Clevedon Pier, Somerset

The Clevedon Pier company was established in 1867 and the pier was opened on Easter Monday, 29th March, 1869.

It was made out of rails no longer needed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in the making of the Great Western Railway.  The rails were bolted together to create a strong structure that was high out of the water, to enable boats to dock at all tides.

Ornate cast-iron buildings were added in 1894.

Up until 16th October 1970, it had had the usual array of storm damage followed by temporary closure and refurbishment, but fared far better than most.  Then, during testing to insure that the pier was safe, the company carrying out the testing managed to collapse two of the pier’s spans.

So, like so many before and since, the pier head stood alone.  After much hand wringing, the geniuses on the council, displaying the usual cultural awareness of local councils, voted in 1979 to demolish the pier.

Luckily for the pier and the people of Clevedon, a dedicated team of determined professionals fought the idiots on the council and eventually saved the pier for us all to admire and enjoy.  Their story is too long to write here, but getting it to the state that it is now was far from straight forward.  We all owe these people a huge debt of gratitude.

John Betjeman called it the most beautiful pier in England.

Painting of Clevendon Pier