Once upon a Time there was a Pier
One lazy Sunday in May Marco and Strawberry were driving around the English countryside. Arrived on the Sussex coast, the vision of this derelict giant protruding into the sea caught their attention. They parked the car, walked on the pebble beach of Hastings, arriving just below the impressive cast iron structure of the pier.
The desolation and abandon of this place, emphasised by the stormy weather and splashing waves gave a very intense sensation of time going by. Marco took a few shots under the deck that stood there, at imminent risk of collapse, but still strong enough to enchant passers-by with its silent salt-ridden atmosphere...
The pier was opened in 1872. Architecturally it was an innovation and for the Victorians it was a wonderful place for walks, idleness and entertainment away from London. Surviving a large fire in 1917 (which destroyed his original 2,000 seater pavilion) Hastings Pier has been used for major events and concert in the 1960s and 1970s. The Rolling Stones, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and many others played some unforgettable concerts there.
During the last years the Hastings Pier & White Rock Trust and the Hastings Observer supported several initiatives and campaigns to raise funds and save the Pier. Some primary preservation measures have been undertaken, but a full consolidation and restoration has been estimated to cost over £50. The steady decline continued, culminating in a second devastating fire in 2010, which has given the pier today’s appearance, a big old rusty monster standing on the sea.
The engineers dismally commented that the pier is “one good storm away from collapse”. Go there and admire this wonderful creature of the past before it is too late!