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

Birnbeck Pier through the decades.

Birnbeck Pier through the decades. - Credit: Sub

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

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

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. - Credit: Archant

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. - Credit: Sub


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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). - Credit: Sub

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

1890s - Birnbeck from Birkett Road.

1890s - Birnbeck from Birkett Road. - Credit: Archant

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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. - Credit: SUb

Before the 1897 fire.

Before the 1897 fire. - Credit: Sub

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) - Credit: Weston Museum Collection

Birnbeck in the 1890s.

Birnbeck in the 1890s. - Credit: Sub

An Edwardian shot. The south jetty was built to accommodate ships at all stages of the tide but wasn

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. - Credit: Sub

Birnbeck Pier's south jetty in 1909.

Birnbeck Pier's south jetty in 1909. - Credit: Archant

RNLB Colonel Stock launches down the slipway c.1910. The Grand Pier's extension can be seen in the d

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

Birnbeck Pier in the 1940s or 1950s.

Birnbeck Pier in the 1940s or 1950s. - Credit: SUb

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

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

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

View of the Old Pier at Birnbeck in the 1960s. - Credit: Archant

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. - Credit: Geoff Lees

Birnbeck Pier in 2017.

Birnbeck Pier in 2017. - Credit: Archant

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