Sunday, February 23

Andy Garth: Pier reflections

- September 4, 2017





A framed picture given to me at the shop this week is from about 1896 and shows the sad sight of a broken and destroyed Chain Pier (Brighton’s first Pier, built 1823). It was situated roughly at the bottom of Lower Rock Gardens, although the official entrance was from gates closer to the Old Steine with a pleasant stroll along until you could walk above the sea – and even catch or land a ship from it.

Now in the background is the brand new and probably still under construction Brighton Marine Palace Pier which apparently wasn’t allowed to open until the Chain Pier was either demolished or fell down as it eventually did, as some crazy bylaw or Act of Parliament said we weren’t to have more than two Piers (would seem like Brighton was showing off or something!).

Wasn’t allowed to open until the Chain Pier was either demolished or fell down

So the second photo, which ironically was taken by me of the top of the Big Wheel at the Paddle Round The Pier fair on Hove Lawns, is basically a mirror image of the 1896 photo…. or am I being too arty farty?!

Finally, I have been on holiday and as usual read for England and this year I read Lynda La Plante’s ‘Hidden Killers’ in which two police officers have to visit a potential offender who happens to live at her parents’ house in our fair city. Instead of saying “Hove Actually” she uses what I feel should be the new alternative: “in Hove to be precise”. Absolute quality. Thanks Lynda!

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