Wednesday 27 October 2010

Last days of the West Pier

The death of the West Pier was a long, drawn-out affair but this must have been one of the last postcards to illustrate it in full use with people strolling up and down and enjoying the sun, sea air and views of the historic Brighton & Hove seafront. Sussex Heights behind the Metropole was finished in 1966, and the rhenish helm-topped clock tower of the Clifton Road Congregational Church can just be seen on the horizon on the centre-line of the pier. This church, designed by Thomas Simpson, was demolished in 1972. The pier was finally closed to the public in 1975.

What is particularly remarkable about this picture is the apparently good condition of the pier just a few years before closure. It was at this time owned by AVP Industries who took over the West Pier Company in 1965. AVP was also responsible for Sussex Heights and the decapitation of the Metropole. It is ironic that for a small fraction of the millions spent on these projects and a less negative attitude from the Council the Pier might have been saved and become as important to Brighton's unique architectural heritage as the Royal Pavilion.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this wonderful postcard. For as long as I can remember, as a child coming down to Brighton, the West Pier was always an imposing and beautiful sight - albeit falling into disrepair and devastation, it was always uniquely Brighton! Childhood memories flooding back.


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