Aberystwyth Pier and Promenade, c. 1929-34. Nigel Sadler / mediadrumworld.com

By Mark McConville

THE GOLDEN-ERA of the British seaside has showcased in a series of stunning postcards included in a new book.


Margate Jetty, c. 1910. Nigel Sadler / mediadrumworld.com

The incredible images show packed British beaches and piers from the early 1900s. Margate Jetty is pictured in 1910 as people enjoy themselves in the sunshine.

A rough sea batters Palace Pier in Brighton in another snap while fireworks illuminate the night sky at South Parade Pier in Southsea and a group of children pose atop donkeys on the beach near the Grand Pier in Weston-Super-Mare.


Southsea South Parade Pier with Fireworks, c. 1930. Nigel Sadler / mediadrumworld.com

The postcards are displayed in a new book, British Piers – The Postcard Collection, by Nigel Sadler and published by Amberley.

“Postcards provide a different insight into the history of piers than photographs,” he said in the book’s introduction.


Nigel Sadler / mediadrumworld.com

“Amateur photographers tried to capture mementoes of their visits, while professional photographers tried to either make art from the images or record a specific event.

“While postcards had the same job, they were generally used to illustrate what a good time could be had at the seaside; they made a nice collectable item, or were sent to family and friends to illustrate the good time the visitor was having.


Lowestoft South Pier, View from the Pavilion, Postmarked, 1911. Nigel Sadler / mediadrumworld.com

“Also, there were photographers who realised that if they could photograph large crowd scenes and quickly produce it into a postcard they would have a ready market from people who could see themselves in the crowd.”

Mr Sadler explained that the postcards of piers, promenades and seaside views provided two snapshots into history.


Brighton Palace Pier Being Hit by Rough Seas, Postmarked 1948. Nigel Sadler / mediadrumworld.com

“The first is what the image can tell us: it might be of an event or a general scene with the latter possibly changing very little in a decade,” he said.

“The second is the message written on the back, if there is one, often recounting moments from a holidaymaker’s time at the seaside and the British past time of talking about the weather.


Minehead Promenade, 1930s. Nigel Sadler / mediadrumworld.com

“Together they illustrate the seaside experiences at the beginning of the twentieth century.”


New Brighton Tower, The Wirral, The Ballroom, Postmarked 1914. Nigel Sadler / mediadrumworld.com
British Piers – The Postcard Collection, by Nigel Sadler, is published by Amberley. It is available for £14.99 RRP.