West Pier, Brighton

WestPier

I’ve not had chance to take any new photographs this week, so I’ve been going back through my photo archive and revisiting images from many years ago.

I took this picture of West Pier in Brighton in 2004, a year after two separate fires had ravaged the structure. The pier had been closed since 1975 after the company that owned it filed for bankruptcy. Since then, it had fallen into a state of disrepair but the fires really finished it off.

Today, the partially collapsed walkways – seen here on the right-hand side of the photo – have been completely demolished and much of the main structure has fallen into the sea.

It has made me appreciate the value of retaining a complete photographic archive. I quite liked this photo at the time I took it but looking at it again, 12 years on, has given it a greater poignancy. I suspect in another 12 years, there may be no trace of the pier at all, as the partial structure that is left today succumbs to the ravages of the sea. And, 12 years after that, it may have been forgotten about altogether. Photos may be all that are left to remind us of the existence of this once magnificent structure that attraced two million visitors a year at its peak of popularity.

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