The Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust Archive holds several hundred artefacts to do with the history and heritage of the pier and the town. The Archive Volunteers aim to share them online. It is a work in progress.

The Las Vegas One Armed Bandit

For many years – right up to the time the pier was closed in 1970 – there was a dance hall with slot machines on the end of the pier. This made it a great place for young people to meet and dance and socialise. The Las Vegas, is the last remaining slot machine or ‘one armed bandit.’ It is a heavy beat approximately 3′ high by 2′ wide by 1′ deep.  Its date is unknown but likely to be from the 1950s or 1960s.  The coin slot clearly seen at the top above the words ‘Las Vegas’ hole at top takes old style 1d coins and when the archive team began work to store and protect it six old penny coins were found inside. They date between 880 and 1910 showing Queen Victoria as a young woman with her hair in a bun – known as Bun Coins – and later as a widow wearing a veil – known as Veil Coins. This was believed to have been one of probably four slot machines once held in the dance hall at the end of the Pier. Sadly, the others have gone but this one was found, in a sorry state of repair, in the basement of the Tollhouse before being removed to the Pier Archive.

Property of Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust Archive.

Model of the Paddlesteamer Waverley

Clevedon Pier has a long association with the many pleasure boats and paddlesteamers that have landed on the pierhead in order to pick up or set down passengers taking a day trip to Wales, North Devon or into Bristol.  The Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust is very proud to hold this beautiful model of the Waverley Paddlesteamer which has called in at Clevedon Pier over many decades.

Find out more on this link

Provenance Unknown.

Captain Boyton Poster .

This advertising bill is dated August 1875 when, the global phenomena known as, Captain Boyton demonstrated his rubber life saving dress off of Clevedon Pier. It is a favourite item in the archive’s collection of ephemera. The bill is printed on very thin newsprint by George Caple, Machine Printer, in the Clevedon Mercury and Courier newspaper offices and it is one of the few – perhaps only – surviving examples of this advertising bill many of which would have been printed and posted up and around the town of Clevedon. Records held elsewhere in the archive tell us Captain Boyton was charged £10 by the Clevedon Pier Company for the privilege of demonstrating his rubber life saving dress off of the pier – around £1,000 is contemporary money.

The poster is approximately 3′ high by 2′ wide, framed behind glass for protection.

Property of the Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust Archive.

Plaque commemorating opening of new pier head and landing stage.

In 1891 the pier was taken over by the Clevedon Local Board and a new pier head and landing stage were built to make the pier safer. It was officially opened on April 3rd, 1893 to great excitement and celebration and a beautiful brass plaque, approximately 2’6″ wide and 18″ deep, was erected on the pier to commemorate the occasion. That plaque is very degraded by years in the sea air and is held in the archive collections. An unusued but identical plaque is also in the collections and is as shiny and new as the day it was made in 1893. Property of the Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust.

The Clevedon Pier Company Ledger.

14” high by 10” wide. Hard covers with soft leather binding.  Spine broken and needs repair. Holds the early records of the Clevedon Pier Company. First entry is on the 18th October 1864.  Last entry on  10th February 1888.

Contains minutes of meetings, records of the sale of shares, information about acquiring Act of Parliament to build a pier, letting contracts etc.

Original held in a private collection. Digitised by CPHT Archive for public access.

Captain Alexander Campbell Citation

4′ high by 2′ wide framed, gilded citation to Captain Alexander Campbell following the successful paddlesteamer season in the Bristol Channel of 1891. The citation accompanied gifts to Captain Alexander and his brother Peter for their service on the Paddlesteamers Ravenswood and Waverly.

From grateful passengers. More on this link

Property of the Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust Archive. Donated by Campbell family

The Old Pier Charges Board

Notice board made from what appears to be a cut down garden gate, painted green and handpainted with the charges for entry on to the pier. 

4’6″ high by 3′ wide.

Date unknown.  Circa 1940s or 1950s?

Includes prices for day and season tickets for adults and children; for taking a dog or cycle or motorcycle onto the pier and for fishing off the pier and charge to use the pier to embark on a Steamer.   

Property of Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust Archive. Donated by R. Gregory

The Old Phone

Magneto mechanism and buzzer contained in wooden box 8” wide by 12” high by 10” deep.  Bakelite handset with remains of cotton bound cord, 2 bakelite bells and bell mechanism and a hand crank mechanism (missing handle) used to activate the bells. Sticker printed with ‘Western Electric’.  Date: Unknown, likely to be circa 1870s  

Believed to have been one of a pair used on the pier for communication between the tollhouse and the pier head.   This phone system was used from the 1870s onwards for telephones that were not on an exchange system but each personal telephone had its own battery.  The crank handle on the side would work a magneto inside the box, and this would ring a bell or activate a buzzer on the other phone.  

Property of Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust Archive

Model of Clevedon Pier

When the Pier collapsed in 1970 the town of Clevedon pulled together to save it from total demolition.  This model was commissioned by Clevedonians, Tony and Carole Wring,  to show the Pier Public Inquiry the beauty and value of the Pier and it undoubtedly helped in the decision being made that the Pier should be saved from demolition. Tony Wring was, at the time, Chairman of the Pier Preservation Trust.

Property of the Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust Archive. Donated by T and C Wring.

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