After seeing a sepia photograph of the much missed Plymouth Pier, I gave thought to the passing of a seaside tradition...

I remember the days of those charabanc outings
When we sang all the way down to the sea;
We had buckets and spades and hampers and towels
And the sixpence to spend Gran had given to me.
I loved the sandcastles where goblins and trolls lived
And all of the sounds from the shell to my ear;
I loved the beach cricket where I scored a century -
But better than best was the old seaside pier.

No more penny arcades or sand in the shell fish;
Or striped sticks of rock and jugs of warm beer…
No more standing in line waiting for concerts
In the battered old hall at the end of the pier.

Hear Graham Searle read from "The End of The Pier"