COATHAM – Pier
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Coatham pier from the very start appeared to be ‘dogged’ by construction, and wrecked before its final completion. It was intended that at 2,000 feet long it would be longer than Redcar Pier (approx 1,300feet). The entrance to the pier was where the present Regent Cinema is today, at the bottom of Station Road (then called Newcomer Street).
In December 1874 the pier suffered its first demise, when during a storm the brig Griffin failed to see the then unfinished seaward end of the pier, and collided with it. The piers second demise was later in the same storm, another vessel Corrymbus, became a complete wreck having driven straight through the pier.
The Coatham Pier Company was faced with their first problem of cash flow, and it was decided to shorten the pier by 200 feet. This in turn reduced the cost of the pier.
The pier was finally opened in 1875, and consisted of an impressive entrance with tollbooths at either side. On stepping onto the pier, the first of two pavilions was an indoor skating rink. The second pavilion located in the middle of the pier, was for band concerts and other functions.
On 22nd October 1898 further demise surrounded the pier when a baroque ‘Birger’ almost completely wrecked the pier. The pier was breached with and enormous gap between the land and seaward sections. Only two of the crew of fifteen was saved from the baroque.
Due to its previous expenditure, and earlier repairs the Coatham Pier Company could not afford further expense to repair the pier. The seaward side was later dismantled, and in 1899 the Company ceased trading. The pier was left to the elements and the sea until 1910 onwards. In 1923 when the local authority renovated the esplanade end of the pier by erecting the long concrete shelters (now filled in) built with an upper promenade. Seats were placed on top and below. A large Pavilion was built and went by the name of the ‘glasshouse’ shelter of metal and glass. This was built over the existing concert hall and skating rink. In1928 the structure was demolished and built on the original foundations was New Pavilion Theatre. Larry Grayson, The Dallas Boys, even Mike Neville appeared at this venue. Work has been carried out since the early 1990’s and its use since the 1960’s became a cinema called the Regent Cinema.
That is still its use to date (2012).
dean July 17, 2011 Coatham