Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Razed to the Sea - Hastings Pier

How sad. How very very sad. Having spent many a happy childhood holiday in Hastings -  I am appalled to hear news of the Pier being destroyed by a fire in the early hours of this morning. I know that it closed in 2006 due to safety concerns and that it was likely to be redeveloped. I for one think that was a good thing, depending on what was planned for the site.

But now it has all but gone. A huge chunk of local and national history cindered and tattered. Opening in 1872 on what was the first Bank Holiday in the UK, it has bore the weight of countless footfalls from across the ages. This is one of the things I love about old piers. The wooden slats -  especially if they are original.  I wonder about who walked there before me, how long ago? Were they enjoying a penny ice at the time? Did they drop anything through the slats and race down to the underneath to retrieve it? There they would have seen the huge construction that went into piers - once clean and new, now standing proud with billions of barnacles and other such shelled creatures clinging to its legs. And the coolness under there. There is nothing quite like it, is there?

There is some speculation over how the fire started. I am sure the truth will out. But in the mean time -  what a loss to us all. Depending on how much has been salvaged by the fire crews, perhaps it would be nice to leave it as a monument? I think this works perfectly in Brighton, where the same thing happened in 2003. Coincidentally, Hastings and Brighton West pier were designed by the same person, Eugenius Birch.  The remains now stand out to sea as a (slightly) eerie echo of the past.

And I personally would rather have something to remind me, rather than empty space.

5 comments:

  1. LandGirl1980, thanks for dropping by my blog yesterda, of course you can reference the me in your what you are working on.

    It really is so sad, we used to frequent Brighton when we were kids but went to Hastings a few times, the last time about a year ago. I find it so shocking that English Heritage and local authorities aren't looking after these historical structures properly! The British seaside wouldn't be the same without the grace of a Victorian pier. x

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  2. Gaa sorry just looked over what I have written, sorry for the typos I have got a kitten on my shoulder trying to get my attention and a son on the other side demanding the laptop lol! x

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  3. This is very sad. I nearly cried when the pier in Brighton burned down, part of me had always hoped it would get restored. Now Hastings is gone too.

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  4. Oh how sad :(
    I've been to Hastings a few times now and I love it, it'll be weird not to have the pier there now.

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  5. I had to broadcast the road closures along the seafront when the fire was happening, and was trying not to get upset... Then, to make it worse it broke out again the next day... so sad. I used to live in lewes and have fond memories of both piers (particularly the old West Pier.. I remember as a kid even though derelict it's silhouette looked great in the sunset).
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, and for your lovely comments
    G x

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I'd love to hear what you think so feel free to comment away!

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