• Rob

Brighton Palace Pier in Stormy Weather

We visited the city of Brighton, UK in mid-February 2020. After arriving on the bus from Worthing, we took a long stroll on the famous Brighton Palace Pier.


We were staying in a hotel in Worthing (which is farther north on the south coast of England) while we attended the lovely FUSE (Festival of Unitarians in the South East) conference, three days of delightful lectures and workshops where we met many new friends. As is our practice, we came a day early and left a day after, to give us a chance to explore the local area. We had Brighton in our sights and on our diary, as the English would say.


It was raining intermittently that day. You can see the dark clouds in the video. When a substantial downpour hit, we took shelter in a cafe and had a coffee and some cake (also in the video).


BRIGHTON PALACE PIER: BUILDING A “PLEASURE PLACE”

Here's a bit of history about the the third of three piers that have graced to coast adjacent to Brighton. For more history on these piers, check this link.


The third pier to be built in Brighton, The Palace Pier was designed by Richard Saint George Moore on behalf of the Brighton Marine and Palace Pier Company, specifically to be a “pleasure place”.  Building work began in 1891 and it was officially opened as The Brighton Marine Palace and Pier on 20th May 1899, with a ceremony on its opening night that had over 3,000 light bulbs illuminated along the pier. It would be another 2 years before work was completely finished at a total cost of £27,000, at today’s prices adjusted for inflation that is the equivalent of £2.8 million. The total construction time was more than 10 years, a record at the time for such a building project.


Once opened, the pier proved to be an immediate success with people flocking to see and be seen. Its music hall which was added in 1911 proved popular and played host to both Stan Laurel, who would later form half of the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy, as well as Charlie Chaplin at the very beginning of his career before he moved to America and found Hollywood fame.

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