THREE centenarians helped Eastbourne Pier owner Sheikh Abid Gulzar celebrate an Open Day to mark 150 years since work started to build the iconic site.

Hundreds of people attended the event to witness the ribbon and cake cutting from the trio, plus enjoy free entertainment and free drinks for the whole family.

The trio were Kath Leavens, aged 100, from the Bernhard Baron Cottage Homes in Polegate, John Denerley aged 102 from Eastbourne, and Bill Frankland, 104 and from London.

Mr Gulzar said: "It was a very emotional afternoon for me and I felt so honoured. We held a ceremony with speeches and thanks from myself to everyone present, and I had already welcomed Kath and John.

"Then, incredibly, this gentleman walked in, I said ‘good day sir’ and he replied ‘good afternoon, and I am 104.’ Everyone gave him a very big clap."

Mr Frankland – a doctor and former prisoner of war - lives in London and was staying at the Cumberland Hotel along Eastbourne seafront for a weekend conference.

"I gave them all presents and thanked them for joining me on this wonderful occasion," added Mr Gulzar.

"They all deserved it, they are all 100 and over and us younger people should be grateful for their very long lives and what they have done in the past to help this wonderful country.’

The Open Day proved very popular despite poor weather at times, and Mr Gulzar said he was delighted so many members of the public were present.

"I was very pleased. It was very busy, and I am sure they could see the improvements we have made to the pier.

"Our MP Caroline Ansell spent three hours with us, and I am very grateful to her for that.

"It may have rained a little, but not much. We served hundreds of free tea, coffee and Lions Lager. Why not, it made people happy, and that is what I like to do.

"And the big birthday cake. Every slice was eaten by the public, and that was nice too.

"Thank you Eastbourne and thank you Sussex."