Boys beachcombing after Hastings Pier fire, 1917

The 1917 fire, probably started as the result of a lit cigarette; these local boys were so excited by what they could salvage from the water that they waded in without taking their shoes off. It looks like they had found a deckchair, which the Pier Master reportedly threw over the side of the Pier to stop them catching fire.

No one was hurt in the fire on 15 July 1917, but it destroyed the ornate pavilion at the end of the Pier. The Canadian soldiers that were stationed in Hastings during WWI were enjoying a concert in the pavilion immediately before the fire, and it is thought that a discarded cigarette began the blaze, which was watched by large crowds, including many of the soldiers.

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