An image showing the new slogan - this has now been removed.

Bosses of the company that operates Southend Pier have been forced to apologise after a trainee changed the world-famous tourist attraction’s slogan to ‘OUR PIER IS ON FIRE’ without realising that the mainly wooden structure has a long and detailed history of devastating infernos of varying sizes. Fifteen minutes after the new slogan was put on to the official Southend Pier website, the blunder was pointed out and it was swiftly changed back before too many people managed to see it.

Fortunately, a Southend News Network reporter was able to capture the moment when the new slogan was published. A spokesperson for Southend Pier said: ‘We would like to apologise in the strongest possible terms for any offence that may have been caused by the slogan. We have recently employed a leisure and tourism studies graduate to handle our marketing and social media campaigns, and he was clearly unaware that the pier is almost as famous for its fires as it is for being the longest pleasure pier in the world.’

He added: ‘What our trainee was trying to say is that as a tourist attraction, it is one of the most action-packed and exciting in the world, and so using this phrase shows everyone that it is somewhere that people simply HAVE to go. We are currently considering a number of new slogans for the pier, including ‘It’s a Smash’ and ‘A Fantastic Collection Of Planks.’

However, in a late development, it appears that there may be even more embarrassment ahead for the town’s pier. Before the mistake with the slogan had been pointed out, Southend News Network can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that a payment of £100,000 had been made to the group Kings of Leon for the right to produce and record ‘Our Pier Is On Fire’ – we understand that this is non-refundable.