On behalf of Bridlington Contemporary Gallery, a sponsor of the trails
We have news of our new exhibition. Opening 8th July 11am to 4pm and then each Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 31st July.
“One Hundred Piers” from Paul Tracey.
Piers are an English invention. They started as wharfs for ships to load and unload goods, then, as the railways expanded and people were able to travel further afield for trips and holidays, they became places to promenade. Steamships would take day trippers along the coast, or even to France. In the second half of the 19th century they developed into places of entertainment, becoming larger and grander, offering shows, music and plenty of other ways for the visitors to spend their money. Innovative Victorian engineering created piers that could withstand better the vigour’s of the sea but still provide elegant spaces for all.
This historical development was mirrored in the US, with the West Coast piers originally developed as a landing place for lumber from the North West before being transported by train across the country.
Every pier, from the grandest to the most modest has its own story. They have been blown up, blown down, knocked down, fallen down, burnt down, had boats knock them down and been the subject of bankruptcies and dodgy deals.