Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 150

The History of Pleasure Piers



Hello Everyone




Did you spend Boxing Day deciding where you will go on your summer holidays this year?


As you already know, the beach next to Rocky Bay, Sandy Cove, is very popular with holiday makers.


There is a long promenade along the back of the beach. A promenade means a walkway. Behind the promenade are cafes and ice cream kiosks and a funfair.


What Sandy Cove doesn’t have, however, is a pleasure pier. There is a small jetty for fishermen, but it is not very big and it doesn’t have any buildings on it.


Many seaside towns do have pleasure piers though. They are very large, mostly quite old and have restaurants, funfairs and even theatres on them.


Nowadays, they also have amusement arcades on them, fortune teller’s caravans, roller coasters, doughnut shops, chip shops and on the pier at Herne Bay, for example, there is a large sports and leisure centre.


These sorts of piers were first built in the Victorian Era.


When steam trains were invented, ordinary people started going on holidays and day trips to the seaside for the very first time. This was because the steam trains allowed people to travel much faster than a horse-drawn carriage. People could get to the coast and back within a day.


The piers were first constructed as walkways to reach the many paddle steamers that took holiday makers on sea excursions, but were soon used for promenading, which was a very popular Victorian pastime. This involved groups of friends or family members walking on the streets for hours at a time.


ln some resorts the tide went out a long way. The piers were built into the sea so that people would always be able to walk above the water and, therefore, ‘visit the sea’ at any time of day. The water can be seen far below your feet through the gaps in the boards.


ln Southend-on-Sea the tide goes out such a long way the pier reaches into the Thames Estuary for about one and a third miles. The pier is so long that a little train runs along it so that people don’t have to walk to the end. lt is over one hundred years old and is the longest pleasure pier in the world.


Some of the earliest pleasure piers were Ryde Pier on the lsle of Wight, built in 1813/4, Leith Trinity Chain Pier, built in 1821, and Brighton Chain Pier, built in 1823. Only the oldest of these piers still remains. They were wooden walkways built on an iron framework that stood in the sea.


The oldest was Weymouth Pier built in 1812.


Once these docks were built, people had the idea of turning them into places of entertainment.


There are fifty-five remaining seaside piers in England and Wales. You might have one near you. The most famous piers are probably Brighton Pier and Blackpool Pier.


There are a few similar pleasure piers in other countries as well like Holland and Belgium and the USA.


The Santa Cruz Wharf on the west coast of the United States is over half a mile long. There are restaurants situated along it. Seals and sea lions like to play around it, which amuses the people walking along the pier looking down into the water.


The longest pier in the world is four miles long and can be found in Progreso, Yucatan in Mexico.


l think that is longer than the whole of Rocky Bay!



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Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam







Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bob: Why did the idiot drive into the river?


Bill: l don’t know. Why did the idiot drive into the river?


Bob: Because he wanted to dip his headlights!




Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to



Picture Gallery



Clevedon pier was voted Pier of the Year in 2013

It has Grade I listing which means it is an outstanding example of architecture



Clevedon Pier



Brighton Pier



Blackpool Pier



The Tourist Information Centre on Margate Pier



The longest pier in the world is in Mexico



Victorians on the pier at Swanage



An old steamship



Both jetties and piers have posts that are colonized by sea creatures such as barnacles and mussels

when they are in water some or all of the time



A sea lion










The nice thing about living in Rocky Bay is that children can always go down to the beach to play.



Bill, Henry and Bob on the beach


Whenever Bill and Bob go on a long car journey, they like to have quizzes or games to do on the journey so that they don’t get bored.

Last time they went on a long journey they were trying to think up funny names for people who did certain jobs.

Here are some of them to give you a smile.


Tealeaf reader and fortune teller                 Rosie Lee

Store security guard                            Stan Ding

Prison warder                                  I.M. Savage

Stuntman                                  I.M. Reckless

Hangman                                     Hank Down

Cleaner                          Iva Broome

Driving instructor                 F.U.A. Carr

Speech therapist                     Simon Simple

Vicar                                    Ivor Church

Doctor                                  Dermot Titus

Dentist                                  I.C.D. Kay

Baker                                     Mr. Crummy

Cake shop owner                                 Rock Aches

Plumber                              Lee King

Chef                                           Stu Supp

Modern art seller                    Rea Lee Strange

Architect                               Dee Zine

Gardener                                     Doug A. Lott

Lollipop man                                         I.C. Nokars

Shark hunter                                        Finn A. Head

Wasp nest removal contractor                      Buzz Doff

Personal trainers                                     Stan Dupp and Ben Dover


(In case you don’t know Rosie Lee is Cockney Rhyming Slang for tea – see Blog Post 129 – and Simon Simple is from Simple Simon says)










Quick Quiz


What do these phrases mean?


  1. to sell someone down the river
  2. full steam ahead
  3. to let off steam
  4. to run out of steam
  5. to steer clear of something
  6. all at sea
  7. to get one’s sea legs









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lt’s the Weekend!








Using 3¼mm knitting needles and white 4ply yarn cast on 16 stitches


Purl 1 row

Purl 1 row


Knit 14 rows of stocking stitch


Cast off 2 stitches knit to end

Cast off 2 stitches purl to end (12 sts)


Cast off purl-wise and leave an end of yarn into which crochet 12 chains – leave an end for sewing the end of shoulder strap to garment.

Sew up the side seams right sides together and put onto the doll inside out to position the shoulder straps and sew into place.





Using 4mm knitting needles and yellow dk yarn cast on 20 stitches


Purl 1 row

Purl 1 row


Knit 10 rows of stocking stitch


Decrease 3 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows (14 sts)


Knit 6 rows of stocking stitch


Change to 3½mm knitting needles

Knit 2 rows of 1 x 1 rib

Cast off


*Over-sew all seams to reduce bulk.




Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand





Quick Quiz Answers


  1. to sell someone down the river –
  2. full steam ahead –
  3. to let off steam –
  4. to run out of steam –
  5. to steer clear of something –
  6. all at sea –
  7. to get one’s sea legs –


  1. to betray
  2. at the greatest speed possible
  3. to release excess energy or emotion
  4. become exhausted
  5. to avoid
  6. to be puzzled or bewildered
  7. to get used to the motion of a ship








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