Tag Archives: pier

Festival of Postcards: Eastbourne after the Great Blizzard

14 Dec

The theme for the latest Festival of Postcards hosted by Evelyn at A Canadian Family blog is white.

Given the time of year and the fact that there are rumours going around that we might have a White Christmas in Sussex this year (I very much doubt it!), there was only really one choice of card from my collection.

This is rather different to the usual seaside view of Eastbourne, Sussex showing the promenade and pier. There are a few figures on the beach, but no tourists enjoying ice cream in the sunshine. Although judging by the number of footprints it does look like there had been plenty of people out strolling along the promenade.

The “great blizzard” was on the 28th December 1908 and of course the heavy snowfall wasn’t confined to just Eastbourne or Sussex, but much of Britain appears to have been affected.

According to The Sussex Weather Book (Froglets Publications and Frosted Earth, 1991) in Eastbourne, “so fierce was the blizzard on the sea front that the snow and mist rendered the sea invisible”.

The Brighton Herald newspaper (quoted in The Sussex Weather Book) described the scene:

There is nothing that so utterly transforms a town as such a fall of snow as that of this week. It brings with it a rare witchery of beauty, yet a rare sense of desolation. The beauty is in the encrusting of the trees, the silvering of the bushes and the mantling of lawns in purest white. The effect of desolation was heightened by the profound hush. Indeed the strange effect of deep snow to the townsman is the silence that it brings”.

Ironically the ice skating rink at Brighton had to be closed because “snow was percolating through the roof and covering the floor”.

Picture Postcard Parade: Wrecked Worthing Pier

6 Oct

Searching through the postcards at Haywards Heath last weekend I came across a postcard of Worthing Pier that reminded me that I had some postcards of the pier in my collection. As I was down at Worthing last week and showed you a photograph of the pier as it is now, I thought I would show you an earlier postcard of Worthing Pier from my collection.

Wrecked Worthing Pier

Wrecked Worthing Pier

There picture really speaks for itself, the pier was partially destroyed in a storm on the night of the 22nd March 1913. According to the National Piers Society website Worthing Pier was re-opened a little over a year later on the 29th May 1914 by the Lord Mayor of London.

The news of the destruction of the pier was reported in The Times on Monday 24th March 1913:

Shortly before midnight on Saturday about 200 yards of the pier at Worthing was swept away. During the winter work has been in progress on the pier, the intention being to enlarge the shore end of the structure preliminary to the erection of an arcade leading into a shore-end pavilion. It was the swaying of a big crane used for lifting the ironwork into position that gave the assembled crowds on the front the first indication of danger. A few minutes later loud reports were heard above the noise of the gale, and three-fourths of the pier disappeared, isolating the pavilion and landing-stages at the far end. The electric arc lamps were extinguished by the severing of the supply, and the lamps on the parade and in the town were extinguished.

The pier was built in 1862 and represented a capital outlay of something like £17,000. Only the pavilion and the landing stages at the far end now remain, and the damage done is established at about £10,000.

At daylight the beach for a distance of nearly a mile was strewn with timber planking, iron seats, and other wreckage from the pier. The roadway along Worthing Parade and the adjacent streets were yesterday flooded to a depth of from one to two feet.

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