The ‘Now and Then’ column with Aled Jones: This time looking at Bridlington Harbour’s North Pier

Aled Jones, a contributor to the Free Press readers’ photographs section and collector of Bridlington-based vintage postcards, has produced another ‘now and then’ compare and contrast column for people to enjoy.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 9:31 am
This postcard was sent to an address in St Ives by a D Green in August 1912.

This time he looks at Bridlington Harbour’s North Pier area, with the most striking changes shown in the backgrounds of the images.

The postcard was sent in 1912 and features a very busy pier with well dressed visitors.

Mr Jones said: “The beautiful North Pier at Bridlington never ceases to amaze and it’s still as popular today for a bracing stroll as it was when this elegant Late Edwardian scene was photographed.

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The modern day photogaph taken by Aled Jones.

“The fabulous vintage postcard dates to August 1912 and was sent to an address in St Ives (Hampshire) by a D Green who simply writes ‘Heath House, 6 Marlborough Terrace, Bridlington 5/8/12. Arrived here safely. No punctures’.

“One can only assume that, with no punctures suffered, the writer had only travelled a fairly short distance to the resort, this is because in 1912 many local roads were still fairly crude and therefore an obvious challenge even for the most experienced cyclist.

“Interestingly the person’s final destination, Heath House on Marlborough Terrace, was at the time one of the most beloved hotels in Bridlington – a fact verified by the building being featured on contemporary postcards.

“There’s so much history in vintage postcards like this one, not least because they often show the past to be a foreign country where people did things differently, and we can marvel here at how different the fashions were 109 years ago.

“Wouldn’t it be jolly to find a time machine that can take us back to the stylish Edwardian era?

“What really strikes you about the 1912 postcard is how immaculately dressed the holidaymakers are, especially the ladies with their wonderful handmade dresses and hats.

“The modern photographic replication exhibits two very major structural changes, namely the vanishment of the stunning Victoria Rooms (burnt down in 1933), located at the very head of the pier, and also the equally imposing Grand Pavilion on the end of Royal Prince’s Parade.

“The latter was, tragically, demolished in November 1936 in order to maintain an unspoilt view across the north bay.

“Structurally speaking, the North Pier itself hasn’t changed one bit since its completion in 1843, and thus retains all its original Victorian character.”