OPENING OF HYTHE PIER.
The new pier at Hythe, which has been in the course of construction for some time past, was formally opened on Saturday by the Mayor of Southampton (Mr. J. H. Cooksey). It will not only prove a great attraction to that side of the water being an elegant structure, and commanding charming views of the Southampton Water and neighbourhood, but will provide a comfortable and convenient tending place for the Hythe steam boat traffic, which during the past lew years, has been greatly on the increase. There are only needed now facilities at the Town Quay to render communication between the two places complete, and this the Southampton Harbour Board have promised as soon, their extensive works, now on course are complete. The small outlay it will necessitate will be judicious investment tor the town, for instead of the residents on the opposite side preferring a long journey by road to the passage by water, owing to the inconveniences they were put to, as many of them have been, they will now make their purchases in the town, as every accommodation will be provided for their comfort.
The Mayor, in his official robes, left Southampton Pier at 2 o’clock, in one of the Union Companies’ steam launches, with the Admiralty flag hoisted. His Worship was accompanied by the Town Clerk (Mr. R. S. Pearce), Mr Sheriff J. S. Pearce, Mr. J. Nicolas, Mr. Bennett (borough Surveyor), Mr. H. E. Robins (Clerk of the Pearce) and others and were met on arrival at the head of the new structure by Mr. E. A. Drummond (chairman of the company), Lord Henry Scott, Mr. P. (director), Messer’s. F. H. Candy (sec.), J. Wright, C. E., F. Selmes, F. Fry, Carpenter, Mr. Martall, and other inhabitants of Hythe. Upon landing, his Worship addressed a few words to those who had assembled to witness the ceremony in the course of which he said he had no doubt a great many people would say what had the Mayor of Southampton to do with Hythe but as Mayor of the town he was Admiral of the Port, and his jurisdiction extended for some distance beyond Calshot. It was very seldom a Mayor had the opportunity of acting in this capacity, but it had afforded itself that day, and he was there with his insignia of office, the oar and mace. He was exceedingly glad to see the pier completed for it would bring Hythe and Southampton closer together.
There was no doubt that it would be a source of great convenience to the gentlemen living in the vicinity of Hythe and it would enable the people of Southampton to approach Hythe without difficulty and see what a beautiful locality they had there. A great many people had never been on the other side of the water, and would be surprised at what a pretty place it was. He had no doubt in his own mind the project would produce for the company a reasonable dividend, and having declared the pier opened he wished them all a happy and prosperous new year. (Applause.)
Sheriff Pearce said he had been requested, as a representative of the Special Works Committee of the Southampton Harbour Board, to say they were delighted to see this beautiful piece of work completed. They saw that day facilities that had been required for a long time, and he was requested to say the Harbour Board would do everything in their power, consistent with their duty, to carry out the facilities on his Southampton side of the water to make the communication complete. (Applause.)
Mr. Drummond then, on behalf of the Pier Company, and the people of Hythe generally, thanked the Mayor for his services and kindness that day, and reciprocated the wish that the works completed would unite both sides of the water closer together.
The company, at the invitation of Mr. Drummond. Then adjourned to lunch at the Drummond Arms; but before leaving, three cheers were given for the Mayor, the directors, and the Queen.
The contract for the work was let to Messer’s. Bergheim and Company, of London (the same contractors who built the Bournemouth pier), upon plans designed by Mr. James Wright, C. E. of 10 Cromwell, London. The tender was £7700, and it is believed the cost will scarcely exceed that amount. The pier is composed of a pair of longitudinal wrought iron open girders, resting upon groups of cast iron screw piles, 40 ft apart, and well tied by diagonal, and other braces, the girders themselves being held together with cross girders of nearly equal strength. The structure is singularly light, but possessing strength and rigidity far beyond any stress ever lightly to be applied to it. The total length of the pier is a little over 2100 feet, terminating in a spacious pier-head. The width of the pier proper is 16 ft., the total surface being nearly 36,00 square feet. There are seven strong and very commodious landing stages, contiguous to the pier at different points along the length, so that everywhere passengers can land at all times of the tide. The stage at the pier-head has at the lowest state of the tide a depth of 11ft. 6in. of water. Very neat wooden houses are erected at different points along the pier as shelter for those using it, and an elegant commodious structure will shortly be erected upon the pier-head, enabling restaurant, waiting, music, and other rooms for the use of the numerous visitors whom this beautiful promenade, the magnificent sea views, and charming scenery of the neighbourhood will attract.
At the shore end it is proposed to retain about 40feet of the existing landing, which will be raised above the sea level and converted into a quay for the landing of cattle and heavy merchandise. This will be done through the instrumentality of Lord Henry Scott, so that the farmers of Beaulieu and district can send to Southampton market without making a wearisome circuit by road. We might also mention that the success of the undertaking is in great measure due to the liberal spirit in which Mr. Drummond has acted throughout.