Eastbourne Pier

Eastbourne Pier © 2011 Mufidah Kassalias

The golden hour at the end of the day last Thursday, the day I photographed the rusty structure that juts out of the water just off the end of the pier, the resulting photograph and blog post being Rust and Water.

Eastbourne Pier, opened during the Victorian era in 1870 when ‘pleasure piers’ were the height of fashion, stretches 1,000 feet (300 metres) into the sea. I’ve always thought piers a strange phenomena, as they are so often devoid of life, save for those few who frequent the slot machine arcades at the front of the pier, just beyond the ubiquitous seaside fish and chip bars that can be found at the entrance to every English pier.

That said, there’s also something rather beautiful about many of the Victorian piers, but sadly, as a result of fires (that many believe to be arson connected to rival interests or insurance claims), two neighbouring piers have met their demise in recent years. The West Pier in Brighton suffered extensive fire damage in both March and May of 2003, and more recently Hastings Pier was engulfed by devastating flames just over a year ago. So, although I’m not a fan of the pleasure pier per se, I do appreciate being able to walk so far out to sea and enjoy the view back to the shore, as well as the elevated feeling of standing above the water.

19 responses

  1. In other countries piers are just there for the old men sitting at the end fishing. I always found these English pleasure piers weird. Most of them also seem as if their glorious days are long gone, but decay can make for interesting pictures anyway.

    • Thank you for your kind comment And I do agree with what you say about piers — despite living in England the attraction is lost on me too, but as you say they make interesting subjects for photographs.

  2. This is so peaceful…with the buildings on the piers staring out to sea. They certainly don’t make buildings like that anymore. Such a shame to see them go.

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