St Anne’s on Sea Pier
The Lytham Pier Company was registered in October 1863. Its first shareholder’s meeting was held the following April, by which time all the money needed to commission a pier had been pledged and deposits paid. There were the usual objections from some locals, but mostly the idea was enthusiastically supported.
It was the fifth pier designed by Eugenius Birch and the fourth built by R Laidlaw & Son of Glasgow.
In June 1864 iron work for the pier was placed on the beach in preparation for the ceremony of fixing the first pile. It was arranged that the first pile should be screwed in place at half-past three in the afternoon. The Blackpool Brass Band played as the first pile was placed in a pre-dug hole in the clay soil and an eight-armed capstan was placed over the top. The eight directors of the company then turned the capstan several times screwing the pile further into the clay. There was then a short speech to the crowd with lots of cheering, including three cheers to the success of the pier.
The pier went through several renovations during the 1890s, with the Pier Pavilion opening in 1892. It was badly damaged by a storm in 1903, when a couple of barges collided with the structure splitting it in two.
A fire in 1928 resulted in extensive damage to the pavilion, which was not rebuilt, although the pier itself was reopened several months later. There followed a period of slow decline, as was the case with most piers at that time. It was closed to the public shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War.
Despite a petition to save it, the pier was demolished in 1960.