Ryde Pier Improvements June/July 1894

Observer, June 23, 1894 – IMPROVEMENTS ON RYDE PIER – We are pleased to learn that the Directors of the Pier Company have decided to make several very important improvements on their property. The wooden railing, which runs the whole length of the Pier, is to be removed and a new iron fencing of a light and elegant pattern will be substituted. Arrangements have also been made to fix during the season large gas stars at the end of the electric railway, near the band stand, and at the entrance to the Joint Railway Companies Pier, so that the head of the Pier will be brilliantly lighted. The piles for the new pavilion have also arrived, and they will shortly be placed in position by a new process. They are of iron and hollow, and as the pile sinks in position the mud and gravel into which it is pressed is pumped up. It is said that this is a very expeditious method. Mr I Barton is also making two large shelters of an elegant pattern which will shortly be placed on the Pier.

Frith Family on Ryde Pier Courtesy of Francis Frith Collection
Frith Family on Ryde Pier Courtesy of Francis Frith Collection

Observer, July 28, 1894 : IMPROVEMENTS ON RYDE PIER – The directors of the Pier Company have, we understand, accepted a tender for the supply of new iron railings for their Pier. These railings will be handsome in design, and will include a novel arrangement of hollow tubes running through the top and bottom of each support. The top one will be used as a pipe to convey gas to the lamps, which will be placed at regular intervals all the way down the Pier, and the lower one to convey the wire to the electric lamps. It is, we understand, in contemplation, to place gas and electric lamps alternately, and to use both gas and electricity for lighting on special occasions, so that Ryde Pier will be one of the best lighted thoroughfares in England. We trust the example of the Pier Company will stimulate the Corporation to do something in a similar direction, for certainly much better light is needed in the Esplanade Gardens.

The above image  – reproduced by kind permission of the Francis Frith Collection – clearly shows the alternating gas and electric lights on the pier – and the Shelter designed by Thomas Hellyer, with the sea serpents.

Information given about the Scottish foundry which made these railings can be found here.

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