Birnbeck Image Slider Photo #3

Birnbeck Pier - the Main Bridge Structure

Birnbeck Pier as it was when brand new, on 15th June 1867, just 10 days after its opening.

Birnbeck Pier 1867 01

© Phil Johnson Collection

Another view from the same day in 1867, this time looking along the length of the pier from the opposite direction. The first steamer to visit the now-completed pier, the 'Heather Bell’ (N.B. - not ‘Belle’), called on this day.

Birnbeck Pier 1867 02

© Phil Johnson Collection

The top planking was originally seen to be lain laterally. At this time there were two layers of the deck, the first (lower) was installed longitudinally, then the second fixed laterally on top of this so that, as quoted at the time, "there are no open spaces to admit the wind or spray blowing up, and thus inconveniencing the promenaders." This system of double-planking was also employed on Blackpool North and Scarborough piers, both also Birch-designed. The visible camber plainly allowed rainwater to easily run off at the sides. This image is dated c. 1869.

Birnbeck Pier 1869 01

© Weston-super-Mare Library

The first attempt at construction of the originally timber-built North Jetty took place in 1870. A storm (described contemporarily as a ‘perfect hurricane’) on October 23rd 1870 virtually destroyed this almost-complete jetty. The rebuild of this was completed in 1872. This next image shows the 1870-1870 first attempt. Material from the original 1867-70 West Jetty was largely recycled for use in the construction of this new landing pier, and it came into full use in 1872.

Birnbeck Pier 1870 01

© Weston-super-Mare Library

These following two images are from c. 1871, and both show the North Jetty nearing completion. (N.B. These images show the second build following the 1870 destruction of the first North Jetty).

Birnbeck Pier 1871 01

© Weston-super-Mare Library

Birnbeck Pier 1871 02

© Weston-super-Mare Library

The view from Birnbeck Island in 1883, noting the gable-end of the pre-pavilion beer shanty on the extreme left and the lifeboat equipment store beyond the shanty.

Birnbeck Pier 1883 01

© Phil Johnson Collection

Next - the Birnbeck Island Pavilions

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