More West Pier!

UrbanPlumber  Picture Courtesy:  UrbanPlumber

End of another day West Pier Hove.  Part of the Pier collapsed bottom left, now cleared for safety reasons.

UrbanPlumber  Picture Courtesy:  UrbanPlumber

A Boxing day sunset over the West Pier Hove.

UrbanPlumber  Picture Courtesy:  UrbanPlumber

Another “Med” like day in sunny Brighton.  My beach when I was a teenager, good memories early 70’s

Just updating my Brighton & Hove theme

Picture: curtosy of UrbanPlumber   Picture Courtesy of:  UrbanPlumber

Hove Actually’s Magnificent Restored Bandstand in all its glory, the remains of the West Pier on the horizon.  This Bandstand lay in disrepair for many years.  It did function in the 70’s, I remember military bands playing on it during the summer season.  Its has been wonderfully restored by great tradesman back to its original state.  People love to have their photo’s taken here, a fantastic focal point in Hove, situated on the promenade between the Hove Lawns/Peace Statue and the remains of the West Pier.

Hove’s West Pier

A mere shadow of its once splended self, all that remains is the charred carcass of what was a beautiful Pier.  I grew up in Hove, the beach/Seafront played a huge part in my growing up years, it is still a big part of what I do now.

As a young boy this beach “The West Pier beach” was one of my favorites.  When I used to use this beach in the early 70’s the Pier was a fully working concern, with different shows and amusements, the Pier decks were heaving with visitors and locals alike.

We as a gang of lads would cycle down and along the Hove Lawns and esplanade to grab a good position on the beach for the long hot day ahead.  The bikes were piled up, the towels were down, the sun was getting hotter and sea beckoned.  It was always best when the tide was out or going out, because we could swim or wade out to the end of the Pier with our feet just being able to touch the sand bed below.  On the turn of the tide, we would catch the waves and body surf back to shore again and again.  Long hot lovely days…

New Years Day a few years back now, I was up early 5.30am, the local radio station news declared that, the West Pier had been Arson attacked and was burning beyond control.  After a quick cup of coffee, “Mac the Jack” was leashed up and we walked the mile or so to the Pier from home in the wind and rain, passing homeward bound party goer’s still drinking and hugging each other exchanging “Happy New Years” with me.  As we approached, It was a sad sight indeed, the Pier’s long cast iron legs held he burning old lady out of the water, so she just slowly burned until all that remained was the metal skeleton that is now a huge tourist attraction

A small party of early risers were watching the Pier burn as I wondered on to the beach with the dog, tears were shed and some were gathering timber embers that had dropped into the sea and washed up the beach from the flaming wreck.  Most people were still in bed or recovering from the night before parties, blissfully unaware that the poor old girl ” The West Pier ” was dying.  What you see in my picture is all that remains now, the rest of the Pier that linked the shore to the remaining  carcass was severally storm damaged and had to be demolished for safety reasons.

I managed to take this shot of the Pier from the eleventh floor at ” Sussex Heights ” overlooking the beach and Pier, whilst working in an apartment.

Get on your Bike!

Got on the bike tonight.  Pumped up the rear tyre, attached the front and rear lights, got changed into suitable cycling attire and high viz stuff and set off.

I head off along the back and side roads towards the seafront, the main roads are a nightmare in the town, too busy with drivers who don’t really give a crap.  We have a great cycle lane system in Brighton, I love it as a cyclist and hate it as a motorist, both cyclists and motorist not giving a quarter.

The cycle lane at peak evening times is a bit like the M25, not really but its bloody busy both directions, not for the faint hearted.  Its funny really, the amount of cyclists out there with out lights or high viz or anything that may make them more visible, its ridiculous.

It feels great riding in the dark on the beach promenade, heading East no wind now after our storms, the street lights in the distance, the seafront buildings and the Palace Pier illuminate the sky as I scream along the cycle lane like a Tour de France domestic, “I wish”.  My breathing pretty good considering my fitness level.

I got to make the best of this cycling regime over the next few months, at least in this direction as these cycle lanes will be polluted with tourists who havn’t a clue that they are on the lane, cycling becomes a nightmare.  Anyway Iv’e reached West street, the main Road that leads the tourist from the beach back up to Brighton Station, from here the pier approaches with the new Brighton wheel strategically placed a few hundred yards along Madeira Drive.  The main seafront road is heaving with the evening rush hour traffic as I glide through past the wheel and along Madeira Drive towards the Marina.

Having not been along this road a night, I forgot just how seedy it is at night, for a split moment cycling along, I thought “the wrought iron arches that run the length of this stretch of road look great”, they are illuminated up with blue light which makes them look terrific, then it hit me, the blue light is for the benefit of the drug users that frequent these arches, that spoilt that illusion.  I got past the arches, now cyclists and pedestrians are few and far between it darker, no lighting but I can see the Marina in the distance, that’s my goal.

I knew this part of Brighton was strange, it has always had a bad reputation but when you drive by on the above road, you don’t take any notice of the goings on below. I turn around at the Marina car park and head back, shit there is a head wind, didn’t feel a thing going now I’m going back, its smacking me in the face.  The sworded area to my right is heaving with the night life, I can see and hear people mostly blokes on blokes going in and out of the bushes looking for their kicks I will leave it to your imagination.

The journey back was harder due to the head wind but the views of the town at night are brill, I really need a go on the Brighton Wheel soon, must book a ride.  I decided to take the main road from the front up Hove Street to Sackville road, risky business with the traffic, just got to take control now untill I turn in for my road.  Must do it again soon!