Two of Birmingham’s most committed journaleers and artists of human experience—a bi-polar working class warrior with a romantic streak you could drown a fascist in, and a cheerful nihilist in love with his own legend—took on the challenge of visiting every one of England and Wales’s 56 surviving pleasure piers in two weeks, because two weeks is as long as it’s possible to get off work.
It wasn’t easy, but we did it… limping home in a car that needed pushing every time it slowed down. Now for the hard parts, the therapy and the writing of the book. Sign up to one of our accounts, or the email list to be the first to know what’s going on.
Piers are the phallic symbols of our desire to own the motherly sea; our Victorian forefathers covered them with the lace dressings of amusement to prevent the working class getting too excited. Since then they’ve rotted slowly, like Britain’s empire and its self respect.
Those from Birmingham are perfectly placed to write about an ephemeral British seaside because that’s what the seaside is to them: a ghost, a Vaseline-smeared Shangri-La cobbled together from Carry On films, hazy childhood memories and nostalgia for a bygone era.