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Engineering and Architecture

Specification of Works Clevedon Pier 1867

Images with transcriptions

The Specification of Works for Providing, Erecting and Maintaining Clevedon Pier in 1867 (Copy) is a fascinating and fragile document which the Archive has been privileged to borrow from its private owner and digitise for the public to be able to see and read. In a mere 13 foolscape pages, it specifies the quality of the wrought iron work, timber, painting and foundations, the quantities of materials with costs, as well as the standards that the contract was to be delivered to and last but, of course, not least details about the all important ‘Modes and Times of Payment.’ It is interesting that 9 pages are taken up with contract conditions and payment details leaving a few precious pages describing how to build the foundations, legs and decking. Below are images and transcriptions of the entire document. If you have any further information or questions pleasure feel free to contact the archivist@clevedonpier.com

Front cover and page 1 – ‘The Contract.’

Clevedon Pier Specification of Works 1867 Private Owner 14″ high x 8.5″ wide and bound front and back in soft buff paper bound with green legal twine.
PSpecification of Works Clevedon Pier 1867 Page 1

Transcription of Page 1

Clevedon Pier

Specification for providing, erecting and maintaining.

This Contract comprehends the supply and delivery to the Company of all materials plant tools and machines and the construction of all works of every description whether temporary or permanent which may be necessary for the entire completion of a wrought iron Pier at Clevedon as described by the accompanying Drawings No. 1.2.3.4.5 and 6 respectively. And also the upholding of all the works during their construction. The whole in consideration of the payment of one gross sum and the redelivery to the Contractors of all materials plant tools and machinery upon the works and not forming part of the same. The value of which forms part of the consideration for the performance of this Contract. The whole being subject to the terms and conditions of this Specification and of a Contract deed to be entered into between the Contractor and the Company – the intent and meaning of this Contract being that the Company shall………..continued on page 2……….provide such Lands as are requisite for the site of the permanent works and that the Contractor shall in consideration of the gross sum hereinafter named construct complete and maintain the works in all respects according to the Drawings and Specifications and deliver them to the company in complete and perfect condition.

Specification for Wrought Iron Work and Cast Iron Work

Specification of Works Clevedon Pier 1867 Page 2
Specification of Works Clevedon Pier 1867 Page 3

Transcription:

Specification

Wrought Iron Work

Specimens of all Iron work shall be submitted to the Engineers for their approval and the very best quality shall in all cases be used, the Plates being equal to the best Staffordshire boiler plates. The bar angle and T iron being not inferior to the best BB – Merchant bar – All Bolts nuts rivets straps and ties being wrought from Iron not inferior to the best S.C. Crown Iron.

All Ironwork to be submitted to such tests as the Engineers may deem advisable and in no case to be passed if failing with less then 20 tons per square inch tensile strain.

The Joints in all ironwork may be reduced in number and placed further apart if the Contractor desires to do so but all joints must be made with fair Culling (?) surfaces truly filed or planed to contact.

The Barlow rails shall weight 80lbs per yard each for all raking piles.

For all vertical piles the Barlow rail shall weight 70lbs per yard each the two rails forming one pile shall be brought into true contact and riveted together 3/4″ rivets 6″ pitch the joints shall then be caulked and made watertight. The rails shall be of Iron of similar manufacture to that in use on the South West Railway for best Barlow Rails. All the Rods with screwed ends to have the ends swelled to contain the full depth of the threads.

Cast Iron

All Cast Iron to be subject to such tests as the Engineers may approve and to be painted twice at the place of erection and not before the Engineers shall have inspected it.

Timber and Painting Specification

Specification of Works Clevedon Pier 1867 Page 3
Specification of Works Clevedon Pier 1867 Page 4

Transcription

Timber

The whole of the timber to be of the best Baltic Pine, Red deal free from unsound knots shakes sap or any other imperfection.  Any timber used below low water line shall be Creosoted with 8 lbs of approved Creosote per Cubic feet of timber.

The timber planking of the Deck shall be of planks not less than 16” x 11” x 3” in each (side?) and shall be laid close so as to be perfectly tight the ends shall be cut to a scarf joint and cross railed.

Each plank shall be secured to its joist with five nails at each crossing thereof the nail being in all cases twice the thickness of the plank board or batten through which it passes.  The whole of the rough timber work to be executed in the best style of rough or Ships Carpentry, that is undressed where not visible but wrought perfectly true at all surfaces which are in contact.

All prominent and visible parts of the timber (except in the fender piles) and wherever the surface is to be painted to be Jack planed or Machine planed.

It is moreover to be distinctly understood that the price given for timbre shall include all nails and spikes and Coach screws which may be required, also all waste timber which may be required for scarfing and joints the dimensions for payment being taken from the Drawings net – The price is also to include all fixing and driving complete.

Painting

The whole of the Wrought Iron to be painted one in Oils before leaving the works.  Also to have a second Coat of approved Colour when fixed.  The Backs of the Seats and also the Seats to be painted twice in Oils of approved Color.

Posting 4: Foundations Spec

In slightly less than 1 and a half foolscap pages the foundations for Clevedon Pier were specified. These instructions were accompanied by drawings which the Archive sadly does not hold. If they exist it would be great to bring the Specification and Drawings together. In the meantime if any civil or marine engineers out there can draw what these words say please contact archivist@clevedonpier.com. Thank you.

Specification of Works Clevedon Pier 1867 Page 5
Specification of Works Clevedon Pier 1867 Page 6

Transcription

Foundations

The foundations of each pile in Mud and Clay to be carried out as shown in drawing subject to such alterations as the Engineers may think proper to make. The Wrought iron pile joist shall weight 30 lbs per foot run and shall be driven until it will not move 1/4″ with a blow from a 20 Cwt Monkey falling 10 feet on the rake of 1 in 10 – After it shall have been driving on each side thereof two 9″ piles shall be driven until they do not move more than 1/4″ each with a blow of a 20 Cwt Monkey falling 8 feet. They shall each be shod with a side Shoe of the form shown weighing not less then 18 lbs each. After the three shall have been driven a wrought iron Collar shall be dropped over them and slid down until it is stopped by a Pin – two Iron wedges shall then be dropped into it and driven with a heavy Rod from above. The Barlow Rails shall be firmly secured by plates, strap bolts and otherwise as shown on Drawing, the pile heads being carefully cut above low water mark to receive Cast iron Shoes.

