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Morecambe Central Pier, site of
Morecambe, Lancashire
Morecambe Central Pier, site of
associated engineer
Not known
date  circa 1870 - 1872
era  Victorian  |  category  Pier, seaside  |  reference  SD434647
ICE reference number  HEW 1290
photo  Paul Dunkerley / ICE R&D Fund
Sadly demolished in 1992, Morcambe's Central Pier was noted for its pierhead, where there was a theatre and a ballroom.
There is a story, probably apocryphal, that the pier was made of iron components intended for an Indian railway viaduct that was never built as the railway company went bankrupt, leaving the iron on the docks in England. If true, it would explain why the name of the engineer is unknown.
The pier was 278m long. It was built around 1870, strengthened in 1896 and had two pavilions added in 1897. These were destroyed by fire in 1933 and replaced with the theatre and ballroom. The latter housed a disco in the early 1980s. At the pier entrance was an arcade with covered pedestrian walkways either side, leading to a central covered walkway. The pierhead had been widened into a T-shape and a small theatre and open-air roller-skating rink added.
The 13.1m-wide promenade deck had posts bolted to the deck at 1.22m centres and decorative railing panels. Around the pierhead, the railings had three rails, and posts at 2.44m centres.
The deck was laid with 140mm-wide timber boards set longitudinally in groups of four separated by 25mm gaps for drainage. Below these were timber joists at irregular centres sitting on iron girders. The girders were supported by rows of four unequally-spaced cast iron columns, braced with diagonal iron tie rods and horizontal iron rail sections. Some of the columns at the landward end had been encased in brickwork. The pier abutment was a nearly vertical concrete wall with a slightly curved vertical profile.
Starting from the landward end, the arrangement of columns was as follows .... groups of two rows of four, one row of four, a group of three rows of three, one row of four, a group of two rows of four, one row of four, a group of three rows of three, one row of four, a group of two rows of four, then the pierhead.
Research: PHEW
reference sources   ICE / INCHSP

Morecambe Central Pier, site of