Sir John Betjeman described Clevedon Pier as “the most perfect pier in England” and who am I to argue with him. Unlike many piers which stand on forests of rusty ironwork, Clevedon Pier stands on a series of rather elegant iron arches. It is a small pier devoid of slot machines, arcades and the like and is none the worse for that. It is well restored and work has just commenced on a new visitor centre at the landward end.
Piers became very popular at seaside resorts during the Victorian era and were originally built as landing stages for steamers bringing in visitors. Many had theatres built on them and a visit to the “end of the pier show” became a traditional part of many summer holidays. Piers were really the final resting place of the Music Hall tradition of theatrical entertainment; I remember seeing Sandy Powell on Eastbourne Pier on a couple of occasions. Later they have attracted penny arcades and funfairs.
The picture is of the end of Clevedon Pier looking out to sea, the land you can see over the water is Wales around Newport.
11 October 2014