Cleethorpes pier was officially opened on August Bank Holiday Monday 1873 and part of it was destroyed in a fire in 1903. The council took on ownership in 1936. The pier was cut during World War 2 to make it harder for German invasion. The timber deck, leading up to the pavilion has recently been replaced.
When I was little the pier was a theatre. I remember the ‘Nolans’, ‘Sooty’, ‘Rod Hull and Emu’ and ‘Lonnie Donnigan’. I also remember the pantomimes with stars such as ‘Peter Adamson’ who played ‘Len Fairclough’ in Coronation Street.
It then went off my radar for a while, until I started going out in the evening in Cleethorpes as it was now a nightclub. I have stood many a time on the walkway, queuing to get in, with the freezing cold north westerly wind blowing from the sea. There was always somebody jumping off into the sea as a dare but usually, quite often, onto the wet sand!!
There was a spate in the very early 90’s of ‘celebrity’ meet and greets. I waited ages to go and meet ‘Reg Holdsworth’ from Coronation Street. The one off the ‘You buy one you get one free’ Safestyle windows advert. (Please do not judge me!) I was told I was too young and would not be allowed in. I knew there was another back entrance through the Paradise Club at the front of the venue. Safe to say I got a signed photograph of Reg Holdsworth!
The floor was always sticky and full of men, usually from the local camp sites, standing around the dance floor, which was of a decent size.
There was quite a lot of trouble stemming from the club and the pier closed and reopened a few times until a couple of years ago it opened as a tea room and restaurant and subsequently Papa’s, a fish and chip takeaway and restaurant.
Right, back to the present! We arrived at Papas at around 5.30pm on a Wednesday afternoon.
At the front of the pier, the old bar has been changed into a takeaway fish and chips and the fryers. The tearoom is still there and it said you could get coffee and cakes and The old restaurant and ballroom has been changed into a very large dining room. We joined a short queue and was quickly taken to our seats. We were escorted to a table for two in the ballroom area. The service was very courteous and we were presented with a Papas menu, like a newspaper. There are the usual meals you would expect in a fish and chip restaurant
We both had haddock and chips, one mushy peas and strawberry and lime cider.
It felt slightly strange eating fish and chips under chandeliers with a stage in the room but I do love the glamour of it! The high ceilings do mean it can be very noisy and maybe some music would be beneficial to dampen the noise of people talking. The set up reminded me of when I worked at a holiday camp and we had to often eat in the large show room.
It was slightly disconcerting when I went to the rest room which is down two flights of stairs! I never realised the pier had a downstairs. It felt so strange as if I might end up swimming in the sea underneath!
The meal was lovely and good value. We did not receive bread and butter but that could had been an oversight! I did not realise at the time that it should be included. We will certainly visit again.
Sparkle Hugs and Glitter Kisses xxxx
All photographs, unless stated, are the copyright of Lorna Liza