i360 construction latest, Profile of Roger Harwell,  Public Consultation, HLF Application, Andy Durr, West Pier Art
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i360 Groundworks

Excellent progress was made through the autumn diverting services to make way for i360 piling


After a break in activity with the distraction of Christmas which saw us bump our December newsletter, we’d like to wish you all a slightly belated Happy New Year!  We return with renewed vigour and excitement at the next phase of i360 construction works and a resumption of West Pier business including the ongoing consultation process into options for a new pier, now open to public comment.  Do check the website for details.

January saw the climax and completion of the sewer diversion work with the connection of the old and new pipes overnight and at weekends towards the end of the month. Ruth Chapman, Brighton i360's community liaison officer, is keeping local residents up to date on this work as it is one of the few occasions when there has been activity on site during anti social hours. For details on the dates please click here. More news is available in the monthly newsletter - here is January's issue and even more information on the wider story behind the i360 is found in the blog

Roger Hartwell

Continuing with our mission to acquaint you with the people behind the Trust’s Board, we’d like to introduce Roger Hartwell, retired Solicitor and our go-to authority on all matters legal.  
Roger was born in Horsham but spent his childhood and formative years in Banbury, Oxfordshire.  While he declares he applied to take a law degree for youthful want of direction, he clearly displayed keen intellect, gaining a place at the coveted University of Bristol and qualifying in 1963. Roger returned to Sussex where he gained his articles through Worthing Corporation and was admitted as a solicitor in 1966.  After a number of years working for Brighton Borough Council, followed by two years as Chief Prosecuting Solicitor, he joined Donne, Mileham and Haddock opening their Worthing Office in 1971. 
Having specialised in criminal litigation, he exercises the utmost professional discretion when coaxed about his role in litigating over headline homicides, prosecuting Brighton’s grimy underworld or evidencing fraudulent swindlers.  But we did manage to prise a lovely story about his successful prosecution of a certain Mr Dick Emery for ‘buzzing’ the pier; the illegal practice of flying a light aircraft too low in a built up area causing a public nuisance.  It would seem Mr Emery’s mischief was not reserved for the television.  Roger reveals that police procedure and criminal investigation at that time bore all too canny a resemblance to the TV series ‘Life on Mars’, all Ford Granada’s, finger prints and a whole lot of tenacity without todays forensic conveniences.
Roger has been a Worthing man for most of his life, raising two children with his wife Rosemary and contributing enormous energy to local clubs and voluntary organisations.   Former President of Worthing Lions and Rotary Clubs, President of  Worthing Law society and non-executive Director of Worthing and District Health authority are just a few of  the roles he’s  undertaken over the  years and with characteristic modesty.  He was recruited to the Trust Board by the late Terry Whitney who had served on the Trust Board for many years and has been critical in offering advice since 2008. His love for Victoriana extends beyond the Pier to The Bluebell Railway where he’s a regular visitor and member for over 10 years.  A font of information in so many respects, he peppers conversation with joyful, ‘who knew?’ facts.  Brighton station, that other gleaming example of fine structural ironwork is an exact replica of Victoria Station!  Who knew?!












New Pier Options - the consultation widens

After reporting to the AGM on the members' consultation on ideas for a new West Pier, we invited the general public to send us their views. This is happening via our website where people can respond to a short questionnaire  . We're receiving lots of feedback and some interesting ideas. Meanwhile we are also meeting local amenity groups and businesses to hear their views. The consultation will run until the end of February when the Board will produce a report on its findings. This in turn will lead to the creation of a development brief for a new pier.

HLF Application

Very disappointingly our application for funding towards the restoration of the salvaged, dismantled 1866 kiosk as a heritage centre was turned down just before Christmas. We still believe we had a very strong application but the competition was steep. Ours was one of nine recommended projects where only one could receive funding. The Trust's long history of trials and tribulations means at least we're used to setbacks and we have no intention of giving up on the project. The Board's heritage sub-group has met to discuss the best way forward. It's agreed that the kiosk, which is the oldest surviving pier building in the UK, must be secured and work will begin on finding alternative sources of funding. The first step will be to commission a new condition report to give us a completely up to date estimate on costs. We hope to be able to progress the work as quickly as possible but realistically the project is likely to take longer without HLF backing.The fact that the i360 scheme includes the restoration of the eastern toll booth (the Rock Shop) and replication of the western one is therefore especially pleasing since both buildings will be up and running with the attraction in 2016.

Andy Durr

As some of you will already know, Andy Durr, long-term West Pier Trust Board member, Mayor and Labour Councillor died on Sunday 7th December after a long illness. Andy was the founder of the Brighton Fishing Museum and regarded as largely responsible for spearheading the regeneration of the seafront between the two piers. Andy contributed tireless energy and enormous personality to the West Pier Trust for many years and will be sorely missed. Here's the Argus piece about Andy.


West Pier Art

Maria Kuipers' West Pier Art exhibition ran 12th - 18th January at the Jubilee Library, Brighton. Maria  received funding from the Arts Council to create a body of work that reflects the changing landscape of the West Pier and i360 site and during August and September held workshops on the West Pier beach that many of you attended. A wonderful project that captures how powerful a symbol the pier is for so many people. 
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