The New Grand Pier
The Grand Pier was first constructed in 1904 at a cost of £120,000. The 1080 foot structure included a 2,000 seat pavillion. The first amusement machines were added in 1926. It was destroyed by fire in 1930 and rebuilt in 1933. Local residents feared the worst when another fire destroyed everything in 2008, however, once again it was rebuilt and in 2010, the current pier openned it's gates.
Birnbeck Pier openned in 1867 to provide access for passengers using the local paddle steamers. The first RNLI lifeboat was hung from davits in 1882. In 1897, Birnbeck's amusements and funfair were destroyed in a fire. In 1941, the Admiralty took over the pier for "Miscellaneous Weapons Development. These clandestine activities included work on the Dambusters bouncing bomb. It returned to being a public pier when the war ended. In the early 1960's it was redevelped and marketed as a Victorian Amusement Pier and the last steamer to use the pier (the Waverley) paid it's final visit in 1979. In 1984, a drifting barge hit the pier causing £1,000,000 of damage. It was repaired but wrecked again by storms in 1990. It closed to the public in 1994. Local residents hope that one day, Birnbeck will rise again.
The SeaQuarium was built in 1995 as a dedicated Sea-Life centre. It had been 85 years since a pier was last constructed in Britain.
Knightstone Island is not a pier but it does have a causeway and a marine lake so deserves a mention. Dr. Fox built the Medicinal Baths in 1820 and the main causeway linked it to the mainland in 1824. In 1928 the marine lake was created by building a second pedestrian causeway. The 1981 storm caused extensive damage and Knightstone started to decline. In 2007, the island was redeveloped with 87 luxury apartments and the renovation of the islands historic buildings.
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