UK Industrial Services Southend-on-Sea Pier

Engineering Winner

Southend-on-Sea Pier is the city’s most treasured historical icon putting Southend on the map as well as into the record books. The pier is owned, managed and maintained by Southend City Council. The original timber pier was constructed in the 1800’s, it was superseded by the Iron Pier designed by James Brunless and constructed in 1889. The pier is a Grade II listed building and officially the world’s longest pleasure pier reaching out 1.34 miles into the Thames Estuary. The pier played a role in both World Wars, a true survivor with an incredible history and also boasts the first pier railway to be built in the country in 1890, the narrow gauge railway is still used to transport passengers to and from the pier head.

Southend-on-Sea Pier

© Visual Air

Southend City Council has invested heavily in the pier over recent years; several structural condition surveys were commissioned identifying significant structural defects requiring repairs to be carried out to safeguard the future of the pier. The most urgent defects were prioritised and a 5 year rolling programme began.

The anchor bays form the main structural supports for the pier, providing rigidity whilst allowing contraction of the structure. They are formed from cast iron piles, 9.1 m steel beams, 3.5 m steel deck beams, forged cross bracing, tension rings, bull rails, pile caps, clamps and heavy duty nuts and bolts, and washers. There are 19 anchor bays supporting the pier, repair work to anchor bays are phased and the value of the work package is typically in the order of £1.5m.

Where existing beams have been graded repairable and deemed suitable for reuse, the beams will be painted and reused in areas of the pier subjected to minimal load and forces. Reduction of carbon footprint was a key principle with as many original wrought iron beams being repurposed without compromising the structural integrity of the pier. All new steelwork is galvanized to provide a durable robust coating. The beams were painted to enable them to blend in with the existing darker appearance of the historic structure, helping to gain acceptance from Planners and Historic England.

(Content provided by UK Industrial Services)

Photos © Visual Air, Garry Stickland

Image:Visual Air, Garry Stickland

Posted onOctober 12, 2023 byGalvanizers Association

Read next…

2023 Architecture Winner

LJ Works demonstrates how residents can take an active role in local regeneration by claiming land for long-term public use – creating space for self-sustaining local economies governed by and for the community. The project brings industry, growing and community…

Read more

Architecture Award Highly Commended

Knox Bhavan were commissioned to design a house to be a long-term primary residence on the banks of the Thames. This was an opportunity to design and construct a beautiful, flood resistant, energy-efficient house to serve the client’s current and…

Read more

Art Winner

Bideford’s rich history comes alive through thoughtfully crafted sculptures that embody its Elizabethan legacy. The Cooper Sculpture, celebrating the town’s barrel-making street, and the Bideford Merchant sculpture, reflecting its vibrant trade history, stand as galvanized testaments to durability and aesthetic…

Read more

Data Centre

A large building in the immediate vicinity of the Düsseldorf-Süd motorway junction resembles, at roof level, a Star Wars spaceship. The building, which is around 280 m long and up to 125 m wide, houses various IT companies that operate…

Read more