posted 1911
posted 1934
posted 1928 Portman Ravine (note Southbourne rather than Boscombe)
Southbourne Pier was inaugerated in August 1888 with 1200 people taking the opportunity to stroll along its length.  Two years later December1890 a severe gale damaged both the pier and the enormous sea walls built to support the undercliff drive on which houses had been built.  There was no money for repairs and eventually properties, pier and sea defences were dismantled or simply demolished by further storms.  The pier was finally dismantled in 1907 but remains of the blocks were to be seen on the beach until about 1930.  Click on photo for further postcards supplied by William Stone (Info from 'The Story of Southbourne' J A Young 1989)
posted 1938
Cliff top walk, 1920s
Southbourne steps,(note this is a photograph not a postcard) presumably before the extensive work as follows.  There were a series of this type of early construction all along these cliffs from Bournemouth (on West & East Cliffs,) to Boscombe, Pokesdown & Southbourne.  Apart from the style of the photo, there are in fact two women, one on the lower and one on the second flight of steps, both in very Victorian costume so I think this must date from the early 1880s at the latest.  Click on photo for a higher res. version
This is long after the collapse but remains of the seawalls are still on the beach.  However the ledges seem to be the same ones as in the pier photographs.
They are indeed the same ledges as these were the fortifications supporting the Southbourne Hotel above the beach villas
See postcards WS
posted 1932 but published 1920s
posted 1928
These early postcards give some idea of the geological deposits they were building on.
The later card is presumably after the road was re-aligned.
The cards below show that the cliffs continued to erode
The photograph on the left (and see photo above) was taken in August 1935 and sold as being of the pier. I knew it wasn't a pier in the background, of course, but I couldn't for the life of me think what the 'tower' was for.  So I sent the photograph to Ramues Gallois who replied with
'I'm guessing but it looks like work in progress. It reminds me of a Banka drill, a wooden tripod with a pulley that lets you drop a heavy weight onto a wooden pile to drive it into the ground'
and to Ian West who replied with more detail
'The device on the end of the jetty is a pile-driver.  I know it very well because my grandfather seemed to be interested in pile-drivers and often showed them to me as a boy in the 1940s.  Similar machines were in use then.  The pile-driver is on rails and the piles are of pitched pine usually with a steel ring at the cap.  I imagine it is petrol or deisel driven although there seems to be no very large engine.  The structure seems to be too long for a normal groyne.  I think it resembles Bolson's jetty at Bournemouth but I did not know there was a similar one at Southbourne. (Bolson's jetty was used only for motor boats in competition with the paddle steamers using Bournemouth Pier).  The jetty in your photograph seems to have a paybooth at the landward end'
Not sure what is going on here but note the 'surf' line on the right to the west of the groyne compared to that in the earlier photo on the left
Looks like the jetty is still present on the left and the difference in structure to the groynes is obvious in the photo above.
The lift has been added, leading down to the jetty
Exmouth to Milford on Sea
including the East Devon & Dorset World Heritage Site
updated: November 1, 2011
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