Exhibition: A History of Brodick Pier

The exhibition at the Arran Heritage Museum traces the history of Brodick pier from its earliest beginnings up to the construction of the recently opened £30m terminal. The museum is open daily from 10.30am to 4.30pm and has an attractive café.

Given the interest surrounding Brodick’s new ferry terminal, an exhibition devoted to the history of Brodick piers seems apposite. CRSC’s Ken Mills has been to The Isle of Arran Heritage Museum to take a look at the exhibition and other displays there. What he found is that the recently opened harbour facility is only the latest of many transformations the landing point at Brodick has undergone over the past two centuries.

For any visitor to Arran with an interest in the history of Brodick pier and the steamers and ferries that have called there, I would recommend a visit to the Arran Heritage Museum.

A pictorial display has been arranged depicting the changes in the various piers and vessels down the years, accompanied by short narratives.

The exhibition, titled ‘A History of Brodick Pier’, includes images of the shoreline before a pier was built, as well as photos of the new £30m ferry terminal during its lengthy construction.

It features a good number of photos taken by CRSC’s honorary secretary, Eric Schofield, whose pictorial documentation of ships at Arran piers over the past 50 years is second to none.

Also on display is a half-model of the paddle steamer Duchess of Hamilton, which was gifted to CRSC many years ago by the Caledonian Steam Packet Company and is now on loan to the Museum.

Apart from the shipping-related displays, the Museum provides a history of life in Arran through the ages, comprising inter alia a schoolroom, a 19th century cottage, a former smiddy and much more, all given on the museum website www.arranmuseum.co.uk

The Museum is a 30-minute walk from Brodick pier on the main road north, just beyond the school. The north island bus or the String Road bus both stop at the Museum.

It is open daily from 1030 to 1630. There is an excellent tea room, and for the £4 (concessions £3) admission charge it’s a good place to spend an hour or two.

‘A History of Brodick Pier’ runs until the end of October.

Click here to read Eric Schofield’s report on the opening of the new Brodick ferry terminal in March.

Photos by CRSC’s Eric Schofield adorn the walls of the exhibition

A half-model of the 1890 Duchess of Hamilton is on long-term loan from CRSC to Arran Heritage Museum

The Museum also has exhibits explaining Arran life and history

Built in 1890 for the Caledonian Steam Packet Company, Duchess of Hamilton was designed for the summer Arran service. She is pictured at Brodick’s steamer pier, the first to be built on the island, which opened on 17 June 1872. In the early 1900s the wrought iron supports and curved spans were replaced by wood piling. The pier underwent various upgrades in the 20th century, and in 1970 a linkspan with dedicated approach road was added. It was rendered redundant by the opening of the new £30m harbour facility in March this year. Copyright CRSC Archive Collection

Caledonian Isles and Isle of Arran were stormbound at Brodick on 14 June 2018, creating an unusual — not to say unique — photo opportunity. Before the opening of the two-berth pier in March, a scene like this would not have been possible. Copyright Robert Naysmith

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