South Parade Pier: A peek at pier’s past

An interior view of the theatre in South Parade Pier's pavilion shortly after it was opened in August, 1908.
An interior view of the theatre in South Parade Pier's pavilion shortly after it was opened in August, 1908.
0
Have your say

It’s had a chequered, colourful history but remains firmly in the hearts of anyone who has spent any time on Southsea beach.

South Parade Pier was at one time as iconic a symbol of Portsmouth as the Spinnaker Tower and HMS Victory are today.

South Parade Pier goes up in flames during filming of The Who's Tommy.

South Parade Pier goes up in flames during filming of The Who's Tommy.

And as its owners face liquidation over unpaid energy bills, casting the pier’s future into doubt, it’s worth taking a moment to look back on the structure’s dramatic past.

Of course, those crises include June 11, 1974 when much of the pier was destroyed during the filming of Ken Russell’s rock opera Tommy.

The fire was apparently caused by a lighting gallery being knocked against some curtains, catching it alight and sending sparks up into the roof which then caught fire.