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Essex Piers
 
This page is under construction!
 
This page is devoted to postcards and photographs of the piers of Essex.
 
 
Piers on this Page:-
Clacton
Harwich
Southend
Walton
 
Other Essex Pages:-
Brightlingsea
Burnham - Wallasea Ferry
Clacton
Harwich
Maldon
Southend
Tilbury - Gravesend Ferry
Wivenhoe
 
Associated Pages:-
UK Excursion Ships, Ports & Piers
Ferry Postcards
Cruise Ship Postcards
Ocean Liner Postcards
Simplon Postcards - Recent Updates
Simplon Postcards - Home Page
 
Other UK Pier Pages:- East Coast Piers - Norfolk Piers - Suffolk Piers - Essex Piers - Kent Piers - Sussex Piers - Hampshire Piers - Isle of Wight Piers - Dorset Piers - South West Piers - Welsh Piers - North West Piers
 
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Essex Piers


Harwich Town Pier

The railway reached Harwich in 1854, and the tracks ran beyond the current Harwich Town station to the waterfront, where a new Town Pier had been built in 1851. The port was in decline at this time, with much traffic diverting to new installations at Ipswich and Lowestoft, whilst the mail packets had moved to Dover in 1836. The Great Eastern Railway (GER) obtained powers to run steamships in 1862, and connecting services began the following year, using chartered tonnage. The GER built a new Continental Pier at the end of the railway tracks, and used their own ships from 1865, sailing to Rotterdam and Antwerp. The Great Eastern Hotel was built across the road. This later served as the town hall, and is now private flats. Unfortunately the GER regularly found itself in dispute with Harwich Corporation, due to the limited quay space, and so between 1879 and 1883 a vast reclamation project was undertaken a mile and a half further west, outside the jurisdiction of the local council. This was opened as Parkeston Quay, named after the GER chairman Charles Parkes. The railway was diverted onto a new loop round to the new quay, where a station, hotel and goods yard were laid out. A small township, also known as Parkeston, was built for the railway and port workers. Many improvements to the quays have been made over the years, adapting them to container traffic, ro-ro ferries, and more recently a new cruise ship terminal.


More images of Harwich


Photo Precision postcard PT8120 of Brightlingsea alongside the Halfpenny Pier at Harwich.
Behind Brightlingsea is the Torbay Prince, which joined her in 1967, but later sold.
The Sealink dredger Landguard is also at the pier, and the funnel of Prins Oberon is visible on the right.
 
 
Harwich Halfpenny Pier, looking towards Harwich Navyard, with an ArgoMann ro-ro ferry.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 16th March 2003.
 
 
Harwich Halfpenny Pier, looking towards Trinity Pier, with the Trinity House tender Patricia alongside.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 16th March 2003.
 
 
Harwich Halfpenny Pier.
The benches have been multiplying.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 28h May 2005.
 
 
Harwich Halfpenny Pier.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 28h May 2005.
 
 
A.C.E, (Cambridge) postcard HH36 of the offices on the Halfpenny Pier.
The pier was originally twice as long as currently, but was partially destroyed by fire.
The name is derived from the original toll on pedestrians.
 
 
The offices on the Halfpenny Pier.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd January 2005.
 
 
The offices on the Halfpenny Pier.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 22nd January 2005.






Walton
 
A wooden 330 ft pier was built at Walton in 1830, later lengthened to 800 ft. A new pier was started in 1895, opening in 1898. It eventually stretched 2600 ft, and had a 3ft 6in electric tramway. The tramway was replaced by a battery car in 1936. The pier and battery car were destroyed by fire in 1942. The pier was rebuilt after the war, re-opening in 1948, with a 2ft gauge railway. The railway was subsequently removed, and a 'Dotto train' operated. It appeared to be out of use on my last visit however. A large modern amusement hall has been built at the pier entrance. Excursion vessels were able to berth at the pier until 200?. For many years there has been an RNLI lifeboat moored near to the end of Walton pier. A new berth with wave break was opened at the pier end in 2005.
Walton Pier Postcards

Postcards of Walton Pier
Walton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk Walton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk Walton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk Walton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk Walton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk Walton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk Walton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk Walton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk Walton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk







Walton Pier Images

2006 Pier Images

Walton Pier in 2006
Photo: 1981 Ian Boyle, 10th October 2006
Walton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2006 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2006 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2006 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2006 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2006 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2006 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2006 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2006 Ian Boyle





2013 Pier Images

Walton Pier in 2013
Photo: 2013 Ian Boyle, 29th December 2013
Walton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2013 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2013 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2013 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2013 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2013 Ian Boyle Walton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2013 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2013 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2013 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2013 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2013 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2013 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2013 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2013 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2013 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2013 Ian BoyleWalton Pier - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Photo: 2013 Ian Boyle









Clacton
 
Clacton-on-Sea was founded by Peter Schuyler Bruff in 1871 as a seaside resort. Peter Bruff also had interests in Walton-on-the-Naze, Felixstowe and Harwich. He was also manager and engineer of the Eastern Union Railway. The railway finally reached Clacton in 1882, until which time the main means of access was by sea. Excursion paddle steamers berthed at Clacton Pier, which was the first building of the new resort of Clacton-on-Sea. It officially opened on 27 July 1871 and was 480 feet in length and 12 feet wide. The pier was originally built as a landing point for goods and passengers, but soon became popular for promenading. By the 1890s Clacton was becoming an increasingly popular destination for day trippers and in 1893 the pier was lengthened to 1180ft (360m), to allow steamer calls at all states of tide. Entertainment facilities including a pavilion and a waiting room were added. Between 1897 and 1915, the pier was owned by the Coast Development Company, who also owned the Belle Steamers which brought many of the visitors.
 
