The Ambler

Amble's Community Newspaper: News & events from Amble in Northumberland – The Kindliest Port.

Anglers donate to repair of Amble pier

l-r: Paul Morrison, Warkworth Harbour Commissioner, Les Weller, Amble Sea Angling Club, and Simon Baxter, Harbour Master, with the cheque for £300, raised after the fire on Amble pier

Sea anglers from across the country have donated to a fund set up by Amble fishermen, to help redress an irresponsible act, which caused a good deal of damage, and cast a shadow over a hobby enjoyed by thousands.

A fire on Amble pier on New Year’s eve, was caused by sea anglers who failed to make sure their barbecue was properly extinguished. The subsequent fire caused around £2000 of damage and brought into question whether fishing would be allowed on the pier in the future.

The act of recklessness shocked members of Amble Sea Angling Club who set up a crowdfunding site to raise money to help pay for the damage. Since then, fishermen from all over the country have donated to the cause.

Les Weller of Amble Sea Angling Club handed over a cheque for £300 to Simon Baxter and Paul Morrison of Warkworth Harbour Commissioners.

Les said “This is a token towards the repair of Amble pier, on behalf of responsible sea anglers. The money has been raised and donated through Amble Sea Angling Club, using crowdfunding and donations made at Amble Sea Angling centre. Anglers from all over the country have donated to the crowdfunding page.”

Harbour Master Simon Baxter said, “We’re very grateful for this generous gesture from Amble Sea Angling club and anglers nationwide.”

The hole caused by the fire was big enough to pose a danger to walkers or dogs

The pier is owned by Warkworth Harbour Commissioners, and was closed to the public for several days in early January, while repairs were carried out. The fire had burned right through a section of the wooden boardwalk, leaving a large hole, big enough to pose a danger to walkers or dogs.

Footage from CCTV cameras showed five fishermen arriving in a white van at Amble pier at 7.45pm on 31 December. They left at 1.45am, and the fire could be seen blazing at 4.30am. The alarm was raised by local fisherman Chris Armstrong at around 6.50am on New Year’s morning, who promptly called the fire brigade.

It is believed the fire was caused by embers from a barbecue or something similar. They were tipped out onto the wooden pier, and because of the strong northerly winds that night, the fire took hold and burned through a section of the floor.

The pier was re-opened on 18 January with a plea from the harbour commissioners “Please, no more fires.”

Anna Williams

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