1996 was the "Year of the Pier", where there celebrations up and down the country of the UK’s piers.
Just 14 years later you could never have told that it had taken place.
Today Colwyn and Blackpool North are slowly decaying.
Southport is looking bleak
Brighton’s West Pier met a fiery fate, a fate that Weston-Super Mare’s has also succumbed to.
Hastings Pier has been closed as it’s unsafe and if you believe the story that was on the local news up in Norfolk last night, Cromer’s will go the same way within two years.
And if it hasn’t been hit by a ship or caught fire in the last 12 months Southend Pier will have one of those things befall it within the next 12 (It’s always either being cut in two by ships or spontaneously combusting)
Given the numbers using Cromer pier when I visited today, it would be a shame to see them go.
However, at the same time they have lost some of the sparkle that started the craze for building them in the first place. Whilst Victorians marvelled at the thought of being able to walk above the water we barely give any thought to the fact that it’s several satellites in space all working together that tell the Sat Nav how to get to the car park for the pier.
Perhaps the pier is just too much a 19th century institution. Will they last another 14 years, yet alone to the 22nd century?