Storm Eunice halts half term fun

  • 21 February, 2022
  • On the pier


Storm Eunice forced Clacton Pier to
close its doors due to the weather for the first time in almost ten years.

High winds of around 70mph brought a
premature end to half term fun and outside ride decks remained out of bounds all

The coastline was battered and the
decision to shut all areas of the 6.5acre site was taken very early on Friday.

It had been felt that it would be
possible to open indoor facilities only, but as the weather warning changed
from amber to red those hopes were dashed.

Pier director Bill Ball said the
decision to close completely was made on safety grounds.

“Our priority is always the safety of
our visitors and staff, and it became clear that it was not a good idea to have
anyone coming down to the site on Friday,” he said.

“As the strength of the wind steadily
increased throughout the morning it proved to be the right decision and it was
virtually sandstorm conditions on the Lower Promenade by lunchtime.

“We had a very small maintenance and security
team on duty to deal with any issues. Fortunately, we came through pretty much
unscathed and with only minor damage.”

The first four days of half term had
been busy with a steady footfall through the doors.

But by Wednesday the weather took a
turn for the worse and staff were forced to close some rides.

“Each ride has a safe operating wind
speed and once that is reached, we take them out of action on safety grounds,”
added Mr Ball.

“By Thursday the team started to
batten down the hatches, secure equipment and prepare for the following day’s

“The pier is in such an exposed
location you just cannot take any chances. But we have procedure and protocols
to follow, and these were carried out promptly and efficiently.”

All indoor attractions including soft
play, adventure golf, bowling, amusements, the seaquarium, and dodgems reopened
on Saturday.

Mr Ball said all outdoor areas and
rides had to undergo a thorough inspection before they could be brought back in
use, and this could not be achieved in time for the weekend.

All bookings for Big Day Out Bands –
which could not be redeemed – will be honoured by the pier.

The last time the attraction closed
its doors was in 2013 when the helter skelter was blown over and badly damaged
in high winds.



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