Mumbles Pier, Wales
Mumbles Pier, Swansea
The pier opened on the 10th May 1898, the same day as the first train arrived from Swansea; not too surprising, as both were owned by the same company.
It was built for the unloading of imported copper, mostly from Cornwall, and the loading of finished metal, which up to then had been exclusively handled by the port of Swansea, five miles along the coast. New technologies had made copper big business in Wales. However, the idea didn’t quite go to plan and within a few years the trade had not materialised, and so the pier was used purely for recreation, including day trippers on steam ships.
Regular sailings were to and from Penarth, Clevedon, Weston-super-Mare and Ilfracombe. There was the usual break during the war years, followed by the slow decline in steam ship sailings, until they finally stopped completely in 1956.
Unlike most piers, Mumbles managed to avoid the usual long list of tragedies, with no significant fires, or boats crashing into it, over the years.
The painting shows the Old Boathouse, built on a spur off the main concourse of the pier. It housed and launched lifeboats from 1922 until 2014, when it could no longer facilitate the new Tamar Class of lifeboat. A new lifeboat house has been built at the head of the pier, the fourth boathouse to serve at this location; the first at the base of the cliff and the second on the waters’ edge are still there.