Friday, March 28, 2003
There used to be two piers in Brighton -- long structures that stuck out into the water, made for people to promenade on, back when they promenaded, replete with theatres and whelk stands and dark halls filled with old penny-in-the-slot machines and What The Butler Saw. The West Pier, as I've mentioned here before, has had its share of strange tragedies. The other pier at least had a ghost train at the end, before the fire a few months' back, which I also mentioned.

Yesterday, I got an e-mail to the effect:

Hi Neil,

Went to the Palace Pier (now imaginatively called "Brighton Pier")yesterday.
Sorry to report that the Ghost Train is now completely demolished and gone.

Though, even when I went on it as a kid I never found it scary, just musty
and interesting. Harking back to a time when High-Tech meant doing
remarkable things with brown paper and hairy string.
Mike Graney.

Then I woke up this morning to several messages, letting me know that...

Brighton's West Pier totally burnt down.

Hi Neil, read your journal every day and love it. I took a walk down the seafront today in Brighton to see that the West Pier was ablaze. After all the trouble its had recently I felt really sorry for the poor thing. Here are the local news pics:
have a few shots of the pre-burnt pier on my site too
Take care!

John King..


I think I'm beginning to agree with you on the prospect of being reincarnated as the infamous Brighton pier. It's looking more and more like a really, really bad idea. In fact, it's making coming back as a building in Baghdad look pretty darned good.

- B. Bolander

The news photos are impressive. They made me sad, though: those piers, and Portsmouth's (which is still there, although the original structure was accidentally burned down during the filming of Ken Russell's Tommy and was replaced by something somewhat less Seaside Gothic) were the piers of my childhood. Strange...