The ‘Now and Then’ column with Aled Jones: Bridlington harbour’s south pier

Avid collector of Bridlington-based postcards and local photographer Aled Jones has compiled another ‘now and then’ scene for readers to enjoy – this time of the harbour’s south pier.

By Phil Hutchinson
Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 10:38 am
This colourful south pier postcard is clearly date stamped  October 2, 1963.
This colourful south pier postcard is clearly date stamped October 2, 1963.

Mr Jones compares and contrasts a postcard from 1963 with one of his modern day photographs.

Mr Jones said: “The beautiful south pier at Bridlington is one of the town’s most renowned landmarks and rightly so, as the building is listed at Grade II for having special historical and architectural interest.

“Built between 1843 and 1848 it’s the expert work of one James Walker, a nationally notable mid-19th century civil engineer.

A modern day photograph showing the busy Bridlington harbour area.

“In this increasingly busy and complicated world the thing many of us crave is peace, and a quiet stroll along the south pier is often the perfect antidote.

“When you add the traditional cobles and fishing boats, the later lined up in beautifully neat rows, there is so much charm and character to be found as well.

“The overall effect is something beyond price and a veritable inheritance for future generations to enjoy.

“The colourful vintage postcard on show here this week features the south pier and adjacent seafront areas as they used to look in the swinging Sixties, the card is clearly date stamped 2nd October, 1963.

“As you can see from the modern photographic comparison, the south pier has altered very little over the last six decades or so, apart from such minor details as a wide stone extension directly in front of the Crane Wharf (this being for a marine diesel filling station), and the extra lighting added in very recent times.

“It’s also interesting to note how much taller the Lawrence Complex building, situated at the front of the pier, now is compared to when the picture postcard was taken, the function of the extra storey being hotel accommodation.

“The area is traditionally known as Gummers Landing, a former RAF air/sea rescue launch point.

“Another comparison of the two photographs will reveal that the large one-storey building that once joined onto the Spa Royal Hall has been demolished without a trace.

“It was part of the new facilities that were built after the 1932 fire and was formerly a public lavatory.

“Note, as well, to the top right of the old postcard, the major modifications to two properties on the corner of West Street, which appear to have been built in the early to mid-Victorian era, because of their attractive bow windows and classical porches.

“They have both been carelessly adapted for use as a restaurant and take-away.”