A SECTION of Clacton Pier collapsed into the sea during structural refurbishment work. 

Part of the historic structure, built in 1871, collapsed while works were being carried out to the outside ride deck, which is currently closed to the public.

Clacton Pier said work was taking place to put in a new area of concrete decking when the section collapsed.

It said a limited section was being cast in the far corner of the deck. The aim was ensure the wet concrete being laid would not result in undue structural movement to the existing deck.


Pier director Billy Ball said as this was taking place, excess movement of the piles caused four bays of the existing slab to fail.

He said: “Site personnel were carefully monitoring the pouring of the concrete when the collapse happened and everyone was evacuated from that particular area which is now fenced off.”


So far around 4,000 sq m of such work has been carried out and this area involves 140 sq m.

Mr Ball added: “As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure the pier remains safe and serviceable, we go to extensive lengths to analyse and calculate the integrity of the existing structure before constructing any new attractions.

“Our structural engineers are currently assessing the situation.”


The affected section of the ride deck was a part of the area which had been set aside for the new Looping Star ride due to be opened in the spring.

One seafront worker, who did not want to be named, saw the section collapse on Friday.

“The first bit fell down at about 10.30am,” he said.

“I was just sitting on the seafront talking to a bar owner and then a second larger section fell down at about 11am. It sounded like thunder.

“There were workmen on the pier at the time and they all ran away as it collapsed.

“There were quite a few people around and everyone stopped to watch what was happening. It was quite shocking to see and made quite a noise.”

Lesley Mezals, from Clacton, says it is disheartening to see such an iconic part of the town in this condition.

She said: “It is a shame, because it has been here for a long time.

“Hopefully the pier will be shut until this is sorted.

“It does not help the staff though - but it is better to be safe than sorry.”

Lynsey Bessent, 44, has lived in Clacton for 19 years.

She said: “I have lived here for 19 years, but I have known of the pier all of my life.

“It is sad to see and I do hope it can be fully restored again.

“I was concerned for all at the pier and I hope everything is okay.”

Both Essex Police and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service were contacted but have said they have not been called to the scene. 

The 140sq metre section which collapsed is near where the Stella’s Revenge rollercoaster was previously positioned. The thrill ride was recently dismantled as part of an ongoing project to reinvigorate the landmark with new attractions.