Jon Bounds & Danny Smith get into the seaside spirit at the Birmingham Beach, Cannon Hill Park this week | Image by Pete Ashton www.peteashton.com

Danny Smith from Northfield and his friend Jon Bounds are all set for a great Birtish adventure and are writing a book about their experience.

Starting on September 12th, the two writers are attempting to record the changing face of the country’s culture. The Pier Review tour will see them visiting every surviving seaside pier to do so – that’s 56 piers in just two weeks.

Danny and Jon, the editors of Dirty Bristow magazine, consider themselves perfectly placed to write about, in their words: “an ephemeral British seaside because that’s what the seaside is to Brummies: a ghost, a Vaseline-smeared Shangri-La cobbled together from Carry On films, hazy childhood memories and nostalgia for a bygone era.”

Danny Smith said “For years now the British seaside has been seen as in a state of decline, but with the rise of blue flag beaches, ‘staycations’ and flexible working hours the seaside is fighting back. This battle can be seen by the piers, with some earmarked for demolition, burnt to the ground or just plain forgotten and others planning huge remodelling as ‘consumer leisure experiences’. The very soul of the British seaside is up for grabs.”

The project and the book has been funded entirely by web-based crowdfunding and drawing from contacts around the country. Over £600 has been raised by pledgers, who get special gifts like first edition copies or even a postcard from each pier.

Starting at Weston-Super-Mare and going anticlockwise, Danny and Jon will be travelling in style in a reliable (cough) old Renault Clio and will be supported by a team of… one!

They plan to test their nostalgic memories and Jon says “We’ll take the water, and the air, head for the most basic B+Bs and the grandest hotels. We plan to have a mods vs rockers fight in the shadow of Brighton pier, check out the dying of the Hi-de-Hi light by spending a night at a Pontins camp, gamble on the penny-slots and hunt for saucy postcards on Blackpool prom.”

You can follow Danny & Jon’s progress on the Pier Review website and via twitter.  You can also pledge your support in pounds sterling, ensuring they never run short of pennies for cockles and ice creams!

Good luck, chaps – my favourite rock is aniseed. Just saying!

Empty seats on Princess Pier, Torquay
Princess Pier, Torquay by James Thorn on Flickr (click image for original)

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