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Blackpool South Pier
Blackpool, Lancashire
Blackpool South Pier
associated engineer
T.P. Worthington
date  1892 - 1893
era  Victorian  |  category  Pier, seaside  |  reference  SD302337
ICE reference number  HEW 1005
photo  Blackpool South Pier, 1907
Blackpool’s third pier (preceded by North and Central) is one of only two seaside piers in the country to be founded on jetted piles.
Originally called Victoria Pier as there was already a Blackpool South Jetty (later renamed Central Pier), the structure's name was changed to South Pier in 1930.
Short but wide, it carried 36 shops, eight shelters in four pairs along the neck, and a bandstand. Its 1893 pierhead Grand Pavilion was designed by architect J.D. Harker.
Some 429ft long, the pier is founded on cast iron jetted piles, which were installed in only 20 minutes apiece by sub-contractor Robert Finnegan using a steam fire pump. The piles support vertical cast iron columns in double rows of six.
If the original deck beams were made of steel, which is thought to be so, it's possible that Blackpool South Pier was the first pier to be constructed using steel beams. The deck members were mostly replaced by castellated steel beams in later years, those at the landward end being encased in sprayed concrete. The deck now has modern panel railings.
The pier was subsequently lengthened and more entertainment facilities were added. A major fire in 1958 destroyed the 1893 Rainbow Theatre, which was later rebuilt but burnt down again 1964. Another fire in 1964 destroyed an amusement arcade and shops.
The present pier has little visual appeal. The pierhead theatre was demolished in December 1997 to make way for a 420m long £1.5m French spinning roller-coaster ride erected in 1998.
Pavilion architect: J.D. Harker
Contractor: J. Butler & Company
Jetted piling: Robert Finnegan
Research: PD
reference sources   CEH NorthSPSurvSPd
Location

Blackpool South Pier