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10/01/2010

West Pier, Brighton, England


This is a photo (taken back in 2005) of the West Pier, a pier in Brighton, England. It was built in 1866 by Eugenius Birch and has been closed and deteriorating since 1975, awaiting renovation.
The West Pier had been cut off from the shore (partly deliberately, for safety reasons) since 1975, but the West Pier trust offered regular tours of it until the structure suffered a serious partial collapse during a storm on December 29, 2002, when a walkway connecting the concert hall and pavilion fell into the sea. On January 20, 2003 a further collapse saw the destruction of the concert hall in the middle of the pier. On 28 March, 2003 the pavilion at the end of the pier caught fire. Firefighters were unable to save the building from destruction because the collapsed walkway prevented them from reaching it. The cause of the fire remains unknown. On May 11, 2003, another fire broke out, consuming most of what was left of the concert hall. The Fire re-ignited on May 12. Arson was suspected: the West Pier Trust refers to the fires as the work of "professional arsonists". On June 23, 2004 high winds caused the middle of the pier to collapse completely.

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