The New Brighton Pier & Ferry

The construction of the first pier to be
built was initially for provision of the
workmen who were building the villas in
New Brighton.  The pier allowed a small
ferry to shuttle them across the Mersey
and back home to Liverpool on a daily
basis.  The pier was only a small landing
point, and thrown together quickly for one
purpose and one purpose only.....
Debarkation.  

The pier was a ramshackle of wood
beams, steel dwarf railings and lanterns
for lighting in the winter mornings.  The
pier was held up by hundreds of crude
wooden stakes pitted firmly into the New
Brighton sands held with steel pins and
braces.  The pier may have looked like an
eye sore, but it completed its purpose
which was to bring in workers to build up
the town and begin work on the new
Promenade Pier.  
New Brighton Pier
In 1861 the new pier project was taken over by the New Brighton Pier company who had plans drawn up by Eugenius
Birch to build a new improved venue.  Eugenius Birch was credited with many great piers around the U.K, most notably
Brighton's West pier.  Work began immediately on the new pier which was to be known as the promenade pier, whilst at
the same time Wirral Corporation began work on a small pier along its side to carry passengers to the refurbished ferry.  

The new pier was finally opened in 1867 amongst a hive shops, rest rooms and cafés.  The creation of the new pier
meant that people could disembark onto the pier and straight into the fun.  This in turn mean that the ferry service
became an incredibly popular idea and saw an immediate increase in passengers.  Now day trippers from Liverpool
crowded the ferry's to come over the river for a short break or just a day out.  The pier also contained a small but pavilion
which held daily shows and talent acts.  New Brighton became an extremely popular place not only to live but as a tourist
trap drawing huge crowds especially in the summer months.   Purpose built transportation sprung up around New
Brighton with the sudden inclusion of a tram system which met holiday makers directly at the end of the pier.  The trams
played a huge role in the infrastructure of the township and allowed greater access to the further corners of New
Brighton.  
New Brightons first Pier
The First New Brighton Pier
In the early 1900s the
old pavilion was
demolished to make
way for a new and
improved building.  The
new pavilion was built
to a higher specification
and this time at a new
location at the end of
the pier.  

Sadly by the early 1920s
the pavilion was not
receiving much attention
and in 1923 it closed its
doors for the last time.  

Still the entertainment
on and around the pier
continued to boom and
there are records of the
ferry's being heavily
crowded and in some
cases extremely unsafe.
 
New Brighton Pier
The pier underwent many alterations over the years before finally being completely rebuilt in 1931 at a cost of just under
£50,000.  The use of the ferry service remained thorough until the 1960's.  In 1973 the ferry service was stopped due t o
lack of passengers and the pier was sadly demolished giving a grim end to another one of Wirrals lost land marks.  The
New Brighton Landing Stage dismantled by Carter Horseley Engineering Liverpool.  The huge stage was towed by
numerous tugs into Edgerton Dock.  A Mammoth Floating Crane was used in Liverpool to help with the operation.  The
stage was burnt up and sold for scrap to Spain by Vince Karalvs a local Rugby Player from Warrington.

The following are a number of photographs taken by a friend of mine who worked on the refurbishment of the landing
stage in the 1960's and the dismantling of the pier in 1973.    
New Brighton Pier 1917
New Bridge being erected in 1963
New Bridge being erected in 1963
New Bridge being erected in 1963
New Bridge being erected in 1963
Dismantling the landing stage in 1973
Floating away the stage in 1973
Dismantling the landing stage in 1973
Floating away the stage in 1973
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