Saturday, 11 October 2008

Strange Haunting Beauty?


Is there a strange, haunting beauty in the burnt out tangled mass of metal, that is all that remains of Weston Super Mare's Pavillion? The remnants of a white building, packed with rides and all the usual things that attracted thousands of people to walk down the pier and spend their money?

We recently visited Weston and walked down the pier until we got to the barriers that stopped us from walking any further, where the twisted metal stands and the big hole in the pier planks look straight down into the murky sea below.
It was a sad sight when we first got there. No one knows quite what happened or how the fire started during the early hours of one Monday morning. At least I think it was a Monday. The whole of England must have seen it on the news. Flames and black smoke shooting up into the sky and seen for miles around.
The town seems as busy as it has ever been, despite the gloomy forecast that Weston would be finished after the fire, as no one would come if the pavillion was not there. Well I don't believe that for a minute!
Here we were, seeing it for our selves. A strange, sad feeling wafting over all who had come to pay their respects.
One day it will rise again. No doubt looking even better than it was before.

33 comments:

Adventure Mother said...

It is sad to say farewell to something so fundamental to a town's heritage, but surely people visited Weston for reasons other than the pier!

Moannie said...

It's true, there is a sad beauty in your picture. I almost wish the 'powers that be' had left the remains of our pier after the fire ravaged it many years ago. Instad they built a montrous ediface that looks more like a seventies factory. All that remains of what was the second longest pier in England is the Victorian structure that still stands, alone, threequarters of a mile out to sea.

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Hi Maggie!
I agree that it is so sad! as piers are so traditional to Beautiful England...
It is specially sad to see something so historical and important for a town, that also brings lots of tourism.
I hope that they can re-build it and make it the glory that it once was!
Hugs! x

Hadriana's Treasures said...

I am ashamed to say, Maggie, that I have never been to Weston Super Mare. The only thing I know about it - is that it's John Cleese's home town. Why is it that so many piers are burning down! I do hope they rebuild it...they are fantastic structures. The one at Cromer (near where we had our 3 day honeymoon) is lovely!

Suburbia said...

Yes I think there is a beauty in your photo. Great pic by the way!!
I have fond memories of a holiday there with my mum when I was small. I remember the model village and the mimi zoo. The pier though filled me with fear, I was always certain I would fall between the boards !!!

david mcmahon said...

Beautiful photo, Maggie, and a great tribute.

Lavinia said...

Your first sentence is spot on. There is a strange, eerie, sad beauty to this tangled sight...

Wendy said...

Sad, just plain sad.

Mean Mom said...

I remember Weston from when I was a child. It was always very windy and it was a long way to the sea to fill your bucket with water!! I lived in the middle of the industrial Midlands, as a child, however, so a visit to any seaside town was always (and still is) a total joy.

Your photo is certainly haunting, but I'm sure I heard, just recently, that there are plans on show for rebuilding.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

You are right Maggie about the strange, haunting beauty of the remains of Weston's pier. Apparently once the fire was noticed it took only about 1 hour to reduce it to what you see now.

I believe the plans have been submitted and a decision is to be made next week as to the replacement.

A x

Irene said...

I seem to remember that that item even made it to the news here. Let's hope they rebuild it, because it sure is sad looking now.

MarmiteToasty said...

I LOVE old piers and find it so sad when these things happen, thats quite a few over the past few years that have burnt down....

On a happier note..... do you know that thousands upon thousands of coins drop to the seabed under the piers when this happens...... so go get a wetsuit and a metal detector, you'll be rich lol

x

Peter said...

Hi Maggie,

What a shame about the pier...I remember going to Weston with my family on holiday - it was a lovely place.
A very atmopheric photo, I liked it.

Peter

imbeingheldhostage said...

I did watch it on the news and regretted that we hadn't made it over there yet. That was so sad :-(

aims said...

Gosh Maggie. I just read your comment over on Stinking Billy about your daughter having the same disease I do.

I feel for her. I really do. One little speck of gluten and I want to roll over and die.

Fortunately The Man doesn't need bifocals to read ingredients and he does all the grocery shopping. He doesn't allow any gluten into the house in case I accidentally eat it. But eating out? Forget it. Which is okay - saves money.

I've learned how to make celiac bread with my breadmaker and I do a good waffle too. We have some companies over here dedicated to producing products for people with celiac and other food problems. Thank goodness. Rice cakes can wear on your after 12 years without a slice of bread.

Tell her I feel for her.

btw - Stinking Billy told me he knew of a 10 year old who died from this disease. Horrible.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I can imagine there will be many residual memories haunting Weston Pier for many years to come.

CJ xx

Millennium Housewife said...

What beautiful writing MM, I always say that going forward is the only option you have, going back is impossible. And if this is so, how do we go forward with grace and hope? Perhaps by considering, in this case, the haunting beauty that is left to us, the skeleton proving the flesh? MH

Omykiss said...

Artists try to make sculptures like this ... they just don't have the soul though, do they?

CrazyCath said...

I was sure I commented here but must have got distracted! Sorry about that.
I can't remember now what I would have said except Great Post! and what a shame about the pier. There seems to be a spate of piers burning down - Fleetwood Pier in NW England burnt down too. :(

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

I always think it looks sad when you see a building that has burned up. I wonder who had been there and exactly what happened. I pray your daughter and the children are doing well.

Merisi said...

Thank heaven there were no people in there, when the fire broke out! Very sad, though, losing a splendid building, holding such fond memories of so many people!

I came over her thanks to David's Authorblog.

cheshire wife said...

It is amazing how interesting your photo of the burnt out pier is. I bet it looks eerie at night time.

SandyCarlson said...

There is indeed strange beauty there.

Sandi McBride said...

I could see the ghost of the roller coaster trying to rise...lovely post...haunting itself!
hugs
Sandi
oh yes, congrats on POTD mention!

Casdok said...

I havent been there for many years.
Very sad.

Bina said...

Wow. It looks kinda... sad, ya know? Obviously I've never been there, but I can just imagine how people feel. It's hard when something like that is no longer there. And sad.

OvaGirl said...

Yes I agree, a very intriguing and poignant beauty. I have never seen the 'former beauty' of the pier but your photograph really captures a sense of loss.

Cheryl said...

That is so very sad! The photo realy is bittersweet.It is a wonderful photo and your words lovingly say it all so beautifully.
XXXXX

Lulda Casadaga said...

Maggie: How sad for the people of that town and for all the visitors.

It's always bittersweet when an amusement park is destroyed by fire or just torn down. One such famous one from my childhood is gone and huge highrises sit on the memories. :(

San said...

Maggie May, I do see beauty in this image, but I'm not familiar with the place and its stories, so I'm responding purely to the composition of the ruins, in the same way that I admire old architectural ruins.

I love your optimistic words at the end of your post.

Hilary said...

That's a heart-breaker. Just this week I read an article about my own home town (Montreal)'s amusement park that was taken down in the 80's. It was a nostalgic piece and I couldn't believe the childhood memories it evoked. I hate to think of landmarks being destroyed.

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Very sad pictures Maggie, but with a strange beauty too. When our Pier burnt down about 5 years ago, there were people crying on the beach and along the seafront. These old structures are wonderful and should be preserved - but ours is still a wreck sticking out of the sea! M xx

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