Swansea Slip. Part of Swansea's heritage.

Swansea Slip : the place to be...

Up ] Early bathing in Swansea Bay ] The Slip emerges ] [ Swansea Slip : the place to be... ] Swansea Slip: The place to be (continued) ] Swansea Slip:decline and fall ] Swansea Slip: Cleaning up the act ] Swansea Bay : The cleanup starts here ] Building a bridge at Swansea Slip ] The Swansea Slip Bridge ] Bert and Dick at the Beach ] Early Swansea sewerage schemes ] Swansea's Main Drainage Scheme ] Swansea's Main Drainage Scheme (Continued) ] A Map of Swansea's Main Drainage Scheme ] Swansea's sewerage system under Mumbles Head ] The Mumbles Head sewer outfall ] Slip Statistics ]

In an age before motor transport, the Slip was the centre of beach life in Swansea. The beaches of Gower remained largely undiscovered and anyway, it wasn’t just the beach that made the Slip so attractive. It was a centre of fun, games, a market, a place to meet and a place to be seen. It was also easy to get there. The days when that part of the beach was isolated were clearly a thing of the past. The trams stopped at the Slip, as did the Mumbles railway and it was by now a short walk from the Edwardian town.

Swansea Slip in 1914.

The reputation of the area as a place for fun and excitement prompted the building in 1859 of a large hotel and funfair known as Bellvue Recreation Ground. Although it enjoyed mixed fortunes, it enhanced the area’s reputation as a popular meeting place. Eventually, the hotel was renamed the Bay View, and a further draw for crowds was built in the shape of the Swansea Baths and Laundry.

Although both beach and gardens were substantial draws for both visitors and locals alike, the two attractions were unfortunately separated by a series of railway lines (including the Mumbles railway) that ran along the coast. The danger and inconvenience that this entailed was recognised as early as the 1870s when a rudimentary form of level crossing leading to a slipway down to the beach was constructed. By the 1880s, access to the beach was hindered by at least three railway lines that ran the length of the beach from South Dock to Blackpill. Under these circumstances, access ways to the sands were vital, and a number of archways were built under the lines at various points along the sea front. However, the level crossing at the Slip became the most popular point of access for the beach. It was also a popular embarkation point for the Mumbles Railway and the St. Helen’s Road Station was established there.

The story continued

Right: The Slip in 1914, a year before the Slip (or Coathanger) Bridge was built.

Below: The Slip and St Helen's Station viewed from the landward side (about 1909).
Swansea Slip. A crowded St Helen's Station in the early 1900s.

 

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All content © Nigel A. Robins and Swansea History Web 2006, 2007

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