Piers

On this walk I decided I would walk to the end of every pier around the coast. That idea was pretty quickly shot down when St Anne’s pier was closed, as was two of Blackpool’s. Apparently, there is a National Piers Society for people who are far more obsessed with them than me. I’m not going to rush out to subscribe, but I will go as far as to show all the ones I’ve visited, either by walking past them (the closed ones), or walking to the end of them.

Click on the pictures of each one for more info on each one. The number in the caption is the relevant blog entry.


Southport

Southport pier (3)

Opened in August 1860, it is the oldest iron pier in the country. Its length of 1,108 m makes it the second-longest in Great Britain, after Southend Pier, although at one time it was 1,340 but a succession of storms and fires during the late 19th and early 20th centuries saw to that!

There’s not much on the pier, and it is always open as there are no gates.

St Anne’s

St Anne’s pier (8)

St Anne’s pier was completed in 1885 and was one of the earliest public buildings in St Anne’s, a 19th-century planned town. The pier was originally intended to be a sedate promenading venue for the resort’s visitors, but attractions were later added. Changes made to the estuary channels to improve access to Preston Dock left the pier on dry land and ended its steamer services to Blackpool and Liverpool.

Apparently it’s only open from 11am to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Blackpool south

Blackpool south pier (9)

The Blackpool South Shore Pier & Pavilion Co. Ltd. began to build the pier in 1892. It was constructed, at a total cost of £50,000. It opened, with a choir, two brass bands and an orchestra on Good Friday 1893.

Blackpool Central

Blackpool central pier (9)

The Blackpool South Jetty Company started building the central pier in 1864. When the pier was opened on 30 May 1868, it was 503 yards in length, 131 yards of which was a landing jetty for use at low tide. From the start, the new pier’s emphasis was on fun rather than the genteel relaxation provided at North Pier. In the early days fun was provided mainly by dancing facilities, then roller skating, fairground rides and amusement machines were introduced in the 20th Century. It was closed when I visited!

Blackpool north

Blackpool north pier (9)

Built in the 1860s, it is also the oldest and longest of the three. Although originally intended only as a promenade, competition forced the pier to widen its attractions to include theatres and bars. Unlike Blackpool’s other piers, which attracted the working classes with open air dancing and amusements, North Pier catered for the “better-class” market, with orchestra concerts and respectable comedians. It was closed when I visited!

Morecambe

Morecambe stone jetty (13)

More a jetty than a pier really – what is the difference? This one doesn’t sit on stilts but is built up solidly, maybe that’s the difference. Anyway, it was built by the North Western Railway in 1853 as a wharf and rail terminal for both passenger and cargo transport on steamers to the Isle Of Man and Ireland. The former station building with adjoining lighthouse still stand on the jetty. I walked to the end of this one.

Prior to the Jetty was an 1850 wooden pier which served the railway and steamers.

Arnside

Arnside pier (15)

The building of the viaduct meant that ships could no longer reach Milnthorpe – which until then had been known as Kendal’s port. Because of this, a pier was built at Arnside. The remains of this original pier can still be seen on the foreshore adjacent to the current pier. The pier was destroyed by a storm and subsequently rebuilt by public subscription. I didn’t walk to the end of this one as I couldn’t be bothered.

Askam-in-Furness

Askam jetty (20)

OK, I’m really stretching the definition of a pier here, but what the hell! Askam jetty was made from the slag left over from the substantial ironworks in the area in the 19th century. A satellite photo shows just how grim this one is.

I certainly didn’t walk to the end of this one!