Here’s a well arty photo I took of Clevedon pier at the weekend. Piers are the nearest we get to autonmous zones – I love the sense of freedom you get on a pier………of faded grandeur, echoing laughter from the past, what the butler saw (indeed), and the absence of authoriy – you never see a copper on a pier. They are temporary autonomous zones like leggy forts in the Thames estuary. But also the dereliction. At the entrance to clevedon pier there’s a hotel that’s been rotting away for years -used to be solely occupied by an Alsatian guard dog. I hope it stays that way -it  suits the pier to a tee. Then I see the Campbell’s steamer like a seaborne charabanc loading up for Lundy, Ifracombe, Porthcawl…. the kiss me quick hats and sticky rock and welsh vomit in the gunnels, the warm slap of beer in the belly in the Marisco Tavern, then cresting the swell past Steepholm and home to Mumbles pier…………..zzzzzz



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  1. is the last part a quote from Dylna Thomas

  2. “…you never see a copper on a pier…”

    Damn you, Greene!

  3. thebristolblogger

    “A well arty photo”?

    Er, looks like it was taken from a loo window. But what do I know about art?

  4. Keith

    Very evocative & some distance from being the Severn Bore.

  5. Dora Kaplan

    I’m sure there’s room for somebody to make a few quid writing a social history of the British pier – the brass bands, the fading imperial dreams, the faux arabesque motifs, traders, sailors, sexual subcultures, bleak arcades, transient populations, the Adelphi, chronic poverty, erotic landladys, fish and chips and overpriced beer.


    You went to Clevedon and didn’t call in to see me in Bristol when you were in the area? I’m hurt.

    That’s from the top floor of the pub I reckon. I bet you visited Dave. So jealous.

  7. Keith

    It is just impossible for me to recreate the excitement of childhood holidays – travelling in a hire car (couldn’t afford a permanent one) to Conwy or Oban -early morning pretending to sleep on the backseat – stopping at service stations for the novelty & finding breaks in the motorway leading to stupid traffic jams – catching “A Hard Days Night” in LLandudno, because it was too rainy to do anything else – getting lost on the Isle of Man ferry – crying in a smoky bar – relieved by Mum & Dad finding me.

  8. Damien Engine

    50 whole p for Mumbles pier. Call that freedom do you?! …not to mention the large gaps in the boarding…

  9. Pope Pies the Bewildered

    50p…let’s buy it, I’ll go halves.

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