A GAP IN TIME:EASTBOURNE AND BRIGHTON’S(WEST) PIERS;A SEBALDIAN HOMMAGE. BY STEVEN BENSON

Out of time. The Victorian Tea Rooms. Eastbourne Pier
Starting to Decay. Eastbourne Pier

It seemed as if time itself had torn open, as we walked into the Victorian Tea Rooms on the slightly desuetudinous pier at Eastbourne; tea rooms which looked as they HAD been,not as they were, seeming encased in a carapace of artificial(plastic) flowers and of people, barely denizens of this earth, whose average age seemed seventy or eighty.

Closed cafes, a “chippy”, reeking of chip fat;rock, candy floss.Mostly closed up; it WAS mid October but, it seemed to me, it was hard to imagine it being that different mid summer.

This must have been how Brighton’s once glorious West Pier looked in its last years, becoming unsafe by the time it was closed to the public in 1975(a section having been previously already closed off). In earlier, prosperous days, there had been a grand ballroom, which, latterly had become a seedy amusement arcade, then closed entirely. Years after total closure, there followed a series of partial collapses of the buildings and structures, as parts of the pier slumped, like a palsied old man,half into the sea, as storms wracked the embattled, fragile building, and a restoration society repeatedly failed to renovate the building. After two arson attacks in 2003, all that remained was an iron, skeleton structure, part of which was recently removed, leaving a stranded island of bare iron girders, the poignant, original sweet and rock shop, Leverson’s, also having been demolished, the last surviving LIVING remnant of the pier.

Leverson’s old sweet shop, shining out, the last outpost in the darkness that the West Pier had become; still extant and open in 2006

As Sebald said, “And so they are ever returning to us, the dead”

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Published by: decayetude

ENTHUSIASMS: CLASSICAL MUSIC, ESPECIALLY OBSCURE ROMANTIC COMPOSERS; BACH/HANDEL LITERATURE, ESPECIALLY THOUGHTFUL, WELL-WRITTEN(STYLISTICALLY)NOVELS W G SEBALD WALTER BENJAMIN THEODOR ADORNO(JUST BEGINNING!) AESTHETIC PHILOSOPHY GAY MEN'S WRITING;QUEER THEORY STIMULATING DISCUSSIONS(EMOTIONALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY) GOOD RICH THICK ESPRESSO MICHAEL PONTI SPRITUALITY/LIFE'S "AURA"(BENJAMIN), WHATEVER TRANSCENDENTAL THING YOU WANT TO CALL THIS MEMORY-the elusiveness thereof. LOST TIME AND AN ATTEMPT AT ITS REDEMPTION(NON THEISTICALLY/RELIGIOUSLY)

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