Clarence Pier voted best in Britain

Clarence Parade Pier funfair and wheel Picture: Shaun Roster
www.shaunroster.com
Clarence Parade Pier funfair and wheel Picture: Shaun Roster www.shaunroster.com

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It’s the ‘pier-fect’ result – Clarence Pier has taken the top honours in an online poll to find the best-loved pier in the UK.

In a close-fought contest, which was run throughout June by Holidaylettings.co.uk, the Southsea pier edged out Great Pier in Weston-super-Mare by a handful of votes.

Solent Wheel management receiving the award, from left, 
Zoltan Banyi, Jordan Wells and West Manning

Solent Wheel management receiving the award, from left, Zoltan Banyi, Jordan Wells and West Manning

Writers for the leading holiday rental website’s blog picked six piers they felt reflected the variety of the classic seaside attractions and then asked its readers to vote for their favourite.

Others in the running were Burnham-on-Sea, Brighton, Skegness and Cromer.

Of nearly 2,500 votes, Clarence Pier took 29 per cent of the total, with Great Pier just behind on 28 per cent.

Clarence Pier’s co-director Jimmy Norman said: ‘It was my wife Jill who took the phonecall to say we had been shortlisted and they sent us the link to it on their website.

I’m obviously delighted that we won – it’s the first accolade we’ve received

Jimmy Norman, co-director of Clarence Pier

‘We launched our own Facebook campaign and asked people to get behind us, which they did.

‘I’ve probably visited all of the other piers on the shortlist and the 
competition was pretty stiff – they are all excellent piers in their own right.

‘I’m obviously delighted that we 
won – it’s the first accolade we’ve received.’

Jimmy and Jill are the third generation of their family to run the pier since the management company was created in 1945 and they want to make sure its stays a top attraction for future generations.

‘That’s the idea,’ added Jimmy. ‘We’ve got the Solent Wheel here now, which is proving popular, so we’re doing our best.’

The 110ft-high Ferris wheel opened in March this year and was an instant hit with the public.

Jack Johnson, spokesman for Holidaylettings.co.uk said: ‘We wanted to find out which pier our audience felt is the best overall in the UK.

‘We picked six great piers that we felt perfectly embody everything that’s great about the British seaside.

‘They needed to be iconic, family-friendly and in a range of different shapes and sizes.

‘Clarence Pier beat some tough competition to win the award, but with so much to do, all year round, it’s easy to see why almost one in three voted for it in our online survey.

‘I certainly know where I’ll be going the next time I’m in Portsmouth.’