Where the pile is to be secured to the Rock this shall be done by means of a wrought Iron Rod 4″ in diameter which shall be let into the Rock to such depth as the Engineers may deem necessary and secured by wrought iron keys driven in by a blow from a Monkey of 5 Cwt – the whole of the space around the rod being filled in with Iron Cement of the best quality hammered in with a flogging hammer. The whole to be executed to the satisfactions of the Engineers or their Assistant.

General Conditions

The five pages of General Conditions hold a vast array of information about the contract to build Clevedon Pier as well as the engineering specification of works. It includes quantities of materials that have been identified as required for the project as well as a schedule of prices which will be paid for the work and, in summary, that the contractor is responsible for everything! Images of the five pages are shown below and below them is a transcription of their contents.

Specification of Works Clevedon Pier 1867 Page 6
Specification of Works Clevedon Pier 1867 Page 7
Specification of Works Clevedon Pier 1867 Page 8
Specification of Works Clevedon Pier 1867 Page 9
Specification of Works Clevedon Pier 1867 Page 10

General Conditions

It is assumed that the quantities of certain of the materials required for the execution of this Contract amount to:

Wrought iron painted twice in Oils delivered at Clevedon on Site of the proposed works to be sent in such lengths as may be divided by the Engineers……………………………………………………………………..348 Tons 2 Cwt 2Grs

Cast Iron painted twice in Oils and delivered at Clevedon and fixed ……………………………………………………………………………6 Tons 9 Cwt

Timber fixed in place complete with fastenings, small scantlings, leats and backs………………………………………………………………..956 C Ft

Large Scantlings ………………………………………………7372 C Ft

Creosoted piles in foundations …………………………….….660 C Ft

And if in the finished state executed in all respects according to the Specification and the Drawings therein referred to or to such further instructions or Drawings as may from time to time be furnished by the Engineers it shall be found that the quantities of these works computed from the Drawings exceed or fall short of the quantities above enumerate, the excess or deficiency shall be paid for or allowed in increase or diminution of the Contract sum as the case may be at the following Schedule namely:

Wrought Iron at rate of £15. 10 per Ton

Cast Iron at rate of …….£9. per Ton

Timber. Small scantlings at 5s/6d per Cubic Foot Joist Fenders and Decking at 3s /3d per Cubic Foot Creosoted Piles at 4/ per Cubic Ft

Fixing Superstructure and providing for all Contingencies and incidental Works £4 per Ton.

The Contractor is to provide copies of the Drawings and Specifications for his own use.

The Contractor shall at his own cost employ on the works during the execution of this Contract a competent person or persons approved by the Engineers to set out and direct the works in detail and the Contractor shall at all times furnish the Engineers with all labour assistance and materials necessary for setting out or measuring the works at his the Contractor’s cost.

The works are to be carried out according to the fair interpretation and meaning of this Specification and Drawings and should there hereafter appear to be any discrepancy between the Scale attached to the Drawing and the written dimensions or between the Drawings and this Specification the terms of this Specification are to be taken in preference to the drawings and written dimensions in the Drawings in preference to dimension by Scale. But should there be any difference of opinion on this point as to the mode of carrying on any work or the quantities or periodical quantities of work to be done or provided by thereof such dispute shall be decided by the Engineer whose decision shall be final and conclusive.

The Contractor in consideration of the payment of the Contract sum is to provide all necessary moorings tackle temporary staging chains crabs lights Matchmen buoys scaffold Derricks lifts slings and everything which may be required for the dur and proper execution and completion of the work. He must satisfy himself as to the nature of the foundation and the sufficiency of the works as specified. He must assume all risks of accidents or damages from any cause and must include the cost of the incidental works necessary for the entire fulfilment of the Contract whether particularly referred to or not in the Specification.

The whole of the works and materials as well as the mode of execution is to be under the entire control supervision and direction of the Engineers Richard James Ward and John William Grover who shall have full power to alter vary enlarge or diminish the quantities of any of the works subject to the conditions hereinafter specified.

Any machinery tools or materials brought on the site of the works or on the adjoining Beach shall immediately thereupon become the absolute property of the Company and the contractor shall have no property therein and no right to use the same except for the purposes of this Contract and as the Agent of the Company but if the works be duly completed or if during the progress of the works it shall appear to the Engineers that any portions of the plant are not required for the further progress of the works the Company will deliver such plant or such portions of it to the Contractors as part of the consideration for the performance of the Contract.

If the Contractor should not proceed with sufficient expedition in the performance of the works or not execute the same in compliance with the terms of this Specification or become Insolvent or be declared Bankrupt it shall be in the power of the Company to take the works wholly or in part out of his hands and to complete the same at his cost in all respects.

Modes and Times of Payment

Specification of Works Clevedon Pier 1867 Page 10
Specification of Works Clevedon Pier 1867 Page 11
Specification of Works Clevedon Pier 1867 Page 12
Specification of Works Clevedon Pier 1867 Page 13

Transcription

Modes and Times of Payment

If the works be completed and certified by the Engineers as being completed according to the Drawings and Specifications on or before the 1st day of March 1868 then the Company will pay to the Contractors in the manner hereinafter specified the sum of £8,500 for the performance of his Contract subject to the deduction or allowances hereinbefore provided for.

If the works be completed as above on or before the 1st April but subsequently to the 1st March then the Company will pay to the Contractor the sum of £8.400 for the performance of his Contract subject to the deductions or allowances hereinbefore provided for.

If the works be not completed as above until after the 1st of April 1868 then the Company will pay to the Contractor for the performance of his part of the Contract such a sum as the Engineers certify to be fairly due to him in accordance with these presents.  Calculating the same on the basis of deducting £20 for each week’s delay after the 1st April.  All payments to the Contract under this Contract shall be made in the following manner viz 84 per cent in Cash and 16 per cent in Shares bearing preferential interest at the rate of £5 per Cent per annum such interest commencing from the date of the Engineers final Certificate being given.

The Company are to have the option of substituting Cash wholly or in part for shares and in the event of their electing so to do the amount of Cash to be paid in lieu of shares is to be calculated in the proportion of £80 Cash to £100 Shares.  Any payment of Shares which may be made under this Contract during the progress of the works shall be satisfied by a letter from the Directors of the company undertaking to deliver proper Certificates for the same upon the completion of the Contract.  Such undertaking being subject to the exercise of the Company’s right at any time within 3 months after the Engineers final Certificate shall have been given to substitute Cash for Shares on the terms above specified.

