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Herne Bay Pier given £14,000 repair bill after storms batter Kent coast

By Jack Dyson

An iconic seaside attraction will have to fork out almost £15,000 on repairs following the weekend’s storms.

As gusts of 65mph battered the coast on Sunday, several windbreak panels and the merry-go-round on Herne Bay Pier were swept up in the winds.

Its trust initially thought the damage would be nominal, but when the group’s chair, Doreen Stone, arrived to assess it on Monday morning, she was moved to tears.

The carousel has suffered heavy damage
The carousel has suffered heavy damage

“It’s worse than I thought it would be,” she said. “When I got to the pier I just felt so sad.

“The whole of the canopy over the carousel was ruined and the lights and decorations underneath it have all been smashed.

“The windbreak panels were also broken up into little squares. It’s such a shame.”

Ms Stone says the canopy is “irreparable” and does not expect it to be replaced until Easter.

Herne Bay Pier Trust chair Doreen Stone
Herne Bay Pier Trust chair Doreen Stone

While the base of the merry-go-round has remained relatively unscathed, she estimates work to fix the rest of the carousel could cost as much as £10,000.

In addition to this, the bill for the replacement windbreaks – which are worth £500 each – is estimated to rise to £4,000.

“This was the worst storm we’ve had in the last five years,” Ms Stone said.

“Thank God the huts are still there. I checked their roofs and they looked fairly solid.

Pier Trust member Cllr Andrew Cook helped to clear up the mess
Pier Trust member Cllr Andrew Cook helped to clear up the mess

“We’ve taken insurance out on loads of things, but it doesn’t cover things like the carousel. We’re mostly insured against injuries to people.”

With further storms forecast to hit the Bay this week, Ms Stone fears the repair bill could continue to rise.

“We’ll be reopening the pier as soon as the wind drops,” she added.

“All the trustees are sweeping up all the broken glass to make sure it’s not dangerous.

Doreen Stone was moved to tears by the level of destruction
Doreen Stone was moved to tears by the level of destruction

“I expect us to open at the weekend, but that depends on whether it’s safe for us and the public to go back onto. We’re not going to put anyone at risk.”

The pier trust has launched a campaign to help raise the funds needed for repairs.

Ms Stone added: “It’s a loss for Herne Bay at the moment, so the quicker we pick ourselves up and get it all sorted the better.”

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