnivals were popular, and there was always entertainment from local stunt men, including "Professor Wesley", a one-legged man who dived into the sea from a flaming tower on the pier. During the Second World War suffered a fair degree of damage, being bombed by German aircraft. It was then partly demolished to prevent it being used as a landing stage for invading troops. After the war ended steps were taken to refurbish the pier, and it is at this stage that we move into legal territory, for as a footnote to the BBC website records, one incident that occurred during the plans to re-open Shanklin
doi:10.53386/nilq.v57i2.836 fatcat:vstyhx6zevb75fvb7zxc2pcdey