June 1884 pier improvements

From wood to iron girders

Isle of Wight Observer June 14 1884

IMPROVEMENTS ON RYDE PIER – Since the month of April last some rather important alterations have been made to the pier, the shore end (consisting of brick arches on wooden piles which were built about 1813) having been removed and replaced with iron piles, girders and runners. A wooden deck replaces part of the old cement near the shore end. Altogether about 100 yards ahve been thus dealt with, and the work is rapidly approaching completion. Mr F Braddley, of Kidderminster, is the contractor. The cost of the work is considerable, but, of course, the outlay was a very necessary one, and other repairs are, we understand, in contemplation. It is stated that during the progress of the work several interesting discoveries were made. The contractor had a difficult matter to get his piles through the mud, and his progress was further impeded by the trunks of several large trees which were found imbedded in the mud about 10 feet below the surface. Whether they were deposited there or not is a matter of conjecture, but some believe they grew in their present position a “thousand years or so ago”. There are several trunks of trees near the Victoria Yacht Club, and as these appear to have grown in their present positions, it would seem as if the sea had invaded the land quite within recent times.

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