OPENING OF THE NEW PIER AT GRAVESEND
Yesterday being the day appointed for opening the new pier at this place the steam-boats from London were crowded with visitors and other persons interested in the ceremony, and by twelve o’clock the town of Gravesend was filled with a dense mass of persons in eager expectation of the approaching sight. It seemed as if the whole neighbourhood had poured out its population for the occasion, in concert with the strangers from the metropolis and more distant parts ; every street and avenue to the pier was crowded with anxious spectators, and the river itself was covered with steamers and craft of every size and description, and presented a scene of the most animated and pleasing kind. The Mayor and Corporation, the Committee, the members of the Pier Company, the parochial authorities, the clergy, the military and naval officers of the town and its vicinity, the country gentry, and the principal inhabitants of the town, ware assembled at an early hour at the Town-hall, and being marshalled according to their respective ranks and orders, proceeded exactly as the church clock struck one to the pier, in procession, which was at once interesting and imposing. Among those who formed this procession we observed the High Steward, the Earl of Darnley ; R. P. Cruden, Esq., the Mayor of Gravesend ; W. Eagle, Esq., ‘ Major Kelly, the Commandant of Tilbury Fort, the Mayor of Rochester, Alderman Baker; G. F. Young, Esq., M. P. ; the Rev. Dr. Joynes, Colonel Graddon, Colonel Middleton, &c., with a host of others whose names it is impossible to enumerate. The bells of the church rang a merry peal, and repeated discharges of small pieces of ordnance increased the effect and added to the vivacity of the occasion. The pier, which is formed of iron and timber , and which is so contrived, being supported on 12 Tuscan columns, from the tops of which the springs of arches 40 feet in expansion are thrown, that no obstruction is caused to the stream of the river, and no obstacle is created by which any accumulation of sand or mud can be collected, is the work of Mr. Tierney Clark, who is already, known to the public as the architect under whose directions the bridge at Hammersmith and the pier at Shoreham were constructed. The corporation and their friends, after performing the ceremony of proclaiming the opening of the pier, on board the Mercury steamer, which was in attendance, and proceeded on an excursion to Old Haven, and returned to the pier about 4 o’clock. The company, amounting to upwards of 150 persons, then sat down to a splendid dinner, the tables for which were laid on the pier itself, under an immense awning of flags of all nations and natures, and the band of the Artillery, from Woolwich, was in attendance, to increase the conviviality of the day. Nothing could have been better contrived or managed; everybody seemed pleased and satisfied. The discordant interests which in November last, when the first stone was laid, conflicted almost in open warfare, were composed and lulled to perfect amity and concord. The watermen have at last discovered that their interests are correspondent with the interests of their fellow-townsmen, and that the general prosperity of Gravesend will ultimately, and indeed immediately, tend to their welfare. In the evening several barges were moored off the front of the pier for an exhibition of fireworks, water rockets, &c. The pier is itself 160 feet in length, and has two sets of stairs for landing; it is about 25 or 30 feet in breadth. On what is called the “T ” head, or transverse cross at the extremity of it, a bell and a clock are to be supported on handsome columns, which will add greatly to the beauty of the whole, and be most useful adjuncts to the building. The “T ” head itself is supported on 18 columns. It must not be passed over in noticing the opening of this pier, that on the same day a smaller edifice for similar purposes, though on a construction totally different, being built entirely of timber, was opened at Greenhithe, amidst the miniature ceremonies which imitated the opening of the larger pier, and by their effect added their portion of gaiety to the general appearance of the river and neighbourhood.