Two Centuries of Walking on Water: Fred Gray and Michael Farthing in conversation about Fred’s new book The Architecture of British Seaside Piers.

West Pier Trust had established a regular and popular monthly talk programme which took place in West Pier Centre until Covid-19 forced us to cancel all events in the Centre. We plan to resume the talks in due course but in the meantime we are delighted to present the first of what we hope will be a series of virtual talks.

Fred’s book is about the those often extraordinary and magical engineering and architectural confections, seaside piers, on the margin between the land and the sea. As the novelist JG Ballard wrote almost two decades ago: ‘All the most interesting things in the world take place where the sea meets the land and you’re between those two states of mind. On that border zone, you’re neither one nor the other, you’re both.’

Professor Fred Gray is Honorary Historian and Archivist of the West Pier Trust and author of the history of the pier: Walking on Water: The West Pier Story.  His other books include Designing the Seaside: Architecture, Society and Nature (Reaktion, 2006) and Palm (Reaktion, 2018). The Architecture of British Seaside Piers was published in July 2020 by Crowood Press.

Professor Michael Farthing is Chair of West Pier Trust

West Pier Trust talks are available free of charge. Please consider donating to the Trust at www.westpier.co.uk

With thanks to Jennifer Grindley for advice and support and Dave Miller for editing the video.

https://youtu.be/_lvuRLs-GTY