Saturday, 26 September 2015

Banksy in Weston Super Mare

 Jay, Kathy and myself, very much enjoyed the Banksy exhibition in Bristol several years ago, although queueing in the rain for 4 hours to go in virtually ruined my smart sandals, so we agreed to meet in Weston Super mare and visit Dismaland . I wanted to be able to buy tickets online before we went, but this proved a tricky business, 'part of the experience' I was told.
We chose to go on Monday 20 September, and thought it might help to get there early since tickets were sold out online. Weston Super mare is a doddle to get to by train, with a very regular service, and some through trains to London taking an hour from WSM to Swindon, it is also our nearest easily reachable seaside resort, so why don't I go regularly? It wasn't such a doddle on Monday with delays from Swindon, so it took over 2 hours to arrive, by which time Jay and Kathy were in the queue for Dismaland as I made my way from the station along with what seemed to be an alarmingly large number of other people. Banksy had thoughtfully written his name on the pavement with arrows, so it was easy to find the Dismaland, made me consider whether I could do that for visitors here?
The queue was very slow to move, and rumours abounded as to whether we'd actually get in that day or not. A member of staff said we wouldn't get in until 3pm, that would mean a wait of 4 hours, and not practical since I had to be home for a meeting.
After an hour and a half in drizzle, we were cold and decided we should explore the delights of Weston, and give up on Banksy. We started out in a great cafe right beside Dismaland, and here are Jay and Kathy reading red tops; it wasn't that busy when we arrived, but very busy when we left:
 Denied the experience of Dismaland, we walked onto the beach and around the site taking photos of what we could see:
 The same coloured beach thing from the side
 It was beginning to brighten up a bit, thought the horse looked great from this angle
 And the big wheel must have given fab views of the bay
 I tried another photo of Dismaland from a distance because others were taking photos, but not using my sort of camera, or maybe from a different perspective because this isn't good at all.
 Walking along the front, we were very impressed with the shelters, and asked a passing couple to take some photos of the three of us, I love these reminders of the day:
 Our walk took us along the front towards Knightstone Island which has a fascinating history, explored after a great fish and chip lunch in a delightful restaurant on the front.
 The building above is part of the one on Knightstone Island, I think this part houses a baths, and below the causeway linking the island back to the mainland and forming a marina
 I love the huge terrace ahead in the photo, and have booked to stay there to explore Weston further

 Walking further on, we came across  Birnbeck Pier
 It seems such a shame it's a