Get a quick quote
Silk Thistle Wedding Insurance Silk Thistle Wedding Insurance
Latest News

Eastbourne fire: Couple’s ‘perfect pier themed wedding’ plans destroyed by blaze - 31st July 2014

A couple who spent more than £10,000 on their ‘pier themed’ wedding, due to take place in three weeks, are forced to search for another venue after Eastbourne Pier was destroyed by fire

When Stuart Pearce proposed to his girlfriend overlooking Eastbourne Pier the couple knew that the iconic Victorian landmark would have to be the venue for their wedding. They spent the next year saving more than £10,000 to spend on the ceremony and venue, ordering in caterers to provide fish and chip canapes, choosing seashells as table decorations and buckets and spades as decorations. But now with three weeks to go they are frantically searching for another venue after a fire destroyed large sections of the Grade II listed pier, and their wedding plans.

“We’ve had it booked for the best part of a year,” Mr Pearce told the Telegraph.

“I proposed at Wish Tower, which overlooks the pier, so we decided this was the perfect venue really.

“I found out about the fire yesterday afternoon and just felt sick really. We could hear the sirens out of our window.”

Mr Pearce, 37, who works in IT and his fiancé Helen Brook, 31, are now trying to find an alternative venue for their wedding, due to take place in three weeks’ time, on August 23. They had booked the Ocean Suite on the pier, described as having 360 degrees of sea views, for their wedding.

Mr Pearce added: “Everything was booked, the catering, the ceremony itself.

“We had done all the preparations for a seaside themed wedding as the seafront has always been important to us.

“We planned to have buckets and spades, fish and chip canapes, even the boards so people know where to sit were all themed around the pier.

“We are now just hopeful we will be able to actually get married before we go on honeymoon.”

More than 80 firefighters were called to Eastbourne Pier on Wednesday afternoon after a fire took hold in the wooden panels of the pavilion and ballroom, now an amusement arcade.

The blaze gutted the arcade building leaving an empty shell and plumes of black smoke could be seen billowing from the building as it took fire crews almost five hours to bring it under control.

The blaze started at about 3.30pm and at least 20 firefighters were still at the scene on Thursday morning.

Mr Pearce said the actual venue they had booked is at the end of the pier, and not completely destroyed, but it will be impossible for them to get to it.

The couple have booked to go to America for three weeks after their wedding, and have spent more than £10,000 on their wedding day, they said their families were now searching for venues in the hope that their wedding could still go ahead as planned.

Mr Pearce and Miss Brook met online about three years ago and Miss Brook, an HR manager, moved from Buckinghamshire to be with him.

Mr Pearce added: “My fiancé moved to Eastbourne to be with me, so the seafront has always been important to us.”

The Grade II* listed pier was successfully evacuated with no reports of injuries.

It is understood that the fire started because of an electrical fault, and the RNLI were drafted in to try and help control the fire from beneath the pier.

The pier was built in the 1870s and previously had a theatre and a “camera obscura” built on it, according to the Piers Society.

Article Reproduced from The Telegraph