Once upon a time, pleasure piers were the jewel in the crown of Victorian seaside resorts. In the days before flight travel and package holidays, these elegant structures reaching out into the ocean were the forefront of entertainment, with their funfairs, ballrooms and cafes hosting hundreds if not thousands of tourists, each day. Sadly, many have long since been demolished while others cling to life dejected and abandoned.
The Brighton Marine Palace and Pier is one of the last remaining pleasure piers in England. As famous as the town in which it stands, it has intrigued me for years and I have often noticed it used as a location in film, television and various magazine editorials.
On my recent travels to England's south east country I decided to make a pilgrimage to see the historic structure first hand. I was also keen to see the town in which it stands, it's famous foreshore of historic hotels, it's hidden lanes of antique stores and cafes and its pebbled beaches.
The pier is truly magnificent, sitting proudly of the south coast, withstanding the winds and rough seas of the English Chanel, I felt humbled in its presence. Walking out over its historic wooden beams I was transported to another era. It may be said that England's 'Pleasure Piers' are a thing of the past, thankfully however, the few remaining are being preserved.