Posts Tagged ‘pier’

Hunstanton Sea Life Centre, fairground & pier flooded

Monday, December 9th, 2013
Lifeguard station moved by tidal surge on Hunstanton seafront - photo by Neal Sanderson

Lifeguard station moved by tidal surge on Hunstanton seafront – photo by Neal Sanderson

The fierce tidal surge that hit the Norfolk coastline on 5 December 2013 was predicted to be the most serious stormy seas in 60 years.  On schedule, the powerful waves breached sea defences in Hunstanton and delivered chaos and damage to “Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary” and the small businesses under the pier (“Castaway Fish & Chips” and “Surface”) all of which are closed until further notice.  (Sadly I later heard that looters thought such a night was a great opportunity to help themselves from the afflicted Surf shop under the pier which had been battered by the storm.) Other parts of Hunstanton seafront were also affected including the fairground and Oasis Leisure Resort.  The Fun Castle and cafe were closed pending clean up and repair operations.  Searles Leisure Resort had limited damage but had  a foot of water in the plaza area.  The situation would have been much worse here but for the works done to raise the power boat ramp and the addition of rock armour in the vicinity,  See previous article about sea defences.

The impact of the fierce waves on Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary left the entire building surrounded by up to 3 feet of sea water as it continued on its way round the Norfolk coastline.  Inside water levels were more than a foot deep and the building’s electricity was gone. Many expressed concern for the welfare of both staff and animals, and later, their admiration for the way the Sea Life team successfully managed to ensure the safe evacuation of almost all the fish and animals.

Social media was manic with people anxious to hear their property, friends and loved ones were all ok throughout the night.  Thanks to modern technology reassurances could be given quickly.

Once things were more settled Sea Life staff retreated to a nearby house and established a plan to ensure the safety of the animals within the Sanctuary.  Emergency services were quickly on the scene and the water pumps were put to work.  Everyone worked through the night and by morning the water had been drained.

By early Friday morning, the huge evacuation programme was launched to relocate the thousands of fish.  The lack of power meant vital life support systems were unusable so staff had to move quickly to protect vulnerable marine life from risks such as contamination.   Specially adapted transport vehicles containing holding tanks and marine experts from The Sea Life Headquarters in Dorset visited Hunstanton to provide emergency back-up and transport fish to quarantine facilities in Weymouth, Dorset.   Relocation arrangements also had to be made for the otters and penguins at least until power is restored and repairs carried out.

By Saturday, thanks to unrelenting dedication by the staff of Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary and volunteers, sharks, a turtle, tropical fish and six penguins were successfully evacuated from the Sea Life Sanctuary and now settled in their new homes.  The Sea Life team also provided assisted in the rescue of seal pups from other flooded areas in Norfolk.

Sanctuary General Manager, Nigel Croasdale, could not praise the efforts of the fire service and his own staff enough in their dedication to ensuring the safety of all the animals throughout proceedings.

Hunstanton Golf club in Old Hunstanton also felt the effects of the tidal surge as the water caused damage to parts of the golf course.  Bob Carrick of Hunstanton Golf Club said: “The sea roared down into Holme and now the 10th hole is under water and needs pumping out.”  Mr Carrick advised that expected that it could take a week for the water to be cleared and restore the 10th hole back into use.  He went on to say that: “as of today there were 15 holes playable on the golf course so golfers were still welcome to play.”.  If you wish to enquire about updates on the golf course then please call Mr Carrick on 01485 532811.

The road to recovery for the Sea Life Sanctuary and the other Hunstanton businesses affected will take many months.  However, this process will be made all the smoother with the support and help from those around them which has already been forthcoming.

Please check websites and social media to keep up to date on the re-opening of affected businesses.  Click for updates re Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary.

 

Sea Life Centre half under water in tidal surge 5 Dec 2013 - photo by Neal Sanderson

Sea Life Centre half under water in tidal surge 5 Dec 2013 – photo by Neal Sanderson

Damaged Surf shop under pier  the day after flooding by tidal surge - photo by Stella

Damaged Surf shop under pier the day after flooding by tidal surge – photo by Stella

Castaway fish & chip shop the day after tidal surge - photo by Stella Gooch

Castaway fish & chip shop the day after tidal surge – photo by Stella Gooch

Where Waterside Bar meets the sea the day after tidal surge - photo by Stella Gooch

Where Waterside Bar meets the sea the day after tidal surge – photo by Stella Gooch

 

 

Hunstanton loses bid for Lottery Funding for Pier

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Posted by Stella Gooch
Photos provided by John Maiden

View into Conservation  Area from Hunstanton Beach 2002

View into Conservation Area from Hunstanton Beach 2002

The cat is out of the bag re the recent lottery bid by Hunstanton Civic’s Society.  The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), having assessed their £7.48m application for the creation of a new Hunstanton pier and two heritage centres have now decided that the Fund was unable to support the project. To date, HLF has made 98 awards in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk totalling £11.4m and it is a shame that on this occasion Hunstanton has missed out.

Carole Souter, Chief Executive of HLF, said:

“Whilst we commend Hunstanton Civic Society for their desire to create a new pier, we were unable to support this project as there is so little of the original historic fabric of the previous pier remaining.  The Heritage Lottery Fund is always available to provide advice to organisations considering applying for a grant and we would be happy to do so should the Civic Society want to discuss any future plans with us.”

John Maiden’s reaction on behalf of Hunstanton Civic Society:

“Members of our committee were disappointed with the outcome, but will accept the invitation to discuss future plans with the HLF.  There is clearly a need for a heritage centre of some kind in Hunstanton, it is just very unfortunate that West Norfolk Council failed to enforce the repairing covenant in the Pier Lease when most of the pier was washed away in 1978, or again in 2002 when the final remnant was removed after fire had destroyed the entire entrance building. Had this small section of pier been preserved the HLF would have been more likely to fund the reinstatement of the whole structure. However, since the 999-year pier lease has another 8 centuries left to run, there will clearly be opportunities to build a pier on the original footprint if money can be found from other sources…”

Hunstanton Pier 1978

Hunstanton Pier 1978