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#683055 - 8th Apr 2012 9:29pm New Brighton pier death 1940s?
Roslynmuse Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 25th Jan 2010
Posts: 168
Loc: UK
Can anyone shed any light on this story, told to me today?

In the late 1940s (?) the owner of the Montpellier Hotel in New Brighton also owned the cafe on New Brighton pier. His name was Mr Fern (or Fearn). His habit was to take a 'short cut' from the cafe which involved swinging along the outer railings of the pier. One day the balustrade gave way and he fell to his death in the river.

I can't find any more info on the internet - maybe one of the experts on here has something more tangible than this word-of-mouth version?

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#683184 - 9th Apr 2012 7:41am Re: New Brighton pier death 1940s? [Re: Roslynmuse]
Tatey Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 14th Apr 2009
Posts: 1412
Loc: New Brighton
Originally Posted By: Roslynmuse
Can anyone shed any light on this story, told to me today?

In the late 1940s (?) the owner of the Montpellier Hotel in New Brighton also owned the cafe on New Brighton pier. His name was Mr Fern (or Fearn). His habit was to take a 'short cut' from the cafe which involved swinging along the outer railings of the pier. One day the balustrade gave way and he fell to his death in the river.


I haven't heard that story, but do you know where the Montpellier Hotel was? sherlock

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#683191 - 9th Apr 2012 9:13am Re: New Brighton pier death 1940s? [Re: Tatey]
Roslynmuse Offline
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Registered: 25th Jan 2010
Posts: 168
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Tatey


I haven't heard that story, but do you know where the Montpellier Hotel was? sherlock


I'm guessing Montpellier Crescent! Apparently my grandmother used to work there.

I've just found this:

"...My Mother who is still alive and living in Devon bless her. However she use to be the Manageress of the Milk Bar on New Brighton Pier in the late 40's at a time when her boss died jumping from the Pier to the Ferry..."

on this site:

http://www.merseyside.net/newbrighton/pages/comments.htm

Sounds like it could be the same story.

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#683400 - 9th Apr 2012 7:28pm Re: New Brighton pier death 1940s? [Re: Roslynmuse]
Tatey Offline
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Registered: 14th Apr 2009
Posts: 1412
Loc: New Brighton
OK thank you. I used to live in Montpellier Crescent but never knew of an hotel there!

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#683414 - 9th Apr 2012 8:04pm Re: New Brighton pier death 1940s? [Re: Roslynmuse]
Roslynmuse Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 25th Jan 2010
Posts: 168
Loc: UK
Found this:

MONTPELLIER HOTEL (NEW BRIGHTON)
LIMITED
At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the above-named
Company, duly convened, and held at 54 Mount Road,
Wallasey, Cheshire, on the 18th March 1974, the following
Special Resolution was duly passed:
" That the Company be wound up voluntarily, and that
Brian Stuart Burton, of National Bank Building, Fenwick
Street, Liverpool, be and he is hereby appointed Liquidator
for the purposes of such winding-up."
(333) E. I. Scrini, Chairman.

on this webpage:

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/46249/pages/4061/page.pdf

Could give a clue to a demolition date, perhaps. Or maybe a different location?

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#683439 - 9th Apr 2012 9:31pm Re: New Brighton pier death 1940s? [Re: Roslynmuse]
LisaW Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 31st Aug 2010
Posts: 163
Loc: Somewhere south of Watford
I can't find any deaths registered between 1940-1950 that match the surname

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#683497 - 9th Apr 2012 11:20pm Re: New Brighton pier death 1940s? [Re: LisaW]
cmw2a Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 162
Loc: Wirral
Somebody told me there was a one-legged man that used to dive off the pier to retrieve money that people threw in for him - maybe there's a connection here?

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#683520 - 10th Apr 2012 12:08am Re: New Brighton pier death 1940s? [Re: cmw2a]
Raven61 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 14th Jan 2012
Posts: 360
Loc: Wallasey
There isn't a connection but regarding the one-legged diver I have just found this print for Sale on Ebay;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lancashire-ONE-LEGGED-DIVER-Old-Vintage-Print-1983-/230612861161

The print has the following text;

Don't Forget the Diver


Most years we spent our Wakes-Week holiday at Egremont, on the Wirral peninsula. I t was a poor relation of the grander sea-side resort of New Brighton. We could not afford the flesh-pots of New Brighton, but we could, several times during the week, taste it's heady delights, for it was within walking distance. As a special treat we sometimes made the short trip by boat, catching one of the fussy, black-and-white, round-rumped ferry boats. Two of these boats had earned the prefix 'Royal' because of their part in the raid on Zeebrugge in 1918. They were the Royal Daffodil and the Royal Iris.
When we did go by boat one of the exciting things to look out for was the famous Diver. He was a daring, one-legged man who made death-defying dives from the height of New Brighton pier into the murky waters of the Mersey. He timed his spectacular plunges with the arrival of the ferry-boat full of trippers, and his wife collected pennies from them by means of a bag on a long stick. She would cry, 'Come on now. Don't forget the diver. Every penny makes the water warmer,' and, 'If you don't put a penny in the bag it'll rain before you go home tonight.' After each dive he had to climb back up a narrow, iron companion ladder, his one leg making him hump up like a sea-lion. This impressed me almost as much as the dive.

Those of us old enough to remember the Liverpool comedian Tommy Handley, in the ITMA broadcasts during the last war, will remember that he didn't forget the diver either!

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#683524 - 10th Apr 2012 1:27am Re: New Brighton pier death 1940s? [Re: Raven61]
cmw2a Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 162
Loc: Wirral
Oh thanks Raven! I thought there must be some truth in the story. Well researched!

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#683528 - 10th Apr 2012 5:39am Re: New Brighton pier death 1940s? [Re: Roslynmuse]
Tatey Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 14th Apr 2009
Posts: 1412
Loc: New Brighton
Good old "Peg-leg Gadsby" what a guy!

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#683545 - 10th Apr 2012 8:17am Re: New Brighton pier death 1940s? [Re: Roslynmuse]
Bezzymate Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 24th Apr 2010
Posts: 5551
Loc: New New Brighton
Great find Raven.

What is a 'Flesh Pot'?

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#683572 - 10th Apr 2012 9:43am Re: New Brighton pier death 1940s? [Re: Bezzymate]
Tatey Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 14th Apr 2009
Posts: 1412
Loc: New Brighton
Originally Posted By: Bezzymate
Great find Raven.

What is a 'Flesh Pot'?


Bezzy --- The sort of places I have visited on my travels!

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#683576 - 10th Apr 2012 9:51am Re: New Brighton pier death 1940s? [Re: Roslynmuse]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


My Dad, who lived in New Brighton remembered the chap. He told me the cry was "A penny for the diver. A penny for the diver"

The guy deserved a damn sight more than penny for diving into that foul sewer of a river - as it surely was then !

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#683620 - 10th Apr 2012 11:40am Re: New Brighton pier death 1940s? [Re: Tatey]
Bezzymate Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 24th Apr 2010
Posts: 5551
Loc: New New Brighton
I knew that you would have the answer Tatey, you naughty boy! X
Originally Posted By: Tatey
Originally Posted By: Bezzymate
Great find Raven.

What is a 'Flesh Pot'?


Bezzy --- The sort of places I have visited on my travels!

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#683633 - 10th Apr 2012 12:22pm Re: New Brighton pier death 1940s? [Re: Bezzymate]
Tatey Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 14th Apr 2009
Posts: 1412
Loc: New Brighton
What can I say, other than guilty as charged!

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