In 1922 the pier was bought by Ernest Kingsman and remained in the ownership of the Kingsman family until 1971. Kingsman was to instigate numerous additions that included the immediate construction of the Blue Lagoon Dance Hall and the Lifeboat House. The construction of the Ocean Theatre was completed in 1928, the widening of the pier deck followed in 1931 and the building of the Crystal Casino and swimming pool was added a year later, in 1932. Being situated on the East Coast, the Second World War saw the inevitable sectioning of the pier neck in 1940 for fear of German invasion, along with the demolition of the Crystal Casino and the children's theatre. Although the pier neck was repaired on the cessation of hostilities, the demolished buildings were never replaced. Clacton Pier has had several post-war owners who have included the New Walton Pier Company, Austrian Automatics and E & M Harrison Ltd.
 
From 1971 to 1985 dolphins and killer whales were kept and displayed on the pier, on the site of the former open air swimming pool. A fire in 1973 destroyed the roller coaster. The pier suffered major storm damage in 1978, 1979 and 1987. In March 2009 the pier was purchased by the Clacton Pier Company, who installed a new focal point on the pier, a 50ft helter-skelter. The helter-skelter was built in 1949 and was featured in a 2008/2009 Marks & Spencer's television advert. The huge amusement halls and bars ensure that the modern Clacton Pier is not for the traditionalist, but the open decks beyond are now largely open and unspoilt. A post-war concrete jetty extension still allows calls by the paddle steamer Waverley.
 
More images of Clacton Pier
 
 
Postcard of Clacton Pier
Belle Steamer arriving
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Postcard of Clacton Pier
Belle Steamer arriving
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Postcard of Clacton Pier
Belle Steamer arriving - note removal of toll both and new tea kiosk compared to card above
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Postcard of Clacton Pier
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Postcard of Clacton Pier
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Postcard of Clacton Pier
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Postcard of Clacton Pier
Before expansion - compare width to next card
 
 
Postcard of Clacton Pier
After expansion - compare width to previous card
 
 
Postcard of Clacton Pier Entrance
 
 
Postcard of Clacton Pier
Paddle steamer arriving - pier much expanded since earlier views
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Postcard of Clacton Pier
Scan: Richard Greenwood
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Clacton Pier
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 20th June 2006
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Clacton Pier
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 20th June 2006
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Clacton Pier
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 30th September 2006
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Clacton Pier Entrance
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 30th September 2006
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Southend
 
The first (wooden) Southend Pier was opened in 1830, and lengthened in 1845 and 1846. In 1885 it was decided to replace if with a new iron pier. Work began in 1887 and the pier was opened in 1889. It was extended in 1898 when a new pier head was added. In 1908 and upper deck was added, and the Prince George extension was completed in 1929. A tramway was built along the railway, and new modern streamlined cars were built in the 1930s. The pier head was badly damaged by fire in 1976, and the railway closed in 1978. At one point it looked as if the pier would be closed altogether, but a transfer to private ownership prevented this, and a new railway was opened in 1986, using two small diesel trains. In the same year, the breech was breached by a ship, but the gap was bridged. A subsequent fire destroyed the entertainment complex at the pier entrance, and in October 2005 the pier head railway station and shops were destroyed by a fire which started in the public house. The pier reopened fully in August 2006. On a more positive note, a stylish new RNLI lifeboat station was built at the pier head and an impressive new entrance in the style of the lifeboat station was opened more recently.
 
More images of Southend Pier
 
 
Postcard of Southend Pier.
 
 
Postcard of Southend Pier.
 
 
Postcard of Southend Pier.
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Postcard of Southend Pier.
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Postcard of Southend Pier, with large and small local excursion boats.
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Postcard of Southend Pier.
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Pier damage after the fire of 9th/10th October 2005.
The station, pub, and cafe were destroyed, although the metal structure was not badly damaged.
The fire was at the original end of the pier (it was lengthened some years after original construction).
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 10th October 2005.
 
 
The new lifeboat centre on the pier extension - not damaged by the fire.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 10th October 2005.
 
 
Southend Pier - the new pier entrance.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th May 2006.
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Southend Pier, after re-opening the train service following the October 2005 fire.
Access to the end of the pier was not possible until August 2006.
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th May 2006.
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Southend Pier
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th June 2006
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