A brief history
The first structure was started in 1864 and completed in May 1865. The building cost £5000. A kiosk was built at the shore end and a charge of one old penny 1d was made and allowed the public to walk the length of the pier.
Sold to what was to become Bognor Urban district Council, for £1200 in 1876, the new owners added a small bandstand. In July 1900 a pavilion was added part way down the pier.
In 1901 a landing stage allowed for paddle steamers to tie up at the pier, but this was short lived and in 1906 it became redundant as ships grew too large.
Ongoing repairs and maintenance became a problem for the council and the pier was sold on to private investors for 10s 6d. The pavilion was closed whilst major restoration was undertaken and re-opened in 1909.
Over the following years, Bognor Regis’s first cinema was added to the shore end of the pier, along with a theatre, a roof garden restaurant and a few shops.
In 1936 a three tier landing stage was erected and catered for paddle steamers and smaller boats. Diving displays became a regular spectacle throughout the summer season.
During the second world war Bognor Regis pier was renamed HMS Barbara, as it was given the role of observation station for the Royal navy.
Severe storms caused part of the structure to collapse between 1964 and 1967 and the pavilion was lost. The pier was sold on to an American Company who in December 1974 closed it due to severe fire damage on two occasions.
In 1989 the pier was awarded Grade 11 listed status by the English Heritage Society but by 1994 it was in such decline that an application was made to demolish part of the structure.
Bognor Pier Leisure Ltd stepped in but being unable to secure a grant to restore it nothing more happened. Severe storms in 1999 caused more damage and another part of the pier was lost to the sea. The bad weather of recent years has weakened it further. The end of the pier had to be removed for safety reasons leaving the pier's length a fraction of what it once was.