author and broadcaster Chris Foote Wood achieved a lifelong ambition
- to visit every seaside pier in England, Wales and the Isle of Man
- all 56 of them! This odyssey, plus copious research, has provided
the raw material for Walking over the Waves.
In words and pictures, Chris
describes in fascinating detail the history, the personalities, the
stories and legends and the present condition of this very British
institution, the seaside pleasure pier. Read about how they were
built and who built them, the storms, shipwrecks and fires that hit
our piers and sometimes destroyed them, and the stars who performed
or still perform on them.
From the longest pier to the
shortest, the oldest to the youngest, the finest to the most
mundane, they are listed. "Each pier is different, with its own
individual personality," Chris enthuses, "some piers are still much
as they were when they were built in the Victorian and Edwardian
eras, while others are wholly given over to entertainment and modern
amusements. Most are a mixture of the two".
"Seaside piers appeal to all ages,
all generations and most nationalities. Piers offer a complete range
of enjoyment and satisfaction - there's something about a pier,
stretching out over the water, that has universal appeal.
Enthusiasts appreciate a pier's form and structure, while most
holidaymakers are more concerned about the facilities on offer. Some
are content to stroll along the pier deck, enjoying the benefits of
fresh air, exercise and views over the sea while others immerse
themselves in the amusement arcades and funfairs that are a major
feature of most of our remaining seaside piers. Food, drink and
entertainment are all the more enjoyable when taken 'over the
waves'." As well as the piers themselves, Chris describes the pier
railways - a welcome facility on some of the longer piers - and
their associated cliff lifts. As a bonus, the multitude of facts and
information make and ideal quiz - questions and answers are