Saltburn Pier, North Yorkshire
Saltburn’s pier was the first iron pier to be built on the North East Coast and is the only one surviving of the six piers that were built in Yorkshire. It opened in 1869.
From 1870 steamers operated a service from the pier to Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Bridlington and Scarborough.
A steel cage mounted on gantries would take you from the top of the cliff down to the pier, if you didn’t fancy the climb. This was superseded in 1884 by a water powered funicular.
The pier has had more than its fair share of weather-imposed disasters since its opening, knocking out and twisting its supports, as well as washing away large parts. The first was in 1875, followed by another in 1900.
In 1924 a large ship collided with the pier causing a great deal of damage, leaving a 210 ft gap which took five years to repair.
Since then there have been too many gales resulting in closers and expensive repairs to list here, so much so that in 1975, the local council submitted an application to the Department of the Environment to have the pier demolished.
Luckily, a public enquiry concluded that only the last thirteen trestles of the pier needed to be removed and the remainder of the pier should be restored.
The pier, now reduced in length to 681 feet, was completely refurbished, reopening to the public 1978 after a closure of five years.
Since then it has required much more funding to ensure its continued existence: £1.2 M from the Lottery Fund in 2000 helped, and I’m pleased to say that it’s still standing; the cliff lift is working and looking good.
The pier celebrated its 150th Anniversary in May 2019