Nameless and faceless: the pier’s owners must reveal all

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I’ve been trying to judge people more on their actions than what they say.

It can be difficult because I do generally like to give people the benefit of the doubt, at least for a while.

But there always comes a point when enough is enough.

For the past four years I’ve been watching South Parade Pier crumble into the sea.

It began in 2010, with an unpaid electricity bill and a winding-up order issued for the company that ran it.

The pier at the time was still open for business – the arcade machines would still hum and ping and play their tunes, the ice-cream parlour would be serving giant cones, and the Albert Tavern was still open for use.

At the time the owners spoke about their grand plans for the regeneration of the pier and how it would be a new focal point for the seafront, blighted as it was by the ghosts of nightclubs past.

But it seems that every time I run past the pier, which is at least once a week, it is sinking further and further into disrepair.

All this despite it apparently being bought by six so-far faceless and nameless business people.

It’s claimed that work was done to secure the east side of the pier before the remnants of hurricane Bertha hit last week.

And apparently work is going to take place to make the canopy safe, so the hoardings can be removed and people can once again walk underneath it.

It’s only two months before the 25th Great South Run.

This is when thousands of people will be lining the streets and watching the race on television, especially as new European champion Jo Pavey will be among the competitors.

Helicopters will be buzzing over the seafront and the pier and what should be an asset, an attraction and a way to show Portsmouth off will instead remain a crumbling relic of a past age.

It’s about time these faceless businessmen showed themselves.

It’s about time we demanded it.

And it’s about time we said enough is enough and judged them on their actions, not their words.