Mumbles Pier, Wales
The Mumbles Pier is an 835 feet (255 m) long Victorian pier built in 1898. It is located at the north-western corner of Swansea Bay near the village of Mumbles within the city and county of Swansea, Wales.
Designed by W. Sutcliffe Marsh and promoted by John Jones Jenkins of the Rhondda and Swansea Bay Railway, the pier opened on 10 May 1898 at a cost of £10,000. It was the western terminus for the world’s first passenger carrying railway, the Swansea and Mumbles Railway; and a major terminal for the White Funnel paddle steamers of P and A Campbell, unloading tourists from routes along the River Severn and Bristol Channel.
In the summer of 1899, Will C. Pepper, father of the musicians Harry S. Pepper and Dick Pepper, founded a long-running concert party on the Pier called the White Coons.
The Amusement Equipment Company (AMECO) gained a licence to operate the pier from 1 October 1937. The pier was requisitioned in World War II, but AMECO acquired the freehold in 1957, extensively reconstructing the facility and adding a landing jetty. A new arcade was built on the pier’s frontage in 1966. AMECO spent between £25,000 and £30,000 per annum on the maintenance and replacement of the steelwork between 1975 and 1985.
Closed on 1 October 1987 for a £40,000 refit, which included renewal of the steel around the entrance, the pier reopened on Good Friday 1988.
Today, the pier is used only for fishing and tourism, offering panoramic views of Swansea Bay with the Mumbles Lighthouse on one side and Port Talbot on the other. Halfway along the Pier on the Bay side is a Royal National Lifeboat Institution lifeboat station. Still housing the historical records of the local Mumbles lifeboat, the House also currently handles the ‘Tyne’ Class boat. The Pier complex is owned and operated by the Bollom family.
The land beside the pier is now an entertainment complex comprising bars, restaurant, an ice-skating rink (opened in 2006 and featured in an ITV Wales documentary series) and an amusement arcade.
In recent years the pier has fallen into a state of disrepair with a large section fenced off to visitors and other areas patched up to maintain safety. The owners plan to repair the pier along with the regeneration of the nearby area. The plans include the building of a new hotel and spa, a conference and exhibition centre and a new boardwalk linking the Knab rock with the pier.