Although a chilly south-east wind prevailed, cycling out from Bulverhythe to the Old Town on Sunday, April 10, promised the summer of sun we all hope to enjoy in these forth coming months.
As the pier loomed up on the horizon, I realised that although the centre structure reminded me of a WW1 tank, it really wasn’t all that bad.
The glass wall edging the roof sun terrace melted into the aquamarine sky and hinted at the missed opportunity for the structure to be totally at one with its surroundings – had it been clad with mirrored glass, as first intended.
As in the film Predator, it would have disappeared into sea and sky, however, needs must and if wooden, silver-grey cladding has to suffice, I can live with that.
Just prior to the pier being closed to the public, my last few strolls onto the pier were a disappointing experience.
It was depressing to be funnelled down the narrow, dark, damp pier shopping mall, of second-rate ‘Camden Lock’ type outlets; selling naff souvenirs and items that would have been more suited to a car boot sale.
It is a saving grace that some bright spark didn’t manage to persuade the structure to be painted black, to echo the Old Town Net Huts. The old adage less is more applies in this case and the utilitarian sparse restoration will allow our pier to be a people’s pier and adapt readily to the various and hopefully diverse events throughout the year.
In this WW1 commemorative period, maybe it is appropriate the structure resembles a WW1 tank, and it will see a further 100 years of service to Hastings town and people.
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