The whole of the works herein specified and everything incident to or contingent thereon are comprised in and will be paid for by the gross sum defined above in addition to the plant and materials remaining on the works which sum subject to all the payments and deductions which by any of the terms of this Specification are to be made shall become due only after the entire completion of the Contract and Certificate of the Engineer but during the progress of the works advances or payments on account will be made to the Contractor from time to time as hereinafter mentioned – such payments however in no way to affect any question in the ultimate settlement of the Account or to be considered as proof or admission of any particular work or amount of work having been executed, but once in each month or as near thereto as the state of the works and the reasonable convenience of the Company’s Engineers will admit.  The works executed within that period and any materials brought to the works and in the opinion of the Engineers necessary for the immediate progress of the same will be measured or estimated by the Engineer unless periods of measurement and payments to be agreed upon between the Company and the Contract and the Contractor will be paid on account of the Contract sum such amount as the Engineer may recommend (it being intended but not stipulated) that such advances or payments on account should be equal to about 90 per cent of the cost as estimated by the Engineers according to the total Contract sum and the work duly executed during such month or executed in addition to the works on which the previous estimates may have been made subject however to any deduction on account of ascertained damages or otherwise for which the Contractor may render himself liable and such payment to be made within 7 days of the date of the Engineers recommendation above referred to the remaining 10 per cent will be retained by the Company until the completion of the works at which time and as a condition precedent upon a Certificate in writing being given by the Engineers that the Contractor has duly performed his Contract and upon the Contractor giving a sufficient release to the Company of all claims under or in respect of anything connected with the Contract the residue shall be paid to him.

Dated this Thirtieth day of May 1867

(Signed)

Hamilton Windsor Iron Works Limited

LHLouttit   Secretary

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Uncategorized

ArchiveInFive Artefacts No.2

What did the following all have in common in 1867?

Brewer.  Tax Collector.  Yeoman.  Blacksmith. Timber Merchant.  Confectioner.  Widow.  Carpet Warehouseman.  Civil Engineer.  Butcher.  Wine Merchant.  Postmaster.  Carriage Builder. Surgeon.  Grocer.  Spinster.  Ironmonger.  Professor of Music and Drawing.  Draper. Draper.  Tramway Secretary.  Carver and Guilder. Gas Manager.

They were all listed as shareholders in Clevedon Pier Company Shareholders book! Everyone loved the idea of a pier. Everyone loves the pier! It still needs your help:

https://clevedonpier.co.uk/2020/04/03/clevedon-pier-needs-you/

The Model That Helped Save The Pier

When the Pier collapsed in 1970 the town of Clevedon pulled together to save it from total demolition.  This model was commissioned by Clevedonians, Tony and Carole Wring,  to show the Pier Public Inquiry the beauty and value of the Pier and it undoubtedly helped in the decision being made that the Pier should be saved.   Tony was, at that crucial time in the Pier’s history the Chairman of the Pier Preservation Trust. The model has now been donated to the Archive and is on permanent display at the North Somerset Offices, Castlewood, Clevedon.

Las Vegas one armed bandit.

Once part of a group of one armed bandits that graced the dance hall at the end of the pier in the 1960s. When the pier was closed in 1970, because of the collapsed span near the pierhead, all of these gaming machines were taken off and most found new homes elsewhere. This little beauty stayed hidden in the basement of the Tollhouse where it became rusty and crusty and even more loveable. When it came into the Archive it was found to contain several Victorian pennies – some showing Queen Victoria as girl with a bun and ribbon in her hair and others ….. well, not as a girl with a bun in her hair.

The Old Phone Intercom We believe that this wall mounted wooden-cased phone was used as one of a pair on the pier, for communication between the tollhouse and the pier head. The only wiring on this type of telephone was that between the handset and the box itself. This system was used from the 1870s onwards for telephones that were not on an exchange serviced by a common battery, ie, when each personal telephone had its own battery. The crank handle on the side would work a magneto inside the box, and this would ring a bell or activate a buzzer on the other phone. The person hearing the alert could then pick up the phone at the other end and find out what was wanted. This type of phone was very useful on the old railway systems, where for instance the stationmaster needed to contact the signalman regarding train services or changes in times, etc. Jane Lilly local historian thinks it likely this phone, from the pier, was repurposed for a similar use between the tollhouse and pierhead.

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Heritage Interpretation

Piers and Public Health

For centuries the British coastline, and piers like our own at Clevedon, have been seen as important economic, social and health resources and nowadays, the pleasure of enjoying a nostalgic, heritage experience is added into that mix.   

Image: Wikipedia

Richard Russell, an 18th century physician, (photo above) is generally attributed with promoting the idea of sea water and the seaside as being ‘good’ for us.  George III, bathed at Weymouth and his son George IV favoured Brighton and fashionable society followed their lead. The idea that a trip to the seaside was good for public health put down deep roots in the national consciousness.   Seaside towns and villages capitalized on this.  They advertised that coming to the seaside and having a walk on a pier, if they had one, was good for you as well as being fun and, if you were one of the lucky Victorians with enough cash, you could go further afield by taking a boat trip from the pier.  Clevedon Pier was built with precisely this in mind.  In 1834, Clevedon was advertising itself as “an unrivalled watering place” (Bristol Mirror) and by the late 19th century was a buzzing hub for swimming, boating and taking healthy walks along the pier. (Images below:Private Collection).

However, the link between piers and public health hasn’t always been a rosy one.  John Hassan in his study ‘The Seaside, Health and The Environment in England and Wales since 1800’ discusses the impact of early epidemics and how seaside resorts became seen has part of the problem as well as the solution.  He says,  “…resorts had given the impression that they radiated good health, but in the aftermath of cholera epidemics in the 1830s and 1840s Devon resorts were driven to consider the implementation of costly public health improvements…..”   Going to the seaside, bathing, boating and walking on the pier ironically became both a good thing and a not so good thing. 

Now, in May 2020, the world is caught up in the Covid-19 epidemic and people are being asked to do two things and the irony for Clevedon Pier is back. Firstly, the population is asked to stay indoors and practice ‘social isolation’ and secondly, to get at least one hours exercise a day out of doors and in the fresh air to maintain good health.  During the Covid-19 epidemic, just when people would love to take their one hour of exercise having a health-giving walk on Clevedon Pier, the pier has had to take its public health duties seriously and shut down during one of the biggest public health crisis ever faced in the United Kingdom.  It is, as we write, quiet, closed and empty and, sadly, at risk. A risk you might be able to help with.

The Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust is looking to raise £10k per month to help plug the c£70,000 loss in visitor income it would normally have expected during the April – June period. The Archive is full of photos, documents and business records which show how over the 150 plus years the pier has been in existence the challenge of keeping such a fragile and beautiful piece of architecture maintained and repaired is never ending and expensive. Even though the pier is closed during the 2020 ‘Lockdown’ the weather isn’t and the damage caused by the tides, storms and sea air is always with us. Thanks to peoples’ hard work and generosity the pier has always come through its trials. The ‘call-to-action’ to save the pier in 2020 is the…..

Clevedon Pier Needs You Campaign

Click On or follow this link to find out how you can help https://clevedonpier.co.uk/2020/04/03/clevedon-pier-needs-you/

Thankyou

Categories
Heritage Interpretation

Erecting a Pier – Early Days

ArchiveInFive:  Erecting a Pier in Clevedon – Early Days

This week’s ArchiveInFive will plot, in five postings, the early history of trying to build a pier in Clevedon by combining primary source material from the British Newspaper Archives with local historian Jane Lilly’s unique knowledge and heritage interpretation skills. It starts in 1828.

Part 1. Ten Guineas for a plan, specification and estimate  1828

An advert is posted in the Bristol Mirror on Saturday November 8th 1828 to catch the attention of Surveyors who might be interested in designing a pier for Clevedon.  It seems a bit of a tight timescale as the proposals had to be in by New Years Day January, 1829. 

Citation: British Newspaper Archive

The advertisement reads: 

To Surveyors

Ten Guineas will be given for the most approved Plan, Specification and Estimate for building a PIER at CLEVEDON to be delivered on or before the 1st day of January 1829.  For further particulars apply Mr HOLLYMAN, Clevedon.

Clevedon Historian and Heritage Interpretation Advisor to the Pier Archive, Jane Lilly, tells us that Mr Hollyman was Manager of the Clevedon Court Estate and was acting on behalf of Abraham Elton. 

The same advert appeared at least two more times in the Bristol Mirror on the 29th November, 1828 and the 20th December, 1828. 

Part 2. Who Decides on the Design

The December 20th, 1828 posting of the advert for a surveyor to plan, specify and estimate for the building of a pier at Clevedon has an additional line added to it indicating the subscribers will decide on the ‘merits of the tenders.’

Citation: British Newspaper Archive

A ‘subscriber’ to a new enterprise, such as building a pier, is defined by businessdictionary.com as ‘A party that signs a memorandum of association of a new firm and pledges to buy the number of shares written against its name.’  These subscribers would have had a considerable interest in what was going on and held considerable weight in decision making.  

That advertisement reads:

To Surveyors

Ten Guineas will be given for the most approved Plan, Specification and Estimate for building a PIER at CLEVEDON to be delivered on or before the 1st day of January 1829.  The Subscribers to the Undertaking will attend at the Hotel on that date at 12 o’clock for the purpose of deciding on the merits of the Tenders.   For further particulars apply Mr HOLLYMAN, Clevedon.

The hotel in question, Jane Lilly explains, would have been the old Royal Hotel, formerly on the site of the Friary in Hill Road, and more often known in these advertisements as Stokes’s Hotel.  The final decision on the design for the Pier would be with the ‘subscribers’ to this project – a heavy responsibility indeed.

How we would love to find those plans, specification and costs prepared for decision making on January 1st, 1829 – can anyone help with that? 

Part 3. Raising the money

The newspaper sources tell us that having already got ‘subscribers’ – people who have committed to buying shares in the Clevedon Pier Project – the search for more ‘shareholders’ was clearly under way by the 17th of January, 1829.  One can only imagine what an imperative was the need to raise money for such a big building project. This advert also assures us there were plans and specifications to be seen.

Citation: British Newspaper Archive

The 17th January 1829 advert in the Bristol Mirror states:

Clevedon Pier

Any person wishing to become Shareholders of the Pier, about to be erected at Clevedon, will be pleased to apply to Mr T STROUD, Wine Street, Bristol where the Plans and Specifications may be seen. 

This advertisement was repeated at least three times but there then seems to be a bit of a gap in the newspaper record as to what happened next. Our search strategy for finding primary newspaper sources about the Pier is, for the moment, confined to the British Newspaper Archive online search facility. However, it may well be that records of subscribers and shareholders may well be somewhere else – perhaps in a private collection. For the moment we can’t say exactly who ‘bought into’ the 1830 pier project and in fact there seems to be a bit of lull in the newspaper records until 1834.

Just to say: fortunately we do have access to the full records, including shareholders, of the Clevedon Pier Company which succeeded in building and opening Clevedon Pier thirty years later in 1863. Those records (held in a private collection) are currently being digitised by the Pier Trust’s volunteer archive team so that, in the future, the Pier Trust can share them with the public.

Part 4. A lull and then interest re-starts in 1834

Initial research into newspapers as a primary source of information indicates a bit of a gap from the end of the 1820s decade until 1834. There may, of course, be more newspaper reports elsewhere which are currently not listed on the British Newspaper Archive.  However the reports that can be found are to do with postings about meetings to discuss the building of a pier at Clevedon which are planned and adjourned and delayed and re-planned, right up to December 1834.  Here’s just one example of an ADJOURNED MEETING (sic) to be held at Stokes’s Hotel.

Citation: British Newspaper Archive

Just as a reminder from this week’s ArchiveInFive Part 2 – ‘the hotel would have been the old Royal Hotel, formerly on the site of the Friary in Hill Road, and more often known in these advertisements as Stokes’s Hotel.

Another advertisement for shareholders posted in the Bristol Mercury on the 27th September 1834 indicates money is being raised through the sale of shares and Jane Lilly’s transcript tells us what that advert says:

Clevedon, on the Bristol Channel, 12 miles from Bristol. The numerous visitors frequenting this unrivalled watering place, and its inhabitants, are respectfully requested to attend a meeting which will be held at the Hotel, Clevedon, on Wednesday the 8th of October next at ten o’clock, to name a surveyor to prepare plans, specifications and estimate and fixing the situation for erecting a PIER for the use of the Steam Packets* etc. As a large sum is already subscribed, it is requested that all parties inclined to take shares of £16 each to attend to sign their name to propositions which will then be produced.  Sir A  Elton Bart is to requested to preside.   Information is to be obtained from Mr W Hollyman at Clevedon. If by post to be post paid.  

* Keep an eye out in Part 5 tomorrow for more on Steam Packets.

And a month later, a similar advertisement is posted which encourages shareholders to invest in a pier at Clevedon by plugging the ‘facilities and attractions of this rapidly rising watering place.’ Image below.

