Leisure => Piers & Seafront => Topic started by: Admiral D Ascoyne on February 18, 2013, 08:58:34

Title: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Admiral D Ascoyne on February 18, 2013, 08:58:34
Hello,
I made a reconnaissance mission to the pier head at sunny Herne Bay yesterday, hope to return on a higher tide to gain access to the platforms and take a few more photos...
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Admiral D Ascoyne on February 18, 2013, 09:05:55
We also had a look under the land side section the pier, not quite as interesting though...
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Admiral D Ascoyne on March 25, 2013, 15:47:34
What it used to look like...
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Sentinel S4 on March 25, 2013, 17:03:57
Do we have a date on the picture that has the Medway Queen in it? Seeing the number of people at the Pier Head and the paucity on the neck I would hazard a guess that this was her last Voyage. As for the Tram, nice picture and a long time since I have seen those initials on anything, Herne Bay Urban District Council for those interested.

S4.
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Ted Ingham on March 25, 2013, 17:58:47
Do we have a date on the picture that has the Medway Queen in it? Seeing the number of people at the Pier Head and the paucity on the neck I would hazard a guess the this was her last Voyage. As for the Tram, nice picture and a long time since I have seen those initials on anything, Herne Bay Urban District Council for those interested.

S4.

The date of the picture of the Paddle Steamer alongside is in the early 1930's.
The Paddle Steamer is the Isle of Arran built in 1892 by TB Seath on the Clyde for Williamson Buchanan Steamers Ltd.
In 1933 the Isle of Arran was sold to the General Steam Navigation Co, for use on the River Thames. Here, she sailed on river and dock cruises for the Port of London Authority, excursions to Herne Bay and afternoon cruises round the Nore Lightship. She was sold for breaking up at T W Wards yard at Grays at the end of the 1936 season.
Attached a picture of the Medway Queen arriving at Herne Bay on her final year 1963.

Regards,
Ted

Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Sentinel S4 on March 25, 2013, 18:31:22
Thanks Ted. Often as not I get it wrong  :). I can see the difference between the two steamers now.

S4.
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Admiral D Ascoyne on April 08, 2013, 14:25:15
We returned to the pier head at high tide and this time we landed... so you don't have to ;-)
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Admiral D Ascoyne on April 08, 2013, 14:27:48
We returned to the pier head at high tide and this time we landed... so you don't have to ;-)
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Stewie on April 08, 2013, 19:03:09
Lovely pictures Admiral D Ascoyne, looks like the deck of some recently salvaged ocean liner! Must be quite eerie walking out there where once there was so much life.

Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Sentinel S4 on April 08, 2013, 19:10:26
" Can you hear the paddles chunking from Margate to Old Herne Bay................................"

Sorry Mr Kipling but I could not resist.............

S4.
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: mikeb on April 08, 2013, 23:39:50
I didn't know Herne Bay pier had a tramway on it before. Do we know how it was powered?
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: helcion on April 09, 2013, 07:26:51
MikeB    -

The original pier, built in the 1830s & which lasted for about 40 years, had a handworked line, occasionally supplemented by sail power when winds were favourable.

The replacement pier, opened in 1898, had a 3'6" electric tramway which operated on a side-conduit system with a generator at the shore end of the pier.
This lasted until 1925 when it was replaced by the petrol-electric tram set seen in the Admiral's photo.

The tramway closed in 1939 when the pier was severed in two places on the outbreak of WW2.

I can remember the disused track set in the decking when I used to fish from the pier in the 1950s.

There was a fatality during the electric era when a derailed tram fell into the sea & a passenger was drowned.

Cheers

Helcion
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: man-of-kent on April 09, 2013, 07:31:03
The full history of the railway/tramway can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herne_Bay_Pier  but to summarise, it was an electric tram up until the war when the army blew some sections  out of the pier and bridged the gaps with bailey bridges, which the tram could not pass over. Then from about 1950 there was a narrow gage steam railway for a few years.
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Admiral D Ascoyne on April 09, 2013, 09:08:33
We returned to the pier head at high tide and this time we landed... so you don't have to ;-)

Thank you Stewie, it's a pleasure to share the photos on KHF site, the pier head is a landmark everyone in Herne Bay knows well but probably only 10% of the population has been out there (since the '78 storm).

Like the vast majority of the town, I spent many a time daydreaming about what it looks like up close, so it was a big personal achievement to finally reach the pier head, my friend and I both high 5'ed each other as soon as we landed!

The upper level really stinks as there a good inch of bird droppings on the concrete section that has the consistency of glue, and there`s 3 ft (not an exaggeration) of bird droppings inside the pavilion.

We were only on the upper level for about 20mins, we would've been longer but the stench was getting unbearable!

I wouldn't go there in summer! :)

Admiral
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: helcion on April 09, 2013, 09:25:07
Quote
The upper level really stinks as there a good inch of bird droppings on the concrete section that has the consistency of glue, and there`s 3 ft (not an exaggeration) of bird droppings inside the pavilion.

