PARENTS and teachers are being asked to explain to young people how hard volunteers are working to improve Herne Bay pier, following incidents of vandalism at the site.
Members of the Pier Trust were shocked to find last week that two of the panels installed in the windbreak had been smashed. Chairman Doreen Stone said:
“It is such a shame that after local people raised £12,000 for the panels, which allow people to see through the windbreak to the parade of shops, that this mindless vandalism has smashed two. This is £1,000 of local fund-raising wasted within a few minutes across five days. Youths were seen throwing stones from the beach and last year someone was hurt by stone-throwing.”
The Pier Trust is appealing to parents and schools who suspect their youngsters may be responsible to explain to them that the efforts to improve the pier are for the benefit of the whole of Herne Bay. Those efforts, they say, are due to people giving up their time and money to make Herne Bay a place to enjoy.
Trust members are suggesting that, rather than destroying what they are doing, people would be welcome to help them paint, protect and improve the pier. Ms Stone said:
“We don’t want to accuse anybody – just to ask parents to help stop this pointless vandalism happening. It’s so disheartening for our volunteers who put in so many hours’ fund-raising and such a waste of local people’s donations. Come and make the pier a place for all ages and interests to enjoy instead of smashing it. Let’s start a young pier group – there is always plenty to do.”
The trust is planning to have the sit-in café, stage, canopy and toilets ready for the summer holidays. Water and electrics are being installed in the platform huts and the first four food outlets are already open on the platform. More new huts will be opened in May, including an ice-cream parlour, the Green Door Deli, pet supplies, art work, smoothies, sweetshops and memorabilia. The open food shops include the café next to the bouncy castle, Thai food, Venezuelan Joe, the chocolate shop and, opening soon, Petit Poisson on the Pier.
More than 220 children enjoyed the Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday in wonderful weather. Pip the Clown and Ronnie the face-painter added to the family fun day, with the boating lake, bouncy castle and helter-skelter proving particularly popular. Ms Stone concluded:
“Come on, mums and dads and schools, help us stop the vandalism by our children and youths and help us turn the pier into a local attraction for everyone to enjoy.”