The south coast holds many a fond memory for me, of long summers with my dear grandparents, sharing ice cream on the beach, staring out at the forts in the Solent and beyond to the Isle of Wight. A trip home to Portsmouth is always an emotional one. My mum will take me to the beach at my request, we’ll wander along the promenade where I used to rollerskate as a child. In the 90’s, my grandad would give me a hunded pennies for the arcade, and wait patiently as my siblings and I spun around on the rickety old fairground rides. Legend has it , the Wild Mouse rollercoaster used to stretch out over the sea, but a car flew off some years earlier into the water, killing it’s passengers instantly. I always wanted to ride it anyway. As the car would speed along the tracks facing the ocean, the knot in my tummy would tighten as I prepared to plunge into the water. I’d squeal with delight as i jerked right to face the carousel, and breathe a sigh of relief as I disembarked back on to the painted metal platform.

There’s something I quite adore about metal structures against the sky, the smooth beams gleaming in the autumn sunshine. Clarence Pier will always be one of my most favourite places on earth, and always inspires a metaphorical rollercoaster ride through my most treasured memories.

I miss my grandparents dearly, with every fibre of my being.

Love and local legend



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