Part 5.  Seven Years On – there’s good news and bad news

We will end this ArchiveInFive story about the early days of trying to get a pier built at Clevedon by looking at what was happening in 1835 – a scant seven years on from the first newspaper record looked at from 1828.  One artefact, held in the Bristol Records Office and not a newspaper, is exciting as it looks like progress may be being made.  It is the account submitted by Mr Robe, Bristol Harbourmaster in January 1835, for his expenses for going to Clevedon, along with a couple of Bristol Pilots, to ‘inspect the spot upon which the intended pier is to be erected’.   This document shows that Mr Robe invoiced  £1.13.0 for travel,  £1.5.0 for refreshments and the Pilots were paid a Guinea, £1.1.0,  for their ‘attendance.’  The report on their findings isn’t in the Records Office – what an interesting read that would be.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-6-blog-5-cps-image-1835.1-b-invoice.jpg
Citation: Bristol Records Office

Two other items are, however, less encouraging.  They are advertisements and sailing times for the Steam Packet Eagle from Bristol to Portishead and Clevedon which were published in the first half of 1835.  The March 1835 advertisements shows the steam packet season is ready to kick off and Clevedon is clearly on the advertised route.  However, by the 12th of June 1835 there’s sad news when the Steam Packet Eagle notifies customers that it will no longer be landing at Clevedon because it is too dangerous.

Meetings continue to be advertised through 1835 for shareholders but things aren’t looking good and, finally, a report in The Times newspaper, tells us that considerable storms in the Channel caused a pier ‘erecting’ at Clevedon to be entirely destroyedFrom the late 1839s/1840 there are several newspaper reports positing the idea of a pier at Portbury.   Perhaps attention shifted for a while?  For the moment our attention will shift away from the early days of building a pier at Clevedon.  But before we leave here’s a little dip into what was happening in the 1860s.

Nearly 25 years later, the memory of the early attempts to build a pier at Clevedon came up during evidence being taken for the 1863 public inquiry which looked to establish who owned the Clevedon foreshore.   The National Archive holds those records and one testimony is from a local man, Thomas Lilly, who was then renting the foreshore fishing and bathing machine rights.  Mr Lilly is recorded as saying, ‘Mr Hollyman, the Steward (from Clevedon Court) made a landing place near Rock House, where I have seen passengers landed from a steamer. I recollect seeing two passengers a lady and a gentleman landed. They did not make much of a landing place as it was soon knocked down again. It was set up very slight with loose stones. It was swept away by the tide, the Pier was paid for by a collection made by the inhabitants of Clevedon and they complained when it was knocked down.’

Proof, if proof were needed, of the value of keeping careful hold on our history and heritage.

Categories
Artefacts

ArchiveInFive Artefacts No.1

The Old Pier Tolls Board

Another favourite from the collections is this board laying out admission charges referred to as Pier Tolls. The notice board is made from what appears to be a cut down garden gate, painted green and handpainted with the charges for entry on to the pier. Donated by R Gregory the date isn’t known but possibly the board is from the 1940s or 1950s. It is 4’6″ high and 3″ wide and a very heavy thing to move around.  

The prices listed include for day and season tickets for adults and children; for taking a dog or cycle or motorcycle onto the pier as well as for fishing off the pier. It is made clear, in very large letters, at the lower part of the board that if you were using the pier to board a steamer you still had to pay the pier toll of 6d for the day. Clevedon Pier, built with the express purpose of enabling paddlesteamers to come to the town to encourage tourists, still needed to make a living in its own right.

New Pier Head Opened 1893

Official brass plaque commemorating the opening of the new pier head 1893. Source: Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust Archive Image: Clevedon Pier Digital Collection

By 1893, Clevedon Pier – now owned and operated by the Clevedon Local Board – had fixed one of the main problems to its commercial success by building a new pier head and landing stage. More info on this link. This enabled paddlesteamers to call in and cater to the growing Victorian seaside holiday ambitions of the town of Clevedon.

The opening took place with a great celebration and the placing of a plaque, shown above, to commemorate the event. There are two plaques held in the archive – one which was on the pier for many years and is quite worn by decades in the sea air and the other – shown above which is in pristine condition. Both are beautiful items, in their own way, to be held in our collections.

The photograph, below, of the 1893 opening, is probably taken from the top of the pier tollhouse. A narrow avenue in the crowd is lined with the Police and Volunteer Artillery to the right, and to the left, the Fire Brigade and dignitaries. Note the triumphal arch of foliage and flowers under which the opening ceremony took place.

1893 Reopening of the pier with a new pier head and landing stage. Source: Private Collection Image: Clevedon Pier Digital Collection

Captain Paul Boyton Advertising Bill 1875

Poster advertising Captain Boyton’s Demonstration. Source: Property of Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust Image: Pier Archivist

This advertising bill comes from August 1875 when, the global phenomena known as, Captain Boyton demonstrated his rubber life saving dress off of Clevedon Pier. It is a favourite item in the archive’s collection of ephemera. The bill is printed on very thin newsprint by George Caple, Machine Printer, in the Clevedon Mercury and Courier newspaper offices and it is one of the few – perhaps only – surviving examples of this advertising bill many of which would have been printed and posted up and around the town of Clevedon.

The bill shows an image of Captain Boyton in his life saving ‘dress’ (sic) and text states that:

Captain Boynton will exhibit off the Clevedon Pier the life saving vest in which he recently crossed the Channel from France to England.  Excursions will run. The gallant Captain will be in the water from Three to Four and from Seven to Eight pm

In 1875, the pier was still owned by the Clevedon Pier Company and other records held in the Pier’s Business Archive show that Captain Boyton was charged £10 for the privilege of exhibiting his suit off Clevedon Pier, the equivalent in today’s terms of just over £1,000.

This video clip gives more on the history of the rubber lifesaving suit and Captain Boyton’s role in developing and proving its worth.

Paddlesteamer Waverley Model

Model of the Campbell Paddlesteamer Waverley

This beautiful model of the Paddle Steamer Waverley, held in the Archive collections and kept on display in the Pier Manager’s Office, is a lovely reminder of the Pier’s long history and heritage connections with pleasure cruisers and holiday visitors. The archive holds many items to do with its heritage links with paddle steamers – particularly to do with the Campbell Company – and liaised with the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society when work began on the Pier’s paddle steamer collection. We are grateful to the many people who have donated, given information and supported that work including descendants of the Campbell family. But particular thanks must go to Volunteer Archivist Mike who worked so diligently sorting, storing and cataloguing the Pier’s paddle steamer collection.

