Pierdom, Simon Roberts' photographic survey of England's pleasure piers
July 28, 2014 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Via Presurfer, via Everlasting Blort
posted by filthy light thief at 11:52 AM on July 28, 2014

Ryde is no longer regarded as a pleasure pier
It is formally listed in the British Registry of Sites of Emotional Resonance as a Melancholy Pier, but locals fear it may soon be downgraded to an Anxiety Pier or even a Weltschmerz Pier.
posted by yoink at 12:12 PM on July 28, 2014 [6 favorites]

I went to St-Anne's-on-the-Sea recently and was please so see that (a) the 1885 St Anne's Pier was still standing (and seemed to be in decent condition) and (b) it was a comical distance from the sea. I couldn't even see the water from it. I love a good pier, so whimsical.
posted by samworm at 12:40 PM on July 28, 2014

I'm not sure what an alternative approach to the subject would look like, but I know what Simon Roberts photos are going to look like before I've clicked the link.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:20 PM on July 28, 2014

I've never had the pleasure of visiting a British seaside pier, but my family has vacationed at or near Old Orchard Beach here in the U.S. for decades. I still marvel at the thought of my twenty-something grandfather taking the trolley (long since dismantled) from Portland to go see Benny Goodman play at the 5,000 seat ballroom (long since demolished) which used to be out at the end of the pier.

The current pier, which was rebuilt in the late 1970s, is fun in its own way but it doesn't have that spacious, open elegance of a Victorian seaside pier. I've never actually been inside the restaurant which now sits at its end, because it's your typical beachside sports bar with too-loud music, crummy beer, and rowdy tan people... which doesn't really hold a candle to either Benny Goodman or a ballroom.
posted by usonian at 3:21 PM on July 28, 2014

My grandmother lived in Eastbourne and I spent a few years going to primary school there. One of our favourite things was to go to the amusement arcade on Eastbourne Pier, where along with the very primitive video games of the day, and pinball etc they had these games where you'd drop a coin - there were penny versions, and two-penny, and some took a whole 10p piece- and it'd plink down a rack and land on this tray that moved back and forth and that was piled up with other coins, and if you were very lucky yours would land in such a way that on the tray's backward motion it would nudge the pile and a whole bunch of coins would fall down. Such fun you could have with a handful of pennies, so satisfying to walk home a whole 30p richer.
My last visits to the Eastbourne were bittersweet, as my gran was rapidly slipping away in a hospice. But one evening after going to see her I managed to make a lengthy (gets v. good c. 3 mins in) film of the murmuration of the starlings that live under the pier.
posted by Flashman at 4:23 PM on July 28, 2014

Eastbourne Pier burnt down today. A queer coincidence.
posted by Thing at 12:15 PM on July 30, 2014

Weird, so it did. The amusement arcade is now gone.
posted by Flashman at 3:08 PM on July 30, 2014

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