The tragedy of West Pier, Brighton beach, Brighton

The remains of West Pier on Brighton beach, Brighton, East Sussex, April 2012

Unlikely to ever recover from the suspicious fires that saw this beautiful Grade I listed pier reduced to a burnt out shell, Brighton’s West Pier cuts a sorrowful sight in the spring sunshine.

The remains of West Pier on Brighton beach, Brighton, East Sussex, April 2012

I’ve already covered a lot of the history of the pier in a series of articles last year – Remembering the Brighton West Pier in photos – but it’s still heartbreaking to see the structure dying a slow death out to sea.

Here’s some new photos, taken in April 2012:

The remains of West Pier on Brighton beach, Brighton, East Sussex, April 2012

The remains of West Pier on Brighton beach, Brighton, East Sussex, April 2012

The West Pier Trust is still clinging on to its faint hopes of restoring the pier.

Unfortunately, this aspiration now seems linked with the construction of the Brighton i360 Tower, a beastly, brash confection, optimistically described by the Trust as being, “entirely in the spirit of the original pier’s history and the best option to replicate its success and ethos.”

The remains of West Pier on Brighton beach, Brighton, East Sussex, April 2012

Surviving West Pier shop.

The remains of West Pier on Brighton beach, Brighton, East Sussex, April 2012

The remains of West Pier on Brighton beach, Brighton, East Sussex, April 2012

The remains of West Pier on Brighton beach, Brighton, East Sussex, April 2012

You can still see some of the fine ironwork on the pier.

The remains of West Pier on Brighton beach, Brighton, East Sussex, April 2012

The delicate cast iron supports still stand.

The remains of West Pier on Brighton beach, Brighton, East Sussex, April 2012

View of the West Pier from its old rival, the Palace Pier.

After being given a £14.2m Lottery award in 1998, there was real hope that this beautiful old pier would be restored, but two subsequent arson attacks – and major storm damage – have ensured that it’s hugely unlikely the West Pier will return from the dead.

I don’t imagine that’s something that’s going to upset the owners of  the Palace Pier too much.

The remains of West Pier on Brighton beach, Brighton, East Sussex, April 2012

Burnt and buckled beams.

The remains of West Pier on Brighton beach, Brighton, East Sussex, April 2012

Some of the structure seems in surprisingly good shape.

The remains of West Pier on Brighton beach, Brighton, East Sussex, April 2012

The remains of West Pier on Brighton beach, Brighton, East Sussex, April 2012

The remains of West Pier on Brighton beach, Brighton, East Sussex, April 2012

Part of the old concert hall can still be seen jutting out above the waves.

Read more about the pier’s past, present and future here: Remembering the Brighton West Pier in photos.