Sounds like a prime business opportunity for starting a Kentish Guano Industry  . . . . . .
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: mikeb on April 09, 2013, 10:25:52
Thanks helcion, man of kent and of course the admiral.

I never knew the pier, only the "cow shed", now thankfully (aesthetically) gone. The loss of facilities that it provided is of course another  matter.  (Off topic so not pursued here).

The picture of the tram reminded me of the original cars on Southend Pier, but a ride out to sea on a live steam train, now that would have been something else!!  Any one have any photos of that?
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: helcion on April 09, 2013, 11:25:17
MikeB    -

A quick Google found   -

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22420011@N05/2369612478/

The Alec Guinness film ‘All at Sea’ in which he played a piermaster featured a miniature steam line prominently, but I know not which pier was involved.

Margate & Ramsgate harbour arms both had miniature steam lines for short periods [traces can still be seen at Margate] & I think that Margate Pier had a non-steam line for a while before the pier collapsed.
 
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: man-of-kent on April 09, 2013, 11:36:24
The 1960s film French Dressing was made almost entirely on location in Herne Bay. It features the pier and several other landmarks.
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Admiral D Ascoyne on April 09, 2013, 13:30:46
The 1960s film French Dressing was made almost entirely on location in Herne Bay. It features the pier and several other landmarks.

Herne Bay cinema did a special showing as part of the HB festival way back in the 90's, I've seen it and it's one of those cheap 6d flicks which I'd hazard a guess teenagers would've gone to see to get out of the rain ;-)

 Roy Kinnear was in it 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Dressing_(film)
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Admiral D Ascoyne on April 09, 2013, 13:35:27
MikeB    -

A quick Google found   -

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22420011@N05/2369612478/

The Alec Guinness film ‘All at Sea’ in which he played a piermaster featured a miniature steam line prominently, but I know not which pier was involved.

Margate & Ramsgate harbour arms both had miniature steam lines for short periods [traces can still be seen at Margate] & I think that Margate Pier had a non-steam line for a while before the pier collapsed.

Its a lovely, cosy film just like Kind Hearts and Coronets (which is much better). All at Sea was the US name...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnacle_Bill_(1957_film)
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: smiler on May 08, 2013, 13:16:34
(http://i1018.photobucket.com/albums/af310/smiler2/kent/scan00016.png) (http://s1018.photobucket.com/user/smiler2/media/kent/scan00016.png.html)
 Built by Thomas Telford, Herne Bays first pier opened in June 1832. It was 1 mile long.
(http://i1018.photobucket.com/albums/af310/smiler2/kent/scan0001-1.png) (http://s1018.photobucket.com/user/smiler2/media/kent/scan0001-1.png.html)
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: shoot999 on October 26, 2016, 14:21:48
Thought I would transfer this photo over from the Guess the Place thread as the seating is identifiable in both the then and now photos.


Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Maid of Kent on October 26, 2016, 21:54:20
Sad to see Herne Bay Pier in that state. It, of course could been seen from the slopes of Tankerton where I lived and I remember it having two great gaps in it through out the war to stop the enemy landing. They were soon repaired and by 1946 (?) was opened for the summer when I visited it with an 'aunt' - watching folks roller skating. In 1947 I went with the family on the Eagle (?) to Southend for the day - little did I think then that I would be living that side of the Estuary 25  years later!

