There are a large number of deeds from the Swansea Improvements and Tramways Company in the collection, including some agreements for facilities and amusements for the pier in the 1900s. These include agreements with a Pierriot troop (they would appear every day except Sundays), a company supplying a Mutoscope Machine (an early motion picture device), a company supplying a confectionary machine, the lessees of a photographer's shop and a fancy dealer's shop.
One of the attractions at the Pier was the Pier Hotel, which included a dance hall. Papers concerning a dispute over the lease of the hotel in the 1940s show how the hotel was enjoyed by people during the Second World War. Officials of the South Wales Transport Company described how goodwill and increased business was brought about by the war, with more troops in the area, a greater safety from bombing in Mumbles over Swansea and travelling restrictions meaning that more people are taking local holidays. Drafts of proofs of evidence from inspectors on the railway explain that during the war dances were held every night except Sunday, with one of the inspectors stating that people seem to have ‘gone crazy on dancing, drinking and any form of amusement during the war’. The visitors to the war time dances were mainly American troops, a large number of merchant seamen of all nationalities, some British troops and munitions workers.
These papers also show the inherent link between the railway and the pier, with one inspector estimating that 90% of people attending the dances would travel there and back on the railway. The trains ran every 16 minutes, and sometimes the driver was unable to stop until Oystermouth because the carriages were so full. With this in mind, it would be interesting to see if there has been, or will be, any talk of proposals to bring back the Mumbles Railway, to complement the planned rejuvenation of the pier.