Happy New Year to y’all – hope you had a good Christmas and that 2014 will be a successful year for you.
Just spent a week with family and friends in Brighton, on England’s south coast. It’s a great town: so much going on, so many good pubs and restaurants – and shops that take you back to your youth. And still a youthful, vibrant place. It’s often cast as London-on-the-sea, and there’s a bit of that; but it has its own distinctive character. It’s a classic setting for films, especially of the gangster variety. Brighton has always been a combination of the posh, the arty and the seedy and sinister.
But above all, Brighton has the sea, the sea. The stony beach, the promenade. The piers. And this week it had the wild wind. Bracing.
I say the piers, in plural. There’s one still in good working order. And then there’s the West Pier. Now derelict, but once a thriving centre of entertainment, with its heyday in the 1920s. It fell into decay in the 50s and 60s and was shut down to the public in 1975. Over the years there were various projects mooted to restore it to former glories, but in 2003, it fell victim to an arson attack. There are plans to build a tower called the i360 near to it, but no evidence of that happening just yet.
The coast faces south, so the sun shines on to it most of the day and creates a silhouette effect for most things when when you look onto the sea. I walked down to the West Pier on one of the few days when the sun was shining this last week – through some expressive clouds. Here are a few shots. I love the forlorn sense of what is left, and the way it has become part of the natural landscape. There’s a mystery and a resilience about it. Gone are the glory days, but it’s still a place for stories…