Decaying Old Grandeur 4 – The Royal Pier Southampton

The Mecca Ballroom at the end of Southampton's Royal Pier  burnt down in the 1970s
The Mecca Ballroom at the end of Southampton’s Royal Pier
burnt down in the 1970s

Royal Pier postcard

The Royal Pier at its best with the Pavilion leading to the Mecca Dancing ballroom at the pier's end
The Royal Pier at its best in the Victorian/Edwardian eras (top) and 1960s (above), with the Pavilion leading to the  ballroom at the pier’s head

I stare out at the gangrenous remnants of a burnt-out and buckled boardwalk.

I once walked along here in my long white gown to my wedding reception at the pier’s head.

A teenage discotecque, held every Saturday afternoon, paraded the latest fashions.

Mecca Ballroom danced the night away, and in the early hours there were women

Weeping over fights among bouncers and drunks.

Southampton's burnt pier, still an eye-saw in 2015
Southampton’s burnt pier, still an eye-sore in 2015

New wooden jetties, hoping to entice wealthy yachts and bearing ‘No Swimming’ signs, have become diving platforms today for sunburnt disobedient boys in trunks.

Diving boys

Diving through oily green waves of frothy seaweed, they wiggle down with the pipe fish and grey mullet to boat wrecks, over-stewed and stuck in the bed of blue-grey clay, razored with cracked cockleshells and broken bottles.
Here is the underworld city to hermit crabs, sea slugs or the occasional murder victim anchored by heavy slabs of concrete.

by Southampton Old Lady – August 2013

The Royal Pier, Southampton. Pavilion decorated in time for 1953 Queen's Coronation.
The Pavilion at Southampton’s Royal Pier, decorated in time for The Queen’s Coronation in 1953.
Privatised, the Pavilion opens as a restaurant:  'Kuti's Royal Thai Pier' in 2010
The Pavilion opens as a restaurant:
‘Kuti’s Royal Thai Pier’ in 2010
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