Few countries went through the level of interest and development of pleasure piers like the United Kingdom. Built during the Victorian age and early twentieth century, they hark back to a romanticised British coastal holiday – donkey rides on the beach, paddling in the sea and strolling along the pier partaking in the penny amusement arcades and the end of the pier show. Coastal towns often developed promenades along the sea front so that people could take in the sea air and would have easy access to the beach to gain the health benefits of salt water swimming. Some promenades were extended into the sea as pleasure piers. The National Pier Society record that ninety-nine such pleasure piers were built, but many dock sides and harbour walls also provided areas for tourists to promenade and adopted the title of ‘pier’.
This book takes the reader through the evolution of the pleasure piers, from their heyday to the often sad decline and demolition, using early twentieth-century postcards capturing the piers in their prime and, in some cases, capturing their mishaps.
15 Mar 2017