Peerless - Synopsis by Daniel Parkes
Brighton's derelict West Pier is nothing but a shell of twisted and contorted metal. Yet it still echoes with memories of yesteryear. Opened on the 6th of October, 1866, the 1,115ft long structure was originally designed as a place for holidaymakers to promenade on its decks. A concert hall and other amusements were added later, such as a performing flea circus and a miniature cannon fired exactly at noon by the action of the sun's rays. The pier was also used for various kinds of marine entertainment, including lady divers and bicycle feats.
Cut in two to prevent an enemy landing during the Second World War, it never really fully recovered, finally closing in 1975. Despite several high profile efforts for redevelopment, storms and two arson attacks made it an unlikely possibility. As such, it presently remains as a the nightly roost for hundreds of starlings.
The West Pier is still fondly remembered by many local Brighton residents. It’s their story that is explored in this documentary. We meet those who danced, romanced, worked, played and performed on its decks, and learn that the derelict structure that few now even notice, is in fact a ‘romantic ruin’ that has touched the hearts of many in the community.
To them, ‘the West Pier, was the best pier.’
The Young “Great Omani”
And with Ron Cunningham A.K.A The Great Omani
Director Daniel Parkes with David Marx
the Premier of Peerless