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Aerial view

Aerial view of Brighton seafront, October 1990
Picture contributed on 11-05-04 by Ian McKenzie, from private collection

Comments about this page

  • What a great photo! I had just started at Brighton Poly and remember the bit of the West Pier that was still over the beach. It was dismantled in early 1991 and put into storage. The West Pier was worth saving then. What a shame the red tape couldn’t have been cut in time to have saved this wonderful piece of our maritime heritage.

    By Danny Osborne (07/01/2007)
  • I have just read Danny Osbornes comments about the West Pier from away back in 2007 to be perfectly honest I think it should have been saved.
    I have fond memories of it in the 1960’s before I moved up to Scotland as a young kid.
    I was often on it, I remember petrol go-karts on a oval track at the
    beach-end entrance and there were 2 shops either side selling rock
    sweets and tourist stuff, buckets and spades etc.
    It was a disgrace that it was never rebuilt after the fire damage
    Brighton Council should be ashamed to be honest, it was such a
    iconic building.
    To make matters worse they have left the remains of an ugly metal skeleton in the sea as a Dangerous eyesore.
    Councillors must be the same everywhere they lack common sense and judgement and would rather waste money on useless other things which are of no use to the local community.
    I have a picture of the old West Pier in all it’s glory on my living room wall as a reminder of how great it once was.

    By Leon Farmer (12/11/2019)
  • I was a tour guide on the West Pier from 1997-2002 and a Brighton West Pier Trust member – and still am – a member. There is a deal of confusion and mis-information about the pier in this city and there needs to be some clarification about some of the comments above. The West Pier was nothing to do with the local authority it was -is- the property of the Brighton West Pier Trust; as such the local authority only provided the various planning permissions needed to facilitate the reconstruction of the pier. The restoration was due to start with adequate funding from a range of sources, principally the National Heritage Lottery Fund and a major leisure developer with additional help from smaller contributors. The disastrous arson attacks on the pier effectively destroyed it. The NHLF cannot fund a rebuild, only a restoration and thus overnight something like 50% of a £30M+ project was withdrawn as English Heritage could no longer support the scheme. The ‘ugly metal skeleton’ referred to above is now the most imaged building in the city after the Royal Pavilion. The construction of the pier from 1864-66 was a testament to Victorian engineering as it was never intended to be removed and it would cost many millions of pounds to do that.

    By Dr Geoffrey Mead (14/11/2019)

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