Pier officially opened

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On this day in 1879 South Parade Pier, Southsea, was formally opened.

The last main girder was laid, although probably not personally, by Her Serene Highness Princess Edward of Saxe-Weimar.

The pier was not finished for another six weeks, when it offered visitors ‘commanding marine views of unrivalled beauty’.

The pier was partially destroyed by fire in July 1904 and rebuilt on a grander scale – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.