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Tag Archives: Britain

Britain’s piers in focus by Simon Roberts

Phil Coomes writes on the BBC website about photographer Simon Roberts and his series of photographs of British piers


Southwold Pier, Suffolk, June 2012


Brighton West Pier, East Sussex, April 2011 (Lost Pier)



Britain’s obsession with the coast is an understandable one given its geography and naval history, yet the coast also played an important part in the country’s social history.

It was here that millions of workers first enjoyed time away from the tough working conditions of Victorian towns, and any self-respecting resort would require one key ingredient, a pier. Their popularity lasted well into the middle of the last century, but since then, many have struggled to survive the changing holiday habits of the nation, and in some cases natural disasters.

Yet in some way these structures jutting out into the ocean reflect the nation’s one-time desire to spread its influence, for good or ill, around the globe. Today those that still stand have mixed fortunes, with some like Ryde Pier reborn and others still seeking regeneration.

“These pictures may encompass some of the seaside things we know best through such photographers as Tom Wood or Martin Parr, but they put those scenes in a broad context where people live in a landscape and a country, not just a car park. They also derive something from that quite different tradition, of the wild skies and unquenchable nature that we find in Turner. ” Francis Hodgson, 2013

Photographer Simon Roberts has spent the past three years creating a comprehensive survey of Britain’s piers, depicting all 58 surviving pleasure piers along with a handful of those lost in photographs marking where a pier once stood.

Read and see more pictures more here

The Observer’s 20 photographs of the week 10.02.2013

The best photographs in news and culture from around the world over the past seven days

Winter weather in Penistone, South Yorkshire

A sheep looks out from its snow covered shed in Penistone, South Yorkshire. Snow and gale force winds returned this week to parts of Britain Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA
Gale force winds battered the seafront at Seaham harbour

Gale-force winds battered the seafront at Seaham harbour in County Durham this week, as winter returned with a vengeance Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA
Hubble image of LL Ori and the Orion Nebula

Cosmic clouds and stellar winds seen in an image provided by Nasa of LL Orionis and the Orion Nebula Photograph: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team/HA/EPA

The 2012 Tour de France in pictures

This summer of sport has thrown up so many memorable moments and images, none greater than the 2012 Tour de France and the magnificent Bradley Wiggins. These pictures from The Atlantic are just a taste of the majesty of the toughest sporting competition on earth.

The 99th Tour de France cycling race began on July 1, as 22 teams of nine riders raced through Belgium, Switzerland and France. The entire tour covered a distance of 3,497 km (2,173 mi). Sky Procycling rider Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain became the first Briton ever to win the tour on Sunday, July 22. Gathered here are images from the second half of the 2012 Tour de France. Part 1 can be found over here.  [42 photos]

Bradley Wiggins of Britain — he first Briton to ever win the Tour de France — kisses the trophy as he celebrates his overall victory on the podium after the final stage, on July 22, 2012. (Reuters/Jerome Prevost)

Sky Procycling rider Mark Cavendish of Britain (left) sprints to win the 18th stage of the Tour de France in Brive-La-Gaillarde, on July 20, 2012. (Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier)

Thomas Voeckler of France, center, crosses the finish line ahead of Michele Scarpone of Italy, left, and Jens Voigt of Germany, right, to win the 10th stage of the Tour de France in Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, France, on July 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

The peloton passes a woman on a horse during the 13th stage of the Tour de France, on July 14, 2012. (Reuters/Stephane Mahe)

The peloton passes through a sunflower field during stage eighteen in Blagnac, France, on July 20, 2012. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The pack with Bradley Wiggins of Britain, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, Tejay van Garderen of the US, wearing the best young rider’s white jersey, and Fredrik Kessiakoff of Sweden, wearing the best climber’s dotted jersey, awaits the start of the 14th stage in Limoux, on July 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Overall leader Bradley Wiggins celebrates at the end of the 53.5 km individual time-trial and nineteenth stage of the Tour de France in Chartres, France, on July 21, 2012. Wiggins won the stage, all but securing his overall win of the entire tour. (Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images)

See the rest of these fantastic images here