Oh dear, Fleetwood Pier has bitten the dust. The BBC have a feature on the fate of Weston-super-Mare following the fire on its pier back in August. For all the quotes commiserating its decline here's Paul from London, giving an alternative view:

Piers are a tired reminder of an irrelevant age. Would we dream of erecting giant ironwork structures in the middle of national parks - complete with candy floss stalls, amusement arcades, dilapidated pubs, and dreadful cafes? What class! Why we desecrate our coast in this fashion is beyond me as is the notion of spending millions resurrecting the anachronisms. No other country "treats" its coast to such impoverished imaginings. Long may our piers continue to be despoiled by the conflagrations they so richly deserve. "There's nothing like piers" - thank heavens for small mercies.

The West Pier

I had a look at the remains of Brighton's West Pier last week. It's a sad sight. There was a placard detailing regeneration proposals, full of grand promises about leaving the remains alone and building "a vertical pier" on the shorefront. Not terribly convincing. I suppose I see the opposite to Paul - they're old buildings that deserve conservation. It seems criminal that they're left to rot like this.

Maybe piers are symbols of an age when our right little, tight little island felt confident enough to extend itself beyond its shoreline. Maybe now that we don't feel so sure of ourselves, our psyches project these extension-curbing incidents...

i'm convinced all this seaside stuff is getting torched on purpose. fleetwood pier has been closed for ages and it really was falling apart. someone must've been under pressure somewhere to sort it out and realised that they'd be better off with a big burnt lump. a bit like the remains of pleasureland in margate. and the west pier. i'm off to watch some more x files.
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