OWNERS and residents have spoken of their high hopes for South Parade Pier.
The News reported on Tuesday that the famous attraction is facing a modern makeover by the architects who redeveloped Weston-super-Mare’s Grand Pier after it was gutted by fire.
Concept drawings showing what the pier could eventually look like were revealed at a meeting of the East Southsea Neighbourhood Forum.
Dawn Randall took over running the pier after the death of her father, David Moore, and now owns it along with Fred Nash.
She has spoken of her determination to revitalise the landmark.
She said: ‘I’m going to make the best of South Parade Pier even if it kills me.
‘The loss of my dad really knocked me for six but what he wanted more than anything was to make a really good success of the pier.
‘I’ve been working with my husband Barry – who has been a big part of getting me though the loss of my dad.
‘And we’ve had some great support from local people, our pier security guards.’
Mrs Randall said her father – who started out as a plasterer and died a millionaire aged 70 – was the reason she took over the pier.
‘He was my hero,’ she said. ‘And he made me promise to do the best I could for the pier. I really would love to see it buzzing just like Brighton Pier – that’s my dream.’
Responding to criticisms of the designs in the letters page of The News, neighbourhood forum committee member Leon Reis said the owners were asking for ideas to improve them.
He said: ‘Of the people who actually came along to see the plans the response was unanimously positive.
‘People will support the owners if they put in classy stuff on the pier, rather than just a load of slot machines.
‘It is time we demanded a better quality for this important part of Portsmouth and those at the meeting were reassured that Fred Nash and his partners feel the same.’
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