Saltburn pier is now the last remaining pier of it’s type in Yorkshire. Built between 1867 and 1869 it has survived two world wars, been crashed into by a number of ships and has been continually pounded by the North Sea. This pier is a survivor but only just.
When it was opened in May of 1869, it was approx. 1,400 ft long, the piles (legs) and framework were made of iron and it had a wooden deck.The pier was first badly damaged during storms in 1875, closed for repairs and was re-opened in 1877. In 1900, more storms caused damage to the pier-head, then in May of 1924, a ship named the “Ovenbeg” , with a cargo of China clay, crashed into the Hazelgrove side of the pier, making it impossible for patrons to get to the end and the pier was again closed for repairs.
A theatre was built at the shore end to provide entertainment and compensate for the loss of entertainment at the sea-ward end. The pier was re-opened again in 1930. In 1938, the pier was bought from the owners by the local council for £12,000 and in 1940, during world war two, sections were removed to prevent any German invasion making use of the pier. In 1947, work started to make good the whole length of the pier, shelters and seating on the pier-headand it was re-opened in April of 1952. During the terrific winter storms of 1953 more damage was caused and again the pier was closed for approx. 5 years.
In 1961, another violent storm hit the pier and it was closed for repairs yet again. After re-opening, the pier managed to get through the next few years without too much serious damage but in the early 1970’s the beginning of the end for the pier-head started. Some of the piles were cracked or broken by some fierce weather and then one night, in 1974, the level section just at the bottom of the ramp (or slipway as it was known to the locals) parted company from the pier-head and the straight section started to sway violently. The pier was quickly closed and next morning, the pier-head was gone completely.
In 1975, the local council made an application to have the pier demolished. After a close inspection of the pier and much heated debating, enough money was found to have the pier repaired yet again but now at only 680 ft long. It was re-opened again on June 29th 1978. Since then much more repair work has been carried out and the last major repairs were carried out during 2000 – 2001 with the help of £1,000,000 from the National Lottery Fund and was yet again re-opened, this time in May 2001.
In April 2009, it was announced that Saltburn pier had won the National Piers Society’s 2009 Pier of the Year award.
As of now, 2017, the pier is still in good repair and is free for public access.
This pier really is a survivor but for how much longer?