Boy, 9, lobbying port to reopen waterfront used by anglers for more than 100 years

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Kit Bradshaw

A nine-year-old boy is lobbying the Port of Dover to reopen a stretch of waterfront, which had been used for fishing by locals for more than 100 years. 

Admiralty Pier was closed to the public during the pandemic, but authorities are now promising a trial reopening, however there are concerns about stricter security. 

The relaxing nature of fishing has helped Bryan Adams with his social skills, which his parents say can be an issue because of his autism. 

Credit: ITV News Meridian

His mum Cheyenne said: "It's very important in the way of progression. He doesn't communicate very well with people of his age group, but at fishing he's more relaxed, the adults are more understanding."

The Admiralty Pier has been shut over security concerns since the first lockdown, and now the young angler isn't taking 'no' for an answer.

Bryan has written a letter to the harbour board's chief executive.

He said: "I think he had the worst idea possible. Maybe not the worst idea, he could have just demolished the whole pier - one of the worst ideas possible. Because they took away a community pier that people have amazing memories of."

Following the letter, the Port of Dover's Chief Executive, Doug Bannister, has agreed to meet Bryan, but insists there's no quick fix.

He said: "I can't just overlook the security issues that we need to contend with now and I need to make certain that we have a regime in place that allows any activity that does resume or take place there to be conducted in a good, secure and safe way. I have that obligation."

Port of Dover's Chief Executive, Doug Bannister Credit: ITV News Meridian

A trial reopening day has been proposed by the port, with airport-style security and a ban on blades.

The Harbour Board says discussions are ongoing to confirm a date for the trial return of angling.

Many are still holding out hope for a full reopening of the pier, for the next generation of fishermen and women to enjoy.