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Southsea South Parade Pier
Southsea, Hampshire
Southsea South Parade Pier
associated engineer
R. Gale
G.E. Smith
date  1875 - 1879, rebuilt 1904 - 1908
era  Victorian  |  category  Pier, seaside  |  reference  SZ651980
photo  Paul Dunkerley
The first pier in Southsea was Clarence Pier (1860-61). South Parade Pier was the second. The newer pier incorporated an innovative concrete deck. This pier had to be rebuilt after it was damaged by fire in 1904.
The South Parade Pier of 1879 was built to the designs of Blackburn engineer R. Gale (though the designer was also given as George Rake of Southsea). Its length was 1,950ft -- long enough for steamer embarkation.
After the fire in 1904, the pier company was taken over by Portsmouth Corporation, and the structure was completely rebuilt to the designs of G.E. Smith as more of a pleasure pier. The new pier is only 600ft long.
The rebuilt pier had cast iron screw piles, cast iron columns braced by iron railway rails and one and a quarter inch round iron ties and lattice girders. It also had what for the time was an innovative concrete deck in lieu of the traditional timber planking.
The pier had windscreens on all sides, a large shoreward pavilion with two large halls, one as a 1,200 seat theatre demolished in 1967, the other as a small hall and cafe.
There was also a seaward end small pavilion with bar and lounge, damaged by fire in the 1960s and again 1974 during making of the film Tommy. This pavilion was subsequently rebuilt in traditional style on a section of deck carried by castellated steel beams.
Main contractor (original): Head Wrightson & Co
Manin contractor (rebuild): Bevis, Yelf & Thorne
Research: PD
reference sources   SPSurv
Location

Southsea South Parade Pier