A totally off-topic, extra-curricular weekly post which could be about anything!
Weston-Super-Mare Pier Fire
I woke this morning to the rather sad news that the pier at Weston-Super-Mare, between Bristol and Taunton, was burning. There will probably be many of you who have never heard of it – and probably don’t care much about it either – but I, for one, have quite a few sentimental attachments to the old place.
First of all, Weston-Super-Mare – although about an hour away – is the nearest bit of sea-side to where I live, so it was really my local beach! Of course, those who do know it also know that it is rather a strange beach: it has a very shallow slope, so that when the tide is out you are really quite stretched to see any sea at all from the promenade – unless you are prepared to walk, that is! Nevertheless, it was where my parents took me when I was little and I spent many a happy hour making sandcastles and riding the donkeys and, of course, enjoying the attractions on the 100 year old pier. One of my earliest memories, in fact, is of walking along the wooden boardwalk and looking through the gaps at the sea below.
Just a year ago, I had to take my daughter to her friends in Devon. My mum came with me for the ride, and on the way back, as dusk fell, we stopped off in Weston-Super-Mare to eat fish and chips on the nearly deserted beach. As the darkness gathered, we were witnesses to a most beautiful sight: the lights along the pier lit up like fairy lights on a Christmas tree and reflected on the sea beneath (yes, the tide was in!). The effect was quite magical. I had hoped to go and do it again this summer but, seeing the footage of flames and smoke pouring into the sky, it seems that that won’t be happening.
I truly hope that, even though the buildings on top have gone, the infrastructure of the piles and decking have survived enough for it to be rebuilt again so that future generations will be able to recall pleasant childhood memories of Weston, as I have.