Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire: History in Old Images

Old photo of the Suffrage Caravan Tour at Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, in September 1908

Enjoy a glimpse of history through old images of Bridlington, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, UK.

Bridlington’s New Sea Wall 1928

In 1928, Princess Mary came to open Bridlington’s new sea wall and promenade.

While the silent newsreel camera focuses on Princess Mary and the dignitaries who accompany here, there are some nice shots of buildings in the background, including a quick view of the seafront.

ROYAL: Princess Mary at Bridlington (1928)- British Pathé on YouTube

Pier Fire 1933

In 1933, a fire destroyed the famous Royal Victoria Rooms on Bridlington’s old pier.

It was the 7th pier fire in the UK that year.

7th Pier Fire This Year Aka Seventh Pier Fire This Year (1933) – British Pathé on YouTube

Pirates Rag Day in 1934

The seafront buildings are very briefly seen in this newsreel, but it’s perhaps more interesting to see how many people turned out for the Rag Day almost a century ago.

Pirates At Bridlington (1934) – British Pathé on YouTube

The Great Gale of 1871

On 10th February 1871, 23 ships were run aground or smashed against the harbour walls in the fury of a great storm. About 70 people died.

Two lifeboats were launched. The Robert Whitworth successfully saved lives, but the Harbinger was lost in action, along with nine local men on board.

Samuel Plimsoll, realising many of the wrecked ships had been overloaded and poorly maintained, lobbied Parliament for change. In 1876, all ships had to display and adhere to the Plimsoll line. This is still UK law today.

An obelisk in the grounds of Bridlington Priory Church is a memorial to The Great Gale of 1871, and marks the resting place of 43 sailors who lost their lives in the disaster.

Being an important event in the town’s history, the disaster is still marked today. Back in 1932 and 1939, the commemorations were filmed for newsreels.

The 1939 footage, marking 70 years since the disaster, includes 94-year-old James Newby, who was the last of the survivors still alive in 1939. He’s enjoying a pipe at the front gate of a house.

Fishermen’s service at Bridlington (1932)- British Pathé on YouTube

Bridlington (1939) – British Pathé on YouTube

Thomas Hopper Alderson in 1941

The George Cross, introduced in 1940, is the highest award bestowed by the British government for non-operational gallantry or gallantry not in the presence of an enemy.

On 26th May 1941, Thomas Hopper Alderson was one of the first recipients of the George Cross medal, presented to him at Buckigham Palance by King George VI.

He was the leader of the Bridlington British Air Raid Precautions (ARP) warden team and received the award for his bravery rescuing civilians trapped in bombed out buildings.

“A pair of semi-detached houses at Bridlington was totally demolished in a recent air raid. One woman was trapped alive. Alderson tunnelled under unsafe wreckage and rescued the trapped person without further injury to her.

Some days later, two five-storey buildings were totally demolished and debris penetrated into a cellar in which eleven persons were trapped. Six persons in one cellar, which had completely given way, were buried under debris. Alderson partly effected the entrance to this cellar by tunnelling 13 to 14 feet under the main heap of wreckage and for three and a half hours he worked unceasingly in an exceedingly cramped condition. Although considerably bruised he succeeded in releasing all the trapped persons without further injury to themselves. The wreckage was unsafe and further falls were anticipated; coal gas leaks were of a serious nature and there was danger of flooding from fractured water pipes. Despite these dangers and enemy aircraft overhead the rescue work was continued.

On a third occasion, some four-storey buildings were totally demolished. Five persons were trapped in a cellar. Alderson led the rescue work in excavating a tunnel from the pavement through the foundations to the cellar; he also personally tunnelled under the wreckage many feet into the cellar and rescued alive two persons (one of whom subsequently died) from under a massive refrigerator, which was in danger of further collapse as debris was removed. A wall, three stories high, which swayed in the gusty wind, was directly over the position where the rescue party were working. This was likely to collapse at any moment. Alderson worked almost continuously under the wreckage for five hours, during which time further air raid warnings were received and enemy aircraft heard overhead.

By his courage and devotion to duty without the slightest regard for his own safety, he set a fine example to the members of his Rescue Party, and their teamwork is worthy of the highest praise.”

The London Gazette

George Crosses Presented – British Movietone on YouTube

TUC Conference in 1949

A short newsreel about the TUC backing Government policy on 9th August 1949 captures a nice view of the harbour, and the front of the Spa Theatre.

Tuc Backs Government Policy (1949)- British Pathé on YouTube

More Pictures of Old Bridlington

Old Bridlington in East Riding of Yorkshire, England, enjoyed through historic photos, vintage pictures & archive film. Browse history in these fascinating old images of a bygone era on my Pinterest Board.

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