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Lee Tower and Lee Pier Interpretation Board


Following the introduction of the Lee Historic Waterfront Heritage Walk and Talk in October 2006, by the Vision4Lee Steering Group - Market Town Initative, the walks have been conducted every year by volunteer walk leaders, Ray Harding, Anthony Stutchbury, John Green and the late Robin Money, between February and October each year with additional walks held annually on the Gosport Big Day Out and since 2013 on the Gosport Heritage Open Days, with support from Richard Needham and Dr Evelyn Beale.

The talks covers the following topics:

Introduction and Browndown Ranges

Seaplanes at RAF and FAA Daedalus

Lee-on-the-Solent and the Schneider Trophy

WW2 – D Day and Great Passenger Liners

Round the World Yacht Race’s, Cowes Weeks Fastnet & Round the Island Race’s

Railway – Branch Line from Gosport.

Part of the introduction includes with development of Lee-on-the-Solent. From the 19th century onward, there were attempts to develop Lee-on-the-Solent as a resort.

Early impetus came from Charles Edmund Newton Robinson, who persuaded his father, John Charles Robinson, art curator and collector, to fund the buying of land. The modern town of Lee-on-the-Solent sprang from the development of the area by Charles Robinson and his father John who between 1884 & 1894 established a holiday resort on the banks of the Solent. They layed out Marine Parade, a Pier and several large red bricked villas; the railway arrived in 1894 although the line closed in 1935.

In 1935 the Lee Tower, an Art Deco complex, was built on the seafront next to the old pier and railway station. It was designed by architects Yates, Cook & Derbyshire complete with cinema, ballroom restaurant and a 120-foot tower with a viewing platform.

The foreign holiday boom of the 1960/70`s saw a gradual decline in the towns fortunes; the pier was demolished in 1958 and the tower in 1971.  The land is now used for the promenade and remembrance gardens. Noel Coward performed at Lee Pier.

Feedback from walkers is sought by the walk leaders and many walkers have been totally unaware that Lee-on-the-Solent had a Pier and Tower, and from that feedback Lee Residents decided to design an Interpretation Board , which has a brief history and photographs of the Pier, Tower and Railway Terminus.

Planning permission was necessary and the Interpretation Board design work was carried out by two volunteers Mary and David Yearly, to whom Lee Residents Association will be forever grateful.

The funding for the Interpretation Board was provided from the devolved budget by HCC to Lee Cllr Graham Burgess. Bids were sought from a number of businesses and the art work and board work has been carried out by The Sign Workshop, with installation on Lee Seafront by Philip Hendley of Southampton on the 21 November 2013.

An official handover to GBC took place on the 6th December 2013 at 3:00 p.m
















Mayoress Christine Beavis, Cllr Graham Burgess,

Ray Harding and Mayor John Beavis