Beautifully put, Alice. You have got this soooooo right!!
My sentiments exactly. Big Thankyou.
8 reviews of West Pier in English
The West Pier has a beautiful, poetic sadness about it. Since the arson attacks in 2003, it has become an iconic representation of Brighton. The image of the burning pier is a favourite among local photographers who, seven years on, are still selling their awe-inspiring photographs in local galleries.
The sight of the sun setting behind the burnt-out remains is the most romantic scene in the city and I desperately hope that those who want it demolished don’t get their way. It will be a very sad day indeed when the remains finally collapse and sink into the water.
Head down to the seafront with your camera or sketchbook while you still have the chance to enjoy this inspiring, haunting structure.
I love, love, love the West Pier. Before the fire it was pleasantly decayed but now it is a magnificent and powerful tribute to time and the sea.
Last week then the council removed some of the support pillars on the beach, these were the location of many iconic Brighton photo shoots. But no more...
Also, on extreme low tides (a few times each year) then it is possible to walk out over sand to explore the pier. If you are a bit mad then you can even climb bits of the wreckage.
Get yourself a tide timetable and plan ahead; it won't be there forever...
I've stood and stared at this place since the mid Eighties when my folks had a groovy flat above what was then the Bedford Hotel, Brighton. We had a sea view and Palace Pier was as alive as it is today. It was the West Pier that always had my affections though. At the time it was closed off and its 'Friends' were always planning to re-establish it. Never did. Then, as now, I saw it as a metaphor for the seaside of another time. Maybe the ones of my Grandparents and the legions who jumped the Southern Railway for the Bank Holidays........
my friedns were on it before it got burnt and crahed down and they said the pilars were well beyond restoring even back in the day (hes a welder and works with metal i believe him)
i love this pier though and regret not bein in brighton to go on it :(
did you know though that there was actually a train that ran from one pier to another above the water?? :O seriously check old photos…very old ones ;)
I’m not entirely sure how you go about reviewing a large pile of burnt metal in the sea. As far as I know, all funding to be restored has been withdrawn, and plans have been drawn up for a phallic observation tower on the site (but on dry land). The debate seems to be whether or not the remaining debris is iconic in itself, or just a plain eyesore. I think it should stay.
It always had a grace that other piers somehow failed to achieve and would have been a glorious highlight if destiny had allowed it to return to its former stature. I remember the storm that smashed its already battered and bruised sides and I went down there to see it. Of course there were one or two who jumped with some kind of wierd misplaced elation as yet another thundering wave seared into its heart and ripped out another chunk of history. But I looked at the faces of those on the beach and peering over the rails. And the look they wore was one of loss and sadness. A loss of beauty, a loss of elegance and of grace. Another slice of a gentle era swept away by nature.
The image of the burnt out pier has become become an iconic image for Brighton. It’s a true disgrace that funding was never found to restore this pier to it’s former glory. Get a photo of it now before the remaining structure washes out to sea for ever !
Rumour has it that the small white hut which remained for some time untouched by the fire was in fact the fortune teller’s hut (bet she didn’t see that coming !)
The West Pier is a very sad story in the annals of heritage in the UK.
Ther UK's only pier to be listed as grade I status was built in 1863-66 to the design of Eugenius Birch, embellished by the Victorians and Edwardians with magnificent concert and entertainment halls. Sectioned off for security reasons in World war II, it nevertheless survived the war to become a victim instead of the general post-War decline of the British seaside resort. Closed as a dangerous structure in 1975, repeated efforts to restore it were thwarted by delays, arguments and red tape.
Salvation seemed at hand when, at last, the West Pier Trust had raised sufficient funds and had attracted successful lottery grants. Planning permission for its restoration had only just been secured when it succumbed in 2002 to a violent storm which damaged part of the concert hall deck, followed by two very suspicious and well-organised arson attacks in 2003.
Plans are still continuing to restore the Pier, through developing a new tower attraction on the landward side. Best of luck to them. In the meantime, the twisted wreckage is testimony to a national heritage disgrace.
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