14 May 2021
Today (14th May 2021) Bangor Garth Pier celebrates its 125th year anniversary. On this day in 1896, Lord Penrhyn officially opened the pier following a procession through the city and a crowd of over 5,000 people assembled to watch the opening ceremony. This year, the situation is markedly different. A large-scale event is not possible due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however celebrations proceed nonetheless. At 11am, the Mayor of Bangor Cllr Owen Hurcum will unveil a new plaque commemorating the 125th year anniversary. Following social distancing rules, the Mayor will be joined by other members of Bangor City Council, kioskholders and representatives of Friends of Bangor Garth Pier (FGBP), a new volunteer group working with the City Council to provide help and support to visitors on the pier and ensure that the pier thrives and has a sustainable future.
Ahead of the important date, Mayor of Bangor Cllr Owen Hurcum said “Our pier is the jewel in the crown of our great city, affording all who venture upon it some of the finest views imaginable. It has stood as an asset to our city for over 125 years, and it has served the people of this city throughout this time. The pier has faced numerous challenges throughout its journey and perhaps none more-so than the recent structural repairs that have seen an incredible investment of over £1.8m to ensure the survival of this structure for the next 125 years.”
“We can’t turn out as a city today to celebrate its momentous anniversary, but we can, and we will, celebrate the pier in our own way moving forward. The pier is in the lifeblood of this city, it’s part of Bangor’s hiraeth and I very much look forward to seeing its history to come.”
Avril Wayte, Chair of Friends of Bangor Garth Pier, said:
“It is a huge privilege for us to be involved with Bangor Garth pier, and play a pivotal role in protecting the pier for the future, especially so as we are enabling the local community to take part in that process. Our pier - owned by the City Council and loved by all.”
The pier will be lit up this evening to celebrate the special anniversary. With the large-scale event delayed by a year until May 2022, Bangor City Council and Friends of Bangor Garth Pier will celebrate the anniversary in different ways over the coming months. A series of interviews, discussions and presentations on the history of the pier and the area will be published online, with a number of small-scale events and activities scheduled to take place on the pier later on this year, subject to Covid-19 regulations. A Digital Programme will also be published today to acknowledge the important date.
There are no major structural works taking place at the moment. Four stages of the restoration project have been completed, with two remaining. The priority over the coming months will be painting parts of the Pier, treating some of the planks and addressing the Linkspan at the end of the Pier. This work will commence later on this year.
The City Council are exploring funding opportunities with partners to improve the Pier and to ensure its sustainability going forward. The 125th anniversary of the Pier takes place on 14th May 2021. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, a large-scale event will not be possible however the Council is looking at alternative arrangements, with further details to be published closer to the date.
The latest Welsh Government national restrictions to reduce the spread of the Covid 19 virus (Coronavirus) come into force on Friday 23rd October 2020. To encourage people to enjoy the outdoors and to facilitate exercise Bangor City Council wish to confirm that the Pier, like parks and other open spaces, will remain open. Users are asked to maintain social distancing restrictions.
Bangor City Council has resolved to repair and restore the Garth Pier which has not received any major maintenance works for many years and is now in need of a refurbishment. The last restoration and renovation programme was in 1986.
Due to the precarious nature of this work substantial scaffolding is required as is stringent Health and Safety measures. There is also a requirement to dispose of all waste material in compliance with the regulations and a Marine Licence application was made and lodged with Natural Resources Wales and a dialogue has been ongoing with other interested parties.
The City Council apologises for any inconvenience during this construction project but these works are deemed necessary to secure the future stability and safety of the Pier for future generations to enjoy.
Please help us to maintain this lovely pier. Additional payments much appreciated - to help keep the pier open for all.
Image by Nicola Frodsham
Bangor Pier featured in The Guardian newspaper last weekend for having one of the best views in the UK, from remote islands to city skylines, seascapes to moorland outlooks, Guardian readers shared their favourite landscapes.
Nicola Frodsham, who submitted her photo and review of Bangor Pier, said: “Grade II-listed Bangor Pier is perfectly positioned on the Menai Straits and offers magnificent views of Anglesey and the Welsh mainland. Read more at The Bangor Eye
There is a 50p entrance fee and dog owners will be pleased to hear there is currently a trial in place allowing pets to join their owners for the relaxing stroll. There are very few stalls, as the pier’s main purpose is to provide breathtaking views in a peaceful atmosphere.
“Head there on a clear day, during the warmer months, for the best views. It can be deceptively windy on the pier, though, so be armed with layers of clothing just in case.”
August 2017 saw the commencement of a £1m restoration project aimed at ensuring the future of Bangor Pier for many years to come. The project, funded directly by Bangor City Council, involves work to strengthen the structure and also provide new handrails on the pier deck. Significant scaffolding is necessary along the pier sides as the work needs to comply with stringent health and safety measures. The Pier will remain open during the restoration. Read more