Plymouth, Promenade Pier
 

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PROMENADE PIER

New version: March 20th 2014

The Promenade Pier had been the idea of Plymothian Mr Edward S Lancaster and was authorised by the Plymouth Pier Order made as part of the Pier and Harbours Confirmation (No. 1) Act 1878.  Work started during the first week of January 1880 and the cost was expected to be around 45,000, all of which was raised from outside the Borough.  The original contractor suffered financial problems and was replaced by Mr C E Daniel, of London.  The Promenade Pier was officially opened in 1884.

Just three years after the opening the High Court of Chancery ordered it to be sold and the new owner turned out to be a Plymouth fish merchant.  The open space in the centre was filled by a Pavilion soon afterwards and Mr James McBryde was appointed manager.  In 1910 the Pier Company acquired a local steamer company and adopted the snappy title of The Plymouth Piers, Pavilion, and Saltash, Three Towns' Steamship Company Ltd.

The Promenade Pier became home to the Plymouth Ladies' Swimming Club and the Seven O'Clock Regulars, as well as the Minima Yacht Club, while the Pavilion was used for concerts, roller skating, boxing, wrestling, dances and military band concerts on Sunday evenings.  It even staged a motor show.

But the fascination with piers was beginning to wane and in 1922 the Company disposed of some of its steamers and in 1934 it reported a loss.  After an effort to sell it to the City Council failed, the Official Receiver was called in 1938.  The problem of what to do with the Pier was solved for them just three years later when the German Luftwaffe destroyed it.  There was no provision in the Plan for Plymouth for it to be rebuilt and in 1953 the last remnants of it were removed and the Company was wound up.

 

Text (except quotations)   Brian Moseley, Plymouth, UK 2014
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