Sam Murray, Brighton West Pier

02 Sep 15

Brighton West Pier circa 1980 by Sam Murray

Here’s a little story of how I got onto the closed pier. (It’s all true).

In the summer of 1980, or perhaps it was ‘81 I can’t remember know anyway, I was picnicking on Brighton beach beside the derelict West Pier. 

A rather disheveled old man sidled up to me and whispered in my ear.

“I’m the Keeper of the Keys you know.” 

“Er…Really? That’s nice for you.”

It turned out they were the keys to the pier which had been locked up for for years due to its state of neglect and was now in danger of collapse.

“Would you like to have a tour?”

I had to be careful not to fall through the massive holes in the walkways but it was a wonderland. There was still a quiet dignity in amongst all that decay. 

I had an Olympus 10 with me and took some photos that have been sitting in my drawer for more than 30 years.

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KEY: white circle = pier & black square = venue