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  • Writer's pictureInês Soares

Enchanted West Pier

People like to sit and relax at the beach in front of the West Pier

If you've never been to Brighton in the UK, let me explain: this is what was left from a big fire in 2003, reducing a beautiful pier to ashes. Since then, it's common to see photographers shooting it, people paddling around it, or just simply contemplating as if it was a piece of art.

And it is, at least for me. Since I saw it for the first time - having just moved to Brighton in 2015 - I kinda fell in love immediately, especially during the sunset, but even more when the starlings are around. I never get tired of watching the pier.

Located at the Brighton central beach, it was opened first in 1866 - yes, it was that old - to attract visitors to the city.

In 1975 was closed for safety reasons, reopening later in 1987.

But 2003 was a catastrophic year for the West Pier. In March, weeks away from the start of the pier’s restoration, a large section was destroyed in an arson attack, and then in May, already seriously damaged by a huge storm the previous December, the Concert Hall was also set on fire. The fire still remains unexplained.

The skeletal structure was left to become a feature of Brighton’s seafront. However, its desolate beauty makes it much discussed, wondered about and photographed.

Owned by the charity company and non-profit making organisation West Pier Trust, it is said that the West Pier could be rebuilt by 2026... Fingers crossed!

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