The Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth is an attractive pier that manages to mix the old and the modern seamlessly. It provides both new attractions, especially big name comedy acts, as well as an interesting history that few piers in the UK can match. The Britannia Pier is located at one end of Marine Parade Esplanade by North Beach Gardens. This Pier boasts a diverse range of attractions all in one family fun package from fair ground games, amusement arcades through to a small theme park and Fun Fair with rides such as a Ghost Train located at the end of the pier. As well as family entertainment and amusements Britannia has a Theatre that plays host to some top Comedy Acts, Bands and Concerts throughout the peak holiday season. Britannia Pier also offers amazing nightlife with Long Johns Showbar behind the Theatre and the Pier Tavern right at the front of the pier offering Karaorke in the evenings.
The pier has undergone many incarnations during it's lifetime. First built in 1858 measuring 700ft it quickly lost 50ft of it's length when, the year after it opened, the schooner “James and Jessie” crashed into it. Storm damage in 1868 further reduced it's size and in 1899 it was decided that the pier should be pulled down and rebuilt.
Work on the 810ft replacement started in 1900 and was completed in 1901, complete with a temporary pavilion. A more permanent (they hoped) pavilion was added in December 1902. It was not to last long though as the bad luck of the Britannia Pier continued.
December 1909 saw tragedy strike the pier when the pavilion was burned down, the fire seemingly an accident. As it had proven such a popular attraction for Great Yarmouth the pavilion was rebuilt in it's 3rd incarnation, and completed in 1910.
It was to last even less time than it's predecessor and was again burned down in 1914 by, rumour has it, local suffragettes campaigning for equality who were furious at not being allowed to hold meetings on the Pier. It took just 3 months for a 4th pavilion to be built after this latest devastating fire.
Later the Floral Hall Ballroom was added, in 1928. But the curse of the disaster and fire prone pier struck again as it was burned to the ground in a furhter time in 1932. Like the pavilion previous though the pier was quickly rebuilt and the Grand Ballroom was opened in 1933. I bet you can't guess what happened to the Ballroom yet again on Britannia Pier? That's correct, it burned to the ground again in 1954!
The pavilion was again replaced in 1958, but the Ballroom was never rebuilt on the Pier.
Thankfully such problems are now behind us and the Britannia Pier is enjoying it's modern life with lively attractions and amusements bringing visitors to Great Yarmouth. The use of the Britannia Pier Theatre has soared, with some of the biggest names in British comedies showing at the venue during the peak Summer season.
In the space of one month in 2011 the Pier has seen such names as Jimmy Carr, Joe Pasquale, Jim Davidson, The Chuckle Brothers and Chubby Brown perform in it's theatre.
Providing great entertainment for Great Yarmouth holiday makers!