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Seaside Pier

Biography

Care to join ICONS on a leisurely promenade? We take a bracing stroll exploring England’s piers throughout the years – from Southend-on-Sea’s longest stretch, to the skeletal elegant shell that is Brighton’s West Pier…

The Basics

English piers – proud, open to all - and as steeped in history as they are colonised by lichen. What is it about these prominent pleasure walkways that make them so universally loved? Indeed, no English seaside resort worth their salt is without this essential coastal asset and day-tripper’s delight.

The Basics
The Great British Seaside

The Great British Seaside

As island dwellers we have always been drawn like a magnet to the sea and the seaside. We are irrepressibly proud of our maritime heritage and the big blue has helped shaped our national identity as much as it has shaped our shores. Furthermore, not only has the sea enabled us to retain our independence as a nation, it’s also allowed us to undertake some of the most adventurous and notorious sea-faring expeditions in history.

Piers through the years...

Victorian seaside attractions certainly strove to meet all tastes, encompassing the fashionable promenade, military and German ‘oompah' bands, plus a spectrum of other seaside entertainment including minstrels and Pierrots to music halls – many of which were situated on the pier.

Piers through the years...
Hazy Horizons to a promising future

Hazy Horizons to a promising future

The outbreak of World War Two brought about fundamental changes to Britain's seaside resorts. Beaches were cordoned off with rolls of barbed wire, concrete blocks and minefields to deter invaders. Sections of piers were removed for similar reasons. After the war a considerable number of piers needed extensive repair work. Boscombe and Bournemouth’s piers are both excellent examples of post-war modern pier design.