Bangor Garth gets pier of the year award as it turns 125

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Bangor Garth pier was praised by judges for having the UK's "best panoramic view"

A Grade II listed pier has scooped a top prize in the year it celebrates its 125th anniversary.

Bangor Garth is the National Piers Society's pier of the year, with judges saying it "boasts the best panorama of views of any pier in the UK".

Sights from the Gwynedd structure include the Menai Strait and Anglesey, Llandudno and the mountains of Snowdonia.

Colwyn Bay Pier was also rated highly and came in third place.

Judges mentioned the distinctive onion-shaped dome of Bangor's pavilion, adding: "Unlike most other piers, it has retained its Victorian toll booths and visitors are welcomed along its deck by brightly painted kiosks that now provide a home for local small enterprises."

There were once 100 piers that graced the UK's coastline but, with only about half surviving, the National Piers Society was launched as a charity in1979 to help protect them.

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Anniversary celebrations were hit by Covid lockdowns

Because of Covid lockdowns, plans to mark 125 years since Bangor Garth opened on 14 May 1896 were extended into a year-long programme of events.

These celebrations also mark the culmination of a £1m project, begun in 2017, to completely restore the 1,500ft (457m) long structure.

Over the years it has survived deterioration, the threat of demolition and even being hit by a ship, but is now thriving.

Image source, Getty Images
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Judges noted the onion dome on the pier's pavilion

Avril Wayte, chairwoman of Friends of Bangor Garth Pier, said she was "overwhelmed and absolutely delighted", adding: "This is beyond our wildest dreams, and we can't wait to welcome the world to our pier."

Mayor of Bangor Owen Hurcum described how important the structure was for the local area which is why the city council had saved it twice to keep it as a public attraction.

National Piers Society president Gavin Henderson said the award was in recognition of the restoration of a "wonderful structure to its original glory".

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