It was organised at short notice but the protest staged on Hastings Pier tonight looks so-far to have been a bit of a damp squib.
Hastings is a town of almost 100,000 people yet by just before 7pm tonight only a few hundred had turned up to register their protest at the news today that it’s likely that within the next two days Sheikh Abid Gulzar, controversial owner of eastbourne Pier, will be announced as the successful bidder for Hastings Pier.
Pier staff and the Friends of Hastings Pier (FoHP) pressure group hurriedly put together plans for a demonstration including live music which started at 6pm this evening.
Mr Gulzar’s bid for Hastings pier has not been welcomed by those who want to see the purity of Hastings pier retained and who want to see the Victorian structure – restored at a cost of more than £14m after the devastating fire of 2010 – kept under community control. However writing on social media tonight one local man, Darren McCann, said: “We should all just be happy that someone actually wants to buy it and take it on long term. Whether he likes gold or pink doesn’t and shouldn’t matter, it just matters that he’s made a success of Eastbourne pier and it brings in tourism and something for the locals too. Let the guy run it and give him a chance.”
Members of the FoHP group were still hoping the rumour was without foundation one claiming there was “…some serious scaremongering going on here.”
Hastings In Focus understands that an announcement on the future of the pier will be made by administrators Smith and Williamson either tomorrow or Friday.
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