In 1897 Guglielmo Marconi established
the first wireless station at Alum Bay, Isle of Wight. In August
the following year, Marconi was invited by Queen Victoria to
demonstrate his equipment aboard the royal yacht, he amazed his
audience by contacting the royal home at Osborne House from the
Alum Bay wireless station.
The coloured sands of Alum Bay have been a tourist attraction
as early as the 18th century, also a favourite spot of Alfred
Lord Tennyson, who is remembered by the nearby Tennyson Down.
Children used to climb the cliffs to collect the sands, which
they then placed in layers in glass lighthouses (the cliffs are
now out of bounds).
No trace of the pier now remains but for many years Alum Bay
had a pier 370 feet long. Regular visits were made by paddle
from Yarmouth and on the pier was a cafe, gift shop
and a small restaurant. It was badly damaged by a storm in 1927.