Despite the fall in popularity of holidaying in the UK, piers still hold a place in peoples hearts. Whenever another is tragically lost to fire or the ravages of the sea, there is always media attention. until the interest fades again and it is left to a few devoted groups to fight for their survival.
Piers were as individual as the resorts they represented. The resorts were trying to cater for the rapidly expanding working class holiday market of the late nineteenth century, and the pier as the focal point of this development.
The pier 'pleasure palaces' were also evolving to accommodate this new market. So piers were becoming not only a promenade to take in the sea air but also places for variety and music halls as well as latter day theme parks, aquariums, and exhibition halls. Most were adapted to take landing stages due to the increasing paddle steamer trade.
Many Piers had to adapt not just to natural disasters but also to the changing market of the 60's and 70's. Many lost their Victorian charm once the slot machine and bowling ally took over, but all of these incarnations contribute to the charm of these wonderful pieces of architecture.
Only 50 or so are left around the coast of England and Wales and some are lost every year. Since starting this project three have be burnt down already.
This is the start of a long term project to photograph all of the piers still standing ( and some that are not )
around the coast of the UK.