Cold War Warrior

Cold War Warrior

Posted on 09/01/2016

Photo taken on August 31, 2016

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Birnbeck Pier, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset 31 August 2016

Birnbeck Pier, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset 31 August 2016
The pier was designed by Eugenius Birch, and the ironwork provided by the Isca Foundry of Pillgwenlly (Pill) in Newport; it opened in 1867 and the island was developed. Previously, Birnbeck Island had been accessible by a causeway. In 1898 a jetty was added affording deep water access to pleasure steamers even at low tide. There was a regular ferry service to it until 1979. When I was a child in the 1950's, we used the ferry service to cross the Bristol Channel from South Wales.

In WW2 it became HMS Birnbeck, an establishment of the Directorate of Miscellaneous Weapons Development which developed glorious failures such as the rocket powered Panjandrum beach defence demolition apparatus as well as the highly successful Hedgehog and Squid anti submarine systems.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution maintained a lifeboat station on the island until 2015.

Its fortunes have declined and it has been ravaged by storm and collision damage. Today it is in a parlous condition although the Friends of Birnbeck Pier are making gallant efforts to have it restored

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