I know that Herne Bay Pier was mainly swept away in a big storm - was that 1953? - it was, of course it's death knell and was never repaired
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Dave Smith on October 27, 2016, 20:05:38
Maid of Kent. You sound a bit younger than me but still remember H.B. pier with the gaps during the war. I was evacuated to H.B. Sept. '39 - July '40 from Gillingham. I remember that at Hampton (next to Tankerton) there was a fine " modern" cubist white house high up that was painted in green/brown camouflage early in 1940; some one said it belonged to a Maharaja. Do you remember it? 
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Nemo on October 27, 2016, 21:25:36
Um; we're not talking Mayfair Court again are we?
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Maid of Kent on October 27, 2016, 22:12:22
Believe it or not the name Hampton doesn't mean anything to me. Is it a name that has been give to an area say within last 40 years. In 1940 I was living on the sea front Tankerton between the Priest & Sow Corner and the Café Royal Hotel (corner of Pier Ave) (remember the sea freezing in 1940). After nearly 3 years in Lower Rainham was back at Tankerton for 5 more years (remember sea freezing and winter of 1947) and thereafter often there till my grandmother died in 1985 but I Don't Remember Hampton! If you could be a bit more specific I might be able to dredge something up from my memory!
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Maid of Kent on October 27, 2016, 22:15:40
Nemo mentions Mayfair Court - can you enlighten me about that - refer me to the appropriate forum link, because at the moment that doesn't ring a bell either
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Nemo on October 28, 2016, 09:21:39
Try http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=18867.0 (http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=18867.0), eg. posts 1 (with links) and 29.
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Dave Smith on October 28, 2016, 10:46:20
Sorry Maid, Hampton is in fact a suburb of Herne Bay, right at the Western edge. A bit further on you come to Tankerton, a suburb of Whitstable, on its Eastern edge. Yes, I certainly do remember the sea freezing in the Winter '39/'40 for we spent a lot of time on the beach & promenade (we shared the local school so only went in half days). It had only been a sunny holiday area to us in the past so sea ice was amazing.
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Nemo on October 28, 2016, 11:11:05
A nice view:  http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=17561.0 (http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=17561.0).
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: CAT on October 29, 2016, 20:12:33
A typical seaside view of the time (early 1950s) showing repairs to the pier to reattach the two portions with onlookers. Would this conflict with Maid of Kents earlier suggestion that following the storm of 1953 that the pier was abandoned?
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: CAT on October 29, 2016, 20:13:16
Sorry, forgot to attach.
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Mickleburgh on October 30, 2016, 10:21:51
That photo is of the landward side of the pavilion and is almost certainly part of the repairs following damage done in the 1953 floods. To clarify a few points, the two holes blown in the pier in 1940 had to be bridged even during the war (Bailey bridges) and post-war more permanent (but narrow) wooden structures for public use were put in place. It is said that an over-zealous military engineer interpreted an order `to prepare` the pier for demolition in case of invasion as `action this day`. Post-war compensation was squandered on the old pier pavilion which later burnt down and was replaced by the abominable `cowshed`, one of many poor decisions (the tower block opposite the pier entrance was another) by a Council who did not really want to see the town develop as a resort or appreciate its historical attractions. That, oddly, only came when local control passed to Canterbury.
Failure to conduct proper repairs and maintenance of the pier structure on the seaward end led to it eventually becoming unsafe and uninsurable but it remained open to the public until at least 1968. Things worsened in the 1970s and partial collapse in one storm was followed by another that finished the job and led to demolition clearance, at some cost. There were many who would have dearly liked to have got their hands on the past worthies of the town who had so poorly served us.
The miniature railway that appeared in the 1950s, between the two `temporary` bridges was not all that long and not really an `end to end` replacement of the former tram. By 1960 it had been moved to the pier at Margate (have a photo somewhere and, if found, will post here). It was a blue Bassett-Lowke model of a Gresley `Pacific` and (I heard a while back) still around somewhere.
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Dave Smith on October 30, 2016, 13:48:38
Wow, Just think, I may have been at school with some of those- if local - in 1940! At that time, there was no way onto the pier as it was all boarded up, so couldn't see the gaps further out. Afraid an awful lot of Town councils/planners, etc. of the 50z & 60s have a lot to answer for!
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Ted Ingham on October 30, 2016, 15:13:26
The Paddle Steamer Consul arriving at Herne Bay pier head on Friday 20th September 1963.
Regards,
Ted Ingham
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Mickleburgh on October 30, 2016, 15:52:20
Now that is a rare photo! Not sure whether `Medway Queen` worked the season of `63 - she was withdrawn that year - but do recall the erstwhile Weymouth paddler `Duke of Devonshire` making that call at Herne Bay. As `Consul` she only spent a very few weeks in the Thames estuary that year and was out of service thereafter before eventual scrap.

Although out of bounds to the public during the war - as was the beach, remember the barbed wire barricades - the navy occupied and made limited use of the pier throughout. One of my earliest memories is being taken along the pier, past the pavilion, by my elder brother and other boys and peering into the corrugated shed where the yellow tram was still in situ. As this was removed for scrap in 1948 (which I think was also when the whole pier was opened again), I could have only been about five or six at most.
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Greyuncle on January 03, 2017, 12:57:50
Nice picture of the Consul Ted, I was aboard as a crew member when that was taken. I was second engineer.  She had been chartered by Don Rose of Roseway Cash and Carry of Old Kent Road. He had her for a firm`s outing and then did trips up and down the Thames. My mate Roger was the engineer and wanted some help as she had only just been converted to oil and needed the boiler pipes cleaned quite regularly, I believe he called it (punching the tubes) we got filthy doing it but I learnt a lot about Paddlers having grown up around the Medway Queen as a boy. Good experience.

I was led to believe Don Rose lost a lot of money on that venture, but he still managed to buy the Ship in Rochester.
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Maid of Kent on January 04, 2017, 21:53:08
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mayfair_Court_Herne_Bay_004.JPG

Referring to Mayfair Court - there is a picture on this link. I didn't know it -  never went to Herne Bay except to go to the pier twice, vets once and hospital twice in all the 65 years associated with Whitstable and Canterbury!
Title: Re: Herne Bay Pier Head 2013
Post by: Nemo on March 04, 2018, 09:01:02
I hadn't realised that the principal contractor for Box Tunnel, George Burge, was so associated with Herne Bay and its first pier:
https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/George_Burge
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Box_Tunnel