Steetely Pier, Hartlepool, England
This image is of the pier which used to service the nearby Steetley magnesium plant. Although it may not be 1,000s of years old this structure has played an important part in twentieth century history. The plant was opened in 1937 to extract magnesium from sea water. During the Second World War the plant was the only UK-based producer of magnesium, important in the manufacture of steel. Later the plant struggled to compete with foreign magnesium producers and was finally closed for good in 2005. For nearly a decade the plant fell into dereliction, becoming a magnet for children as a playground and generating huge safety concerns from kids swimming in the old water tanks.
The plant was recently cleared and there are plans for a housing estate to be built on the site of the former magnesium works. Only this pier remains, which was used to load the magnesium directly into ships. The missing section was removed to prevent people from walking along the pier, but the more adventurous can often be seen climbing the framework or fishing from the pier. Tarzan swings hang from many of the beams. As the pier gradually crumbles into the sea, huge timbers sometimes wash ashore and bury themselves in the sand like the shipwrecks of old. Before long the last remains will be washed away. The black and white tones of the image adds to the feeling of dereliction.