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HISTORY OF CROMER
Cromer Pier is a Grade II listed seaside pier in the civil parish of Cromer on the north coast of the English county of Norfolk, 25 miles (40 km) due north of the city of Norwich in the United Kingdom. The pier is the home of the Cromer Lifeboat Station and the Pavilion Theatre.
There are records of a pier in Cromer back as far as 1391, although then it was in the form of a jetty. In the year 1582, Queen Elizabeth I, in a letter to the inhabitants of Cromer granted rights to export wheat, barley and malt with the proceeds to be used for the maintenance and well-being of the pier and the town of Cromer.
In 1822, a 210-foot (64 m) long jetty was built (of cast iron, made by Hase of Saxthorpe) but this structure lasted just 24 years before it was totally destroyed in a storm. This jetty was replaced by another wooden structure but this time it was a little longer being 240 feet (73 m). This jetty soon became very popular for promenading. A keeper was employed to keep order; there were strict rules applied including no smoking, and ladies were required to retire from the jetty by 9 PM. The last wooden jetty survived until 1897, when it was damaged beyond repair after a coal boat smashed into it. It was dismantled and the timber sold for £40.
For a period of time from this date Cromer was without a pier but to end this situation the "Pier Commissioners" planned to replace the old wood structure with a more fashionable structure. In 1902, the new pier was completed and opened to the public. This new pier was designed by Douglass and Arnott and the construction was carried out by Alfred Thorne. The new pier was 450 feet (140 m) long and had cost £17,000 to build. In the early years the pier consisted of glass-screened shelters and a bandstand on the end of the pier. The shelters were roofed over in 1905 to form a pavilion; the bandstand was later replaced with a stage and proscenium arch. From 1907 this was used to accommodate the latest craze of roller-skating.
The pier is owned and maintained by North Norfolk District Council which undertook responsibility for running and funding after the local government re-organisation of 1974. Since that time, the District Council have carried out a number of major repair and refurbishments, the most recent being completed in 2013.
In March 2015, the pier was voted Pier of the Year 2015 by the National Piers Society. Owners North Norfolk District Council said it was "a fantastic reward" and they were "hugely proud of the pier".
North Norfolk District Council began a £1.2 million repair scheme in June, 2012 and the work was completed in October 2013, just before the tidal surge of 5 December 2013. Repairs included replacement of the metal main trusses and cross braces
The pier was damaged during the storm surge of 5 December 2013. However, the repair work just completed allowed the main structure to withstand the main force of the surge, although there was damage to parts of the walkway and other buildings. Decking boards were lifted with damage to the souvenir shop, the box office and the flooring of the Pavilion Theatre. The pier was closed to the public on safety grounds until repairs were completed, allowing the theatre to resume its Christmas show programme on 12 December 2013 and allowing public access to the pier, and the RNLI safe access to the lifeboat station at the pier-end.
An initial accessment of the damage to the pier made indicated repair costs would be in the tens of thousands of pounds, but within nine days this figure had escalated to the hundreds of thousands. A temporary box office was erected at the pier-entrance while the permanent box office and souvenir shop were refurbished. As of July 2014, work was continuing, and the pier's supporting structure had been repaired. Another eight-week scheme of improvements was expected to start in September 2014, with a projected cost of a further £200,000