Town with a pier-less view

1949 artist's impression of what Cleveleys Pier would look like

1949 artist's impression of what Cleveleys Pier would look like

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TWO different plans for a pier at Cleveleys to rival the three Blackpool boardwalks have been unearthed by reader Harold Eastwood, of Normoss.

He says: “During the past few months I have been working as a volunteer at Blackpool Central Library’s Local History Department sorting and cataloguing the extensive collection of the late Ralph Smedley.

“He was a local historian from Cleveleys who published several books on the history of his home town and surrounding area. Mrs Smedley very kindly donated her late husband’s local history archive to the library which will provide a wealth of additional information on Thornton Cleveleys and Blackpool for many years to come for those wishing to research the area. As well as a large collection of photos and postcards there are hundreds of local newspaper articles of historical interest covering most of the 20th century.

“For example, The Gazette and Herald in 1949 ran an article informing readers that in 1898 there were plans to build a further two piers at Blackpool. One, to be called the Palatine Pier was to be constructed opposite the-then Palatine Hotel. The second scheme was for a 340 yard pier at North Shore near the Carlton Hotel, the idea of the Blackpool Sea Water Company whose major and only shareholder was Alderman W H Cocker, Blackpool’s first mayor. He, naturally was all in favour of the scheme. But there were objections as it was considered monstrous that the residential area be thrown open to all and sundry on the same terms as the rest of the promenade. However, parliamentary bills seeking powers to construct were necessary and at the end of the day The House Of Lords threw out both bills so the piers never became reality.”

Harold adds: “Further up the coast, there were plans to build a pier at Cleveleys in 1934, at a cost of around £60,000. The Cleveleys Pierdrome was to be situated at the top of Victoria Road West. The Gazette of January 31, 1934 informed readers of the plans and national newspaper The Daily Despatch showed drawings of the proposed structure, an ambitious plan which never got off the ground.

“Yet, 15 years later, the front page of The Thornton Cleveleys edition of The Gazette and Herald of February 26, 1949 showed yet another set of plans for a Cleveleys pier, described as ‘the world’s most modern pier with a unique design’, costing £300,000 and stretching out to sea some 1,050ft.

“But, as we all well know, Cleveleys never did get its pier – or should I say, either of them.”