Weston-super-Mare’s Birnbeck Pier through the decades – in pictures

PUBLISHED: 17:05 05 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:06 05 June 2017

Birnbeck Pier through the decades.

Birnbeck Pier through the decades.

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Today marks the 150th anniversary of Weston-super-Mare’s Birnbeck Pier and we have collected pictures from the archives to remember its place in the town’s history.

A sketch of Birnbeck Island before the pier was built in around 1826. The gull yeller's cottage can be seen. (Weston Museum Collection)A sketch of Birnbeck Island before the pier was built in around 1826. The gull yeller's cottage can be seen. (Weston Museum Collection)

Birnbeck was opened to the public on June 8, 1867, where people enjoyed a parade and celebrated with flags and flowers.

Additions came in the form of the north jetty in 1872, a lifeboat station in 1882 and pavilion in 1884.

A Victorian print of Birnbeck Pier looking towards Prince Consort Gardens.A Victorian print of Birnbeck Pier looking towards Prince Consort Gardens.

It was hit by a fire on Boxing Day in 1898 and the jetty and pavilion were replaced.

Throughout its Victorian and Edwardian hey-day it was the equivalent of a modern theme park, with rides, slides and a roller-skating rink.

1871, before either of the boating jetties were built.1871, before either of the boating jetties were built.

It was used as a naval base in World War Two where the bouncing bomb was tested.

The final steamer ship, the MV Balmoral, visited the pier in 1979.

The 1881 Lifeboat Station with a launch taking place the lifeboat was oared).The 1881 Lifeboat Station with a launch taking place the lifeboat was oared).

MORE: Birnbeck Pier’s role in the Bouncing Bomb and Dam Busters raid

1890s - Birnbeck from Birkett Road.1890s - Birnbeck from Birkett Road.

In 2013, the last remaining user of the pier, the RNLI, was forced to leave as the walkway had become too dangerous.

Birnbeck in the 1890s from the Toll Road.Birnbeck in the 1890s from the Toll Road.

Before the 1897 fire.Before the 1897 fire.

Boxing Day 1897 fire - possibly the only picture depiciting that event. (Weston Museum Collection)Boxing Day 1897 fire - possibly the only picture depiciting that event. (Weston Museum Collection)

Birnbeck in the 1890s.Birnbeck in the 1890s.

An Edwardian shot. The south jetty was built to accommodate ships at all stages of the tide but wasn't successful and was demolished during World War One.An Edwardian shot. The south jetty was built to accommodate ships at all stages of the tide but wasn't successful and was demolished during World War One.

Birnbeck Pier's south jetty in 1909.Birnbeck Pier's south jetty in 1909.

RNLB Colonel Stock launches down the slipway c.1910. The Grand Pier's extension can be seen in the distance (Weston Museum collection)RNLB Colonel Stock launches down the slipway c.1910. The Grand Pier's extension can be seen in the distance (Weston Museum collection)

1940s Aerofilm showing flight marker for aircraft dropping experimental bouncing bombs World War Two.1940s Aerofilm showing flight marker for aircraft dropping experimental bouncing bombs World War Two.

Birnbeck Pier in the 1940s or 1950s.Birnbeck Pier in the 1940s or 1950s.

The Beatles at Birnbeck Pier in Weston-super-Mare in 1963.The Beatles at Birnbeck Pier in Weston-super-Mare in 1963.

View of the Old Pier at Birnbeck in the 1960s.View of the Old Pier at Birnbeck in the 1960s.

Birnbeck Pier when it was still in use in the late 1970s. Picture submitted by Geoff Lees.Birnbeck Pier when it was still in use in the late 1970s. Picture submitted by Geoff Lees.

Birnbeck Pier in 2017.Birnbeck Pier in 2017.


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