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A tale of three piers

PUBLISHED: 14:32 26 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:31 06 July 2010

RECENTLY I had to follow a visit to Southwold Pier with a walk along Lowestoft seafront, which took me past both the Claremont and South Piers.

Whilst I had long been aware of the difference in quality regarding these venues, seeing them all in such a short space of time emphasised the startling differences.

RECENTLY I had to follow a visit to Southwold Pier with a walk along Lowestoft seafront, which took me past both the Claremont and South Piers.

Whilst I had long been aware of the difference in quality regarding these venues, seeing them all in such a short space of time emphasised the startling differences.

Southwold Pier is spotlessly clean and full of interest. High quality craft shops and a fascinating curiosity room combine with a restaurant which gives panoramic views of the sea on both sides.

Whatever the time of the year, or the prevailing weather, when I visit the Southwold venue there are always plenty of people milling around the various attractions.

In sharp contrast the two Lowestoft piers seem stark, unattractive and lacking in variety. Take away the amusement arcades and refreshment areas and there is little left - unless when visiting the Claremont one arrives with roller skates, hardly the standard equipment of the average seafront visitor.

The general appearance of the piers also leaves much to be desired. Both venues seem completely lacking in imagination. One might describe the three piers as the Lady and the Tramps.

The large flat areas which separate the piers are also less than inspiring, comprising of grass, tarmac and vegetation, which rarely rises above knee high. Borrowing from Hollywood again the whole seafront could be known as Tombstone.

At the end of a depressing walk one approaches a building with a very exotic name, E - AST -P - INT - PA - I - ION. Unfortunately, it offers little of interest and, although this name has been up in large letter for over a year, if missing letters had been restored it would have read EAST POINT PAVILION.

When crossing the bridge at the end of such a walk there was a time when a fascinating stroll around the fish market offered a unique experience.

Now, however, the visitor is diverted to the town centre - only to be confronted by the railway station. Enough said.

DAVID BATLEY

Jubilee Road

Pakefield

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