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Calling all Teddy Boys and Girls: the Clevedon Pier roadshow needs you!

Image of Clevedon Pier open day

Clevedon Pier is the only operational Grade I-listed pier in the country Sansum

Press release issued: 10 August 2015

Were you one of the Teddy Boys or Girls who danced the night away at the Clevedon Pier dance hall? Do you remember the Wurlitzer juke box on the pier? What were the hit tunes you enjoyed at the time? What memories do you have of fun times on the pier? Anyone with memories and anecdotes of the Clevedon Pier is invited to come along to an open day at the pier on Friday 14 August as part of the People’s Pier Project, a study into the popular culture of seaside piers and how they fit with today’s society.

The project, led by the University of Brighton in collaboration with the Universities of Bristol, Kent and Edinburgh, aims to investigate how piers are changing from pleasure palaces with gambling machines and rides to hubs for hosting community events, including pop-up cinemas, music and food festivals.

The researchers are keen to interview people who remember Clevedon Pier over the years and collect stories, memories and information about life on the pier in the post-war era.  

Project leader, Dr Olu Jenzen of the University of Brighton said: “We’ll be pitching up Antiques Roadshow-style on the pier to record people’s stories and memorabilia.  We’re hoping for lots of memories, perhaps some photographs, and lots of stories from both enthusiasts and the occasional visitor.

“We’re looking to interview people who remember Clevedon Pier over the years to help us document the pier’s changing impact on our local society.  So do come and share your memories and anecdotes of Clevedon Pier with us on the Open Day.”

A team from the universities will be on hand to interview anyone who wants to talk about their memories of the pier and Clevedon.  They would also like, with the owners’ permission, to make digital copies of any photographs brought along.

Dr Nick Nourse of the University of Bristol said: “No matter how unimportant you think your memories may be, together they can build a documented record of the past – and present – impact of the pier on our lives. And if you come along we will give you free access to the pier too.”

The event takes place on Friday 14 August at Clevedon Pier and at No 4 The Beach (Pier shop) from 2pm onwards – all you need do is turn up and talk.

Further information

About the People’s Pier Project

The People’s Pier Project aims to document the rich popular culture of pleasure piers by focussing on two Victorian piers: Clevedon Pier in Somerset and Hastings Pier in East Sussex.  The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has provided £48,000 for early career researchers to help with the project which started in May and runs for ten months.  The project is working with a number of community groups including the Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust and the Hastings Pier Charity

About The Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust

The Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust raised the funds to help rebuild and repair the 1869 pier between 1984 and 1998 after its partial collapse in 1970.  It is currently constructing visitor facilities with grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Coastal Communities Fund, amongst others, and will launch a community share scheme on 14 August – the same day as the roadshow event – to raise the remaining money needed to complete the project.  Clevedon Pier is the only operational Grade I-listed pier in the country.  Please visit Clevedon Pier for further details about the community share option.

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