- This event has passed.
Eugenius Birch: The King of Piers
19th January 2022 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
During the 1860s and 70s there was a mania for pier building around the British coast. The Engineer Eugenius Birch not only built more of these than anyone else, he also built the first pier made of iron and the first pier to have an integral entertainment pavilion. Among his commissions were the West Pier at Brighton, Blackpool North Pier, Birckbeck at Weston-super-Mare, Eastbourne, Hastings and Bournemouth piers. Birch started out as a railway engineer before specialising in marine engineering, designing sea defences, drainage schemes and even aquaria. As an architectural historian specialising in the seaside, Dr Kathryn Ferry undertook new research on Birch to celebrate the bicentenary of his birth in 1818 and is now hoping to turn this into the first book on his life and work.
Dr Kathryn Ferry studied Victorian architecture for her PhD and made a tour of England’s beach huts in 2002 in order to write her book ‘Sheds on the Seashore.’ She has subsequently published on the history of the British seaside, holiday camps and bungalows and wrote the 80th anniversary official history of Butlin’s. Her latest book, ‘Seaside 100: The History of the British Seaside in 100 Objects’, was published in April 2020. She also regularly contributes to television and radio programmes and is media officer for the National Piers Society. www.kathrynferry.co.uk @SeasideFerry