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Celebrations underway in Somerset to mark 150 years of Clevedon Pier

The pier has been standing in the Severn Estuary for 150 years. Credit: ITV West Country

Celebrations are underway in Somerset to mark the 150th birthday of West Country landmark, Clevedon Pier.

The one-of-a-kind Grade 1 listed pier was once described by former Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman as "the most beautiful pier in England".

It opened in 1869 and is now visited by around 100,000 people every year.

There's nothing that hasn't been done there! The pier once provided the setting for a Bollywood film. Credit: ITV West Country

10 things you might not know about Clevedon Pier:

  • It's the only fully operational Grade 1 listed pier in the country.
  • When it was being built, three men were allegedly saved from drowning. One man, Henry Groves, was killed. A local paper reported that a dark cloud was cast over the construction "in consequence of this melancholy occurrence".
  • The total cost of building it was £10,000. It was handed over to the Directors of the Pier Company in 1869.
  • It was originally built to attract tourists and provide a ferry port for rail passengers to South Wales.
  • In comes Rock and Roll! By 1957 visitor numbers were in decline and the pier needed a new injection of life. The arrival of rock and roll in the West Country led to a juke box being installed.
  • Part of it collapsed into the sea on Friday 16th October 1970.
  • Woodspring District Council voted to demolish the pier in 1979 but a Public Inquiry over-ruled the decision.
  • In 2014 One Direction filmed a Brit award winning music video on the landmark.
  • In 2015 members of the public were able to buy shares in the pier. More than £250,000 was invested in five months. The Visitor Centre opened in 2016.
  • The pier needs to make more than £100,000 every year to cover long-term maintenance costs.
Poet Sir John Betjeman once described the landmark as Credit: ITV West Country

To mark the pier's 150th birthday celebrations are taking place for a whole week from Monday 27 May.

For the first time in its history Clevedon Pier's Archives are also on display in the Porthole Room.

Members of the public are being asked to share their favourite stories and photos to help form a 'Public Memories' area.