Queens Pier Restoration

Hi My name Graham and I am a Trustee and Treasurer for Queens Pier Restoration Trust on the
Isle of Man.

Queens Pier was first built and opened in 1886.

The Pier has a fantastic history and is the Jewel in Ramsey Bays Crown.

The full history is below, and as a Chairty (Charity Number 1210). The restoration commenced in
2017 and is looking for donations/funding to continue the restoration of this Victorian Pier

Ramsey Pier was constructed for the Isle of Man Harbour Board between 1884-1885 in the great
age of pier building in seaside towns around the English coastline. Ramsey pier is the 6th longest
pier in Britain at 2,160ft. It cost £40,752 in 1884 (about £7 million today) to build and construction
took 2 years. The pier designer was John Coode and was built by Head Wrightson of
Stockton on Tees.

The pier was officially opened in 1886 by Bishop Rowley Hill. In its first year of operation 156
vessels called at the pier-head, demonstrating its usefulness and popularity. Steam Packet ships
called at the pier on their way from Douglas to Belfast, England and other Scottish ports to pick up
passengers and when returning to the Island. The pier became a popular stopping-off point for
holidaymakers coming to the Isle of Man and was later used for transporting soldiers who went to the Island for training around the time of the first world war.

A tram line to the pier-head was not installed when the pier was built, but provision had been
made to include one. A few years after opening, a tram line was laid. Likewise, a shelter against
the often fierce wind and rain experienced on the island had not been included in the build.
Still, after some bitter complaints from passengers waiting for a ship, a waiting room and cafe for about 150 people was built at the pier-head with a band stand on the roof.

The pier became known as Ramsey Queen's Pier by royal assent when Edward VII and Queen
Alexandra alighted from a royal launch at the pier-head in August 1902, followed by King
George V and Queen Mary in 1920. The Queen Mother also alighted when a naval ship anchored
in Ramsey Bay in 1946.

1914 alone 36,000 passengers from steamers disembarked at the pier. Tens of thousands more
passengers would have embarked onto steamers.

The heyday for Ramsey Pier was prior to The Great War when “promenading and taking the sea air in your best attire” became the in-thing in Britain. and England's piers became more than just
landing stages for passenger vessels. However, after complaints and comments from passengers walking the long deck in unfavourable weather, in 1937 the Harbour Board introduced an 8hp Planet motorised rail-car seating just 12 people with an enclosed van for luggage. In 1950 a new 10hp Wickham rail-car was brought in to transport people unable or not prepared to walk the 2,160ft to the end. In the 1960's a pier train was introduced with a red-painted locomotive and 15 seat
passenger car. This is what most people remember traveling upon, and it is still in existence at the Transport Museum in Jurby with the possibility of reinstatement.

The demise of Ramsey Pier started with the withdrawal of Steam Packet ships in Sept 1970 when
the last ship, the 'Manxman', called and passenger transfers were then suspended. By 1990, wear on the wooden structure and corrosion to the under-deck girders forced the Harbours Authority
to ask for its closure. An allocated amount of £40,000/year was not being spent on upkeep.
The pier was duly closed in Jan 1990 after some vandalism to a shelter at the pier-head.
After its closure a group called 'The Friends of the Queen's Pier' was set up in 1994 by concerned people who wanted to see the pier repaired and re-opened once again. They pressured the IOM
government and campaigned to have its importance to the Island recognised. They managed to
get the pier listed as a 'registered structure' which meant that it could not be demolished without planning permission and the IOM government was legally required to maintain it.

In 2016 continued government inaction and indecision prompted an Island resident, Tom Durrant, a retired radar engineer, to set up a new group to take on the management and restoration of the pier called 'The Queen's Pier Restoration Trust” (QPRT). The declared aim of this trust is:
“To restore the entire length of the pier very close to its original design and maintain as many of its original fittings and features as possible using public donations and suitably experienced volunteers.” QPRT took over from the Friends of the Queen's Pier in 2017 and began the difficult task of
repairing it.

A five year lease was negotiated with the Manx government in 2017 to repair the first 3 bays with an extension for the remainder of the pier once completed. In July 2017 work began on Phase one and was completed in 2021.

All the original iron-work above the legs has now been replaced with a strong steel structure. All wood beams have also been replaced and new 35mm thick deck planks have been laid. This will provide an extremely strong and durable deck. All of the planks on the first 6 bays have been sponsored by members of the public and there will be an opportunity to sponsor more planks along the pier. This has been an incredibly valuable part of paying for the reconstruction.

We have been very fortunate with all crane services being provided, free of charge, from IOM
Heavy Cranes, a massive thankyou to Steve and Aileen Broad. This has already saved the Trust
tens of thousands of pounds and we are extremely grateful to them.

Since the start of this project a volunteer work force of about 15 people have been repairing the
pier and the commitment that has evolved has been extraordinary. We also have a small and
enthusiastic group of volunteers raising funds who have raised about ₤70,000. If you feel that
you would like to be involved, then please make contact through the portacabin at the pier or
through our website:


Facebook page:

Donations (19)

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  • Stephen Curtis
    • £20 
    • 27 d
  • James Trusson
    • £80 
    • 2 mos
  • Dorothy Winrow
    • £10 
    • 3 mos
  • Anonymous
    • £10 
    • 3 mos
  • Anonymous
    • £150 
    • 6 mos
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Graham Curphey

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