Shifting sands leave Blackpool piers' foundations exposed

For more than a century they have stood proud over Blackpool’s roughest tides, providing jaunty music, theatre thrills, sticky candyfloss and all the fun of the fair to both Sandgrown’uns and tourists alike.

By Wes Holmes
Sunday, 15th March 2020, 11:45 am
The foundations of Blackpools piers have ben left exposed by shifting sands.
The foundations of Blackpools piers have ben left exposed by shifting sands.

But there may be trouble ahead for the resort’s three famous piers, as owner Peter Sedgwick has voiced his concern about falling sand levels - which has left scrap metal from generations past exposed beneath the structures.

He said: “The sand is falling so much around the piers it’s showing the bottoms of the legs that haven’t been seen for years. They were set in concrete, and the concrete is on show, it’s dropped that low.

“Since the sea wall defences were upgrades about seven years ago, it was noted that the sand levels were dropping around the piers year on year, especially down at South Pier.

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“We know this because we monitor the steel under the piers and we noticed we were getting steel exposed where the sand had been sat for many years previously.

“With the storms we have just had, it has sped that process up dramatically. It has dropped a good foot in the last few months.

“We have pushed sand back under there with machines to fill some of the space that has been created.

“A lot of steelworks dating back to the early days has been exposed and so it does look a bit daunting. It looks like the piers have lost a lot of steel, but that’s not the case.

“Our structures are sound, but it’s daunting to see how much the sands are shifting.

“If it keeps dropping as it has done and we keep getting these violent storms, it could become a real concern for us.”