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The West Pier

By Robin Tulley

Forlorn it now stands, its skeletal form laid bare

It was once a thing of beauty far beyond compare

Now, a refuge for starlings at the end of each day

It still remains defiant and iconic in every way

Its future still unknown, how will fate play its hand,

Can it be saved to when it was majestic and grand?

This most elegant of seaside piers bar none

Opened in 1866 to provide promenading and fun

A unique engineering edifice on cast iron piles

That battled time and elements but still beguiles

But memories are long of its original grandeur

Of promenading decks and a theatre of stature

It held its own against its brash neighbour adjacent

Somewhat more refined, offering superior entertainment

Max Miller, George Robey and Florrie Ford to name a few

Along with a repertory company its reputation grew

Closed, and trussed in barbed wire, it saw out the war

Then opened again an inviting diversion just off the shore

In 1965, its fortunes changed, it was sold to AVP

Who had plans for a conference centre above the sea

They all came to nought it languished for years

The council intervened but its reprieve was in doubt

Demolition was imminent without financial clout

An act of Parliament was granted to the West Pier Trust

To be guardians with fundraising a paramount must

For restoration to take place despite calls for demolition

Emergency works were undertaken but it was near dereliction

Two storms, two suspicious fires and withdrawal of support

Were the catalyst of its demise all grand plans came to nought

It was the end of an era, a beloved land mark, a great pity

It graciously succumbed to its fate, a great loss to the city

But memories linger on they can’t be taken away

And hope springs eternal for it to be reborn one day.



This page was amended on 16/07/2012
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