The Clevedon Pier Company Ledger

Clevedon Pier Company Ledger Source: Private Collection Image: Pier Archive Digital Collection
Clevedon Pier Company Ledger Source: Private Collection Image: Pier Archive Digital Collection

There were many attempts to ‘get going’ with building a pier in Clevedon. The first verifiable record is an advertisement from November 1828, in the Bristol Mirror, offering Ten Guineas to Surveyors for the most approved Plan, Specification and Estimate for building a Pier in Clevedon. It wasn’t until the 1860s, however, that the Clevedon Pier Company finally got underway.

The ledger, shown above, covers the records of the Clevedon Pier Company from 1864 onwards. The first entry is on the 18th October 1864 and contains information about the success of the application to the government, under the Piers and Harbour Act, to build a pier.  More information about the legislation involved in building a pier in the 1860s can be found on this link.

This fascinating ledger contains the minutes of meetings, records of the sale of shares, information about acquiring permission to build Clevedon Pier, the letting of contracts to engineers and surveyors and so on and so on. The last entry is on  10th February 1888.

The Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust Archive team have digitised this artefact with the aim of making its contents available to the general public.

Categories
History of the Pier

Clevedon Pier: From Private to Public Ownership

Between 1848 and 1894, the equivalent of today’s Local Authority was the Local Board of Health.  They originated from government-led efforts to stop cholera epidemics and had a variety of duties related to sewers, clean streets, supply of clean water and later their responsibilities included fire prevention, control of public places and removing dangerous buildings.  The Clevedon Local Board of Health (LBH) began in 1853 and the minutes of the LBH meetings can be found in Somerset Record Offices (part of the South West Heritage Trust) where complete records are held.  Some information is available online (Photo 1) but the contents are yet to be digitised so a visit to Taunton is required to read the Clevedon LBH minutes. 

Photo 1: Somerset Records Office online record of Clevedon Local Board of Health Minutes. Link: https://swheritage.org.uk/

Luckily for the Archive, Miss Daisy Shutler of the Clevedon Civic Society made a record of over 10 years worth of the Clevedon Local Board of Health minutes from 1881 to 1894.  This was the period when Clevedon Pier moved from private ownership by the Clevedon Pier Company into public ownership by the Local Health Board.  Miss Shutler compiled her records in a delightful little book called As We Were – 1882 – 1894 A thumbnail sketch from records of the period. Photo 2.   A copy of Miss Shutler’s book has been donated to the Archive by Jane and Derek Lilly along with a very helpful digitised transcription made by Derek.

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Photo 2: Miss Shutlers Book ‘As We Were’ 1882 – 1894
Source: Lilly Donation Image: J Lilly

The first record in Miss Shutler’s book indicating there were moves underway to take Clevedon Pier into public ownership comes from September, 1890.

Clevedon LBH Minutes  3rd September 1890

The Chairman read a copy of a resolution he had received from a meeting of ratepayers, requesting the Health Board to apply for a Towns Act to enable them to treat for the purchase of the Pier and other purposes and improvements for the benefit of Clevedon.

Things seemed to move fast after the Local Board of Health meeting on the 3rd September, 1890.  The minutes record that the LBH wrote to Mr Abernathy – ‘a gentleman well acquainted with piers and harbours’ – to enquire what his charge would be to look into Clevedon Pier.  A special meeting was convened 2 days later to consider his reply and Mr Abernathy was appointed to undertake the necessary work.  At another special meeting, held on the 8th of October, 1890 the minutes record his findings:

Clevedon LBH Minutes 8th October, 1890

Mr Abernathy….had examined the pier and found the pier head unfit for passenger traffic on account of its not being strong enough.  He would suggest an extension of the present head with a timber landing stage end in connection with the ironwork.  Mr Abernathy did not think the pier would be worth buying unless it was bought cheap.  The Chairman asked Mr Abernathy to give an estimate for the minimum amount of work to be carried out and one for a more elaborate Pier Head. 

Another special meeting of the Local Board of Health was called for the 15th October, 1890 and advertised in the Clevedon Mercury.  The topic was to promote a Bill in Parliament enabling the town of Clevedon to purchase and improve the pier.  The minutes record:

Clevedon LBH Minutes 15th October, 1890

It was resolved that the resolution be published in the Clevedon Mercury twice in pursuance of Section 4 of the Municipal Corporations Act 1872.  Mr Langworthy attended and handed the following list of powers which he suggested should be embodied in the proposed Bill:

1) to purchase the pier and to extend widen and improve the same

2) to appoint a Piermaster and other officers

3) to make Bye Laws and Regulations for controlling traffic and to levy tolls

4) control and regulate the foreshore, beach and parade

Special meetings of the Clevedon Local Board of Health carried on apace through October and November 1890 discussing the purchase of the pier, the costs for rebuilding and improving it and drawing up the Bill to put before Parliament to make it all happen.  A special LBH meeting was called at the beginning of November which comprised the ‘requisite’ 24 ratepayers and owner/residents to vote on the plans and the minutes show:

Clevedon LBH Minutes 7th November, 1890

‘That this meeting of overseers and ratepayers of the district of Clevedon, duly convened, consent to the promotion of a Bill in Parliament in the session of 1891, to enable them to obtain power to purchase and acquire and carry on the undertaking of the Clevedon Pier Company; extension of the Pier, landing stage, moorings etc to the buildings on the pier …..including the appointment of a Pier Master and dissolution and winding up of the (Clevedon Pier) Company.’

So, the change of ownership of the pier was under way and the handover happened in March as shown in these LBH minutes:

Clevedon LBH Minutes 11th March, 1891

‘……the Directors of the (Clevedon) Pier Company had met and decided to offer the pier undertaking of the company to the (Local) Board (of Health) at the sum of £700.  A provisional agreement had been drawn up and approved by the Directors.  It was moved, seconded and carried that the offer of the Pier Directors be accepted and that the seal of the Board be affixed.’

What was this all going to cost?  Well the minutes of the LBH now begin to record many references to the tenders being submitted to get the works done on the pier and, Reader, you won’t be surprised that they had a nasty habit of rising and rising.  By October, 1891 the minutes show concerns that the costs are going to exceed what the Clevedon Local Board of Health will be able to borrow and advertisements for fresh tenders are advised.  By December 1891, the local residents of Clevedon are getting restless and, having got Christmas out the way, the minutes show:

Clevedon LBH Minutes 6th January, 1892

‘A deputation of ratepayers attended before the Board on the subject of the Pier and to urge upon the Board the importance of pushing the matter forward.  Several members of the deputation having given their views, the Chairman expressed his pleasure at seeing them and stated that their ideas on the subject were shared by the Board.  The Board had done and were doing their best to get the business completed and would use every endeavour to get the work carried out as cheaply and quickly as possible.’ 

It sounds like the Local Board of Health are a bit stung by the deputation of ratepayers’ criticism but clearly the Board cracked on with it, got more tenders in, agreed to borrow £10,000 to carry out the pier works at a rate of 3 ½% interest rate and work began.

The LBH minutes now record that the work to rebuild the pier got going, applicants for PierMaster were received, the contract was completed earlier than expected and discussions begin to appear about celebrations for when the pier was to be opened – or perhaps one might say, re-opened. 

A special meeting of the LBH on the 23rd March, 1893 resolved to open the Pier to the public on that day at a charge of 1d per head but no children were allowed without their parents until the safety netting was erected.  The grand celebratory opening in April is recorded in the minutes, as is the gift of a barometer to be fixed near the entrance. 

Having taken over responsibility for Clevedon Pier, the minutes of the Local Board of Health record the day to day challenges involved in running such a structure – setting the rates for admission, dealing with complaints and repair problems, as well as applications for making use of the Pier for ‘entertainments’.  The final examples from the LBH minutes, shared below, help to illustrate the point.

Clevedon LBH Minutes 3rd May, 1893

It was decided that the annual season tickets for the pier should be:

One person for one year from the date of issue      5/- each

Two persons  etc                                                            4/6 each

Three persons etc                                                          4/- each

Clevedon LBH Minutes 5th July, 1893

A letter was read from the owners of the (paddlesteamer) Lorna Doone stating that the piles on the pier head were not strong enough.  A reply was sent that since the opening of the pier large boats had continually been calling sometimes in very rough weather and none of the other Captains had made a complaint.

Clevedon LBH Minutes 4th April, 1894

The surveyor reported he had examined the legs of the bridge part of the pier at low water and found them in very bad condition.

Clevedon LBH Minutes 2nd May, 1894

Application was received from S A Hybert for permission to exhibit stereoscopic views (viewers?) and give open air entertainments on the beach or pier. It was moved and seconded and carried that the stereoscopic views should not be allowed but permission be given for open air entertainments. 

This story of pier heritage, which covers its changeover from public ownership to being run by the Local Board of Health, is being posted as Clevedon, the UK and indeed the world, is in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic.  With this in mind, the Clevedon Local Board of Health minutes from February 1892, record something of particular interest.  It reads:

Clevedon LBH Minutes 3rd February, 1892

A letter was read from the Local Government Board on the subject of precautions to be taken against the Epidemic Influenza.  It was moved, seconded and carried that 100 posters contained extracts from the memorandum be obtained and posted in the District.

Thankyou to Miss Shutler, to Jane Lilly for donating her book to the Archive, to Derek Lily for his transcripts and Somerset Record Offices who hold the primary sources for these Clevedon Local Board of Health minutes.

In these days of spring 2020, when the country/the world is coping with the Covid-19 virus, the Pier has had to close and needs your help. Read more on: https://clevedonpier.co.uk/

Categories
Saving the Pier Post 1970

Save the Pier Scrapbook

The Book of Clevedon Pier is a scrapbook created by Lady Margaret Elton of Clevedon Court to keep newspaper cuttings, photos and ephemera about the rebuilding of the pier from 1970 onwards.  It is 2’ high 18” wide and 4” deep. Photo 1.

On the inside cover is the coat of arms of the Elton family and a quote from Sir John Betjeman. It says:

‘The nastier the roads become, the noisier, the smellier, the more dangerous, the more valuable grows the seaside pier. The pier offers a sea voyage without having to be seasick.’  Photo 2


Photo 1  The Book of Clevedon Pier.  Outer cover.
Source:  Private Collection Image: Pier Archive Digital Collection 

Photo 2:  Inside cover of The Book of Clevedon Pier.
Source: Private Collection Image:  Pier Archive Digital Collection

The first page in this intriguing scrapbook is completely taken up with one single image – most likely from the local newspaper but there is no reference to tell us where it is from. Photo 3. It shows a close up detail of the rusty cross bracing of the structure of the legs underneath the promenade deck and is headed by a large, simple, 3-word banner ‘Save the Pier’. In 1970, after the collapse of one of the pier spans during regular maintenance testing, there began a huge campaign to try and save Clevedon Pier. This scrapbook captures memories from that campaign. More to come in Part 3.

Photo 3: First page in The Book of Clevedon Pier Scrapbook
Source: Private Collection Image: Pier Archive Digital Collection

The Book of Clevedon Pier scrapbook contains many pages of newspaper clippings which record the ebb and flow of decision making, fund raising, successes and failures to do with the 10 years of saving and rebuilding of the pier.  Many inhabitants of the town got behind saving the pier but not everyone was in favour of it and financing the rebuild was not straightforward.   The newspaper clipping shown in Photo 4 suggests there should be a town poll if restoration is found to ‘be a viable but costly proposition’. 

Photo 4: Newspaper clipping in Scrapbook from North Somerset Mercury October 23rd 1970 Source: Private Collection Image: Pier Archive Digital Collection

Photo 5 shows two newspaper clippings.  One records how the decision making went down to the wire – would Clevedon UDC back saving the pier in which case the Historic Buildings Council would back it too.  Photo 5 also shows how opinion was not universally in favour of saving the pier – ‘I don’t think the Council should touch it with a barge pole’ said one correspondent and another opined ‘If you stand on the pier, what have you got? A decaying lump of steelwork.’ The fight to save the pier was not an easy one.

Photo 5: Newspaper clippings in Scrapbook from North Somerset Mercury January 29th, 1971 Source: Private Collection Image: Pier Archive Digital Collection

Clevedon Festival Week took place in June 1968 – two years before the pier collapse – and the scrapbook contains pages of the Festival Magazine. Photo 6

Photo 6: Cover and inside cover of the Festival of Clevedon Magazine from June 1968. Source: Private Collection Image: Pier Archive Digital Collection

It is a poignant reminder of the hopes and aspirations for Clevedon and its pier.  It contains a message from Sir Arthur Elton which talks about the Festival as ‘showing the town to the town’ – such a great turn of phrase. It also reads:  ‘The Festival……was a revelation. Clevedon looked at itself with fresh vision and detected….rich springs of community life, of co-operation, and of neighbourliness.  It was the friendliest week anyone can remember.’ Photo 6A  

Photo 6A Detail from Festival of Clevedon Magazine June 1968
Source: Private Collection Image: Pier Archive Digital Collection

Looking back, from the troubled times in April 2020, it can certainly be said that the rich springs of Clevedon community life and co-operation are certainly still very much alive and well and keeping the town going.

In September 1971, Lady Margaret Elton had an article published in Country Life magazine all about the pier and its history and its future.  Its 3 pages of the article are copied and pasted into her scrapbook and can be seen in Photos 7, 7A and 7B below.

It makes for a great read and the final paragraph states: ‘When the proposed Severn Barrage is built, Clevedon will command an unparalled situation on an inland lake and Clevedon’s Pier will take its rightful place in the environment engineers are reshaping so drastically.’ 

Proof, were it ever needed, that predicting the future is a tricky artform.

Photo 7: The Road to Clevedon Pier by Margaret Ann Elton Country Life September 12th 1971 Source: Private Collection Image: Pier Archive Digital Collection
Photo 7A: The Road to Clevedon Pier by Margaret Ann Elton Country Life September 12th 1971 Source: Private Collection Image: Pier Archive Digital Collection
Photo 7B: The Road to Clevedon Pier by Margaret Ann Elton Country Life September 12th 1971 Source: Private Collection Image: Pier Archive Digital Collection

Thankyou for following this week’s blog about The Book of Clevedon Pier from the 1970s. This has just been some snippets from this large scrapbook and the Archivist will hope to share more in the future. In the meantime please remember……………….

In these days of spring 2020 when the country/the world is coping with the Covid-19 virus the Pier has had to close and sadly needs your help once again. Read more on: https://clevedonpier.co.uk/

Categories
Engineering and Architecture

The Pier Flagstaff

Having a flagstaff on the end of the pier was part of the earliest plans. In June 1863, plans were submitted to the Board of Trade for approval and in 1864, the Clevedon Pier Order was passed allowing the building of a pier.  As a structure jutting into the sea consideration had to be given to the safety of ships moving up and down the Bristol Channel.  By May 28th 1867, the Board of Trade approved the plans for the new Clevedon pier. They included a drawing of a large and very visible flagstaff at the end of the pier. Photo 1.

Photo 1: Close up of flagstaff detail. 1863 drawings submitted to Board of Trade. Held in a private collection. Image: Clevedon Pier Digital Archive Collection

The Pier Archive also holds a small, pencil drawing of the proposed flagstaff – provenance and date unknown – but probably nearer to 1869.  It gives the dimensions of the proposed new flagstaff as being 56’ high and 16’ across with a drawing of a flag on top. The flag is intriguing. It shows the letters C – P – C representing the Clevedon Pier Company quartered with the Union Jack. Photo 2. Its not known if such a flag was ever commissioned or used on the end of the pier.

Photo 2: Small pencil detail of proposed flagstaff on end of pier circa 1869. Provenance: Unknown Image: Clevedon Pier Archive Digital Collection

When Clevedon Pier was officially opened in 1869, the flagstaff was taking its prominent role on the end of the new pier. It can clearly be seen in an engraving of the new pier from the time made by Newman & Co of Watling Street in London and entitled The New Pier Clevedon. Photo 3.

Photo 3: Newman & Co etching of Clevedon Pier circa 1869 Image:Jane Lilly

The Pier Archive also holds a very small but exquisitely beautiful glass paperweight containing a hand painted image of the pier including the flagstaff at the end. Photo 4 shows the paperweight held at an angle to enable the viewer to see the flagstaff with its wonderful bright red flag. Also note the archivist’s thumb for scale.

Photo 4: Glass papereweight showing flagstaff at end of pier circa 1870.
Provenance: Private Donor Image: Clevedon Pier Digital Archive

Neither of the flagstaffs in Photos 3 and 4 look quite like how the flagstaff was intended in the original drawings. Zooming in on Photo 3 gives an idea of how it must have looked at the time, unless Mr Newman of Watling Street’s engravers employed too much artistic licence. Photo 3A.

Photo 3A. Close up of flagstaff in Newman’s engraving 1869.

The flagstaff was used on the pier head until its rebuilding in 1893, after which time it was removed and set up by the thrifty Local Board of Health on one of the points along the coast of Clevedon, by the Bandstand near the Green Beach. The Cotterell family, who lived in Coleridge Road at that time, used to compile and post a newsletter to other family members and their June 1894 letter reported: ‘The flagstaff that was on the pier at Clevedon is now fixed near the Green Beach’. This part of the Clevedon seafront was known for many years as Flagstaff Point and the Copse Road Chapel held their children’s Sunday services beside it for many years. Photo 5.

Photo 5. Copse Road Chapel Special Service for children held around the base of the old flagstaff on Flagstaff Point, Green Beach. Image: Jane Lilly

At some point, a new flagstaff was placed at the end of the pier and Ralph Fryer, long time chairman of the Clevedon Piers Supporters Club, is fondly remembered for always making sure the flag was raised every time a boat came into the pierhead. Photo 6 shows Ralph raising the Union Jack as the famous paddle steamer The Waverley – funnels just visible in the background – is sitting alongside. This flagstaff was lost off the end of the pier during a very bad storm but Ralph managed to rescue the flagstaff and carried it home for safekeeping to his garden where it stood for many years.

Photo 6 Ralph Fryer raising a union flag on the flagstaff. Date unknown. Image: Jane Lilly

And like the very best of stories the story of the Clevedon Pier Flagstaff has a happy ending because, one day, after its long and adventurous life the pier flagstaff finally ‘came home’. When Ralph Fryer passed away his family decided to donate the old flagstaff to the Pier Archive. Ralph’s daughter Jackie and hubby Steve carried the flagstaff down to the seafront where it was stored for a short time at Waterloo House. It was decided to give the flagstaff a permanent new home. Now it can be seen in Pier Copse just above the Pier Ice Cream kiosk opposite the Pier Tollhouse. And it is still flying a flag – the Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust flag. Photo 7.

Photo 7: The Clevedon Pier Flagstaff proudly flying the Clevedon Pier Flag in Pier Copse park. Image: Bette Baldwin

We’d love to hear your stories or see your photos, newsclippings etc. that you might have about the Clevedon Pier Flagstaff and its rich and varied history. If you have anything to share please contact: archivist@clevedonpier.com

Special thanks to Jane Lilly for help with compiling this story.