The end of the pier
I stopped off in Hythe on my way to a concert in Fawley today and took a stroll along the pier. The pier opened in 1881 as the launching point for the passenger ferry to Southampton, just across the water. At 640 metres it is the UK??s seventh longest pier and since 1922 a small electric railway has run its length to carry passengers who don??t wish to walk to the ferry. The pier has had some illustrious visitors in the past, including King Alphonso XIII of Spain in 1906 and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany in 1907 and King George VI, just before D-Day in 1944. The pier almost came to a sticky end in November 2003 when the drunken captain of a dredger ran into it, creating a 150 foot hole in the structure. However, repairs costing over £300,000 were made and today many of the boards along its length are inscribed with the names of people who have sponsored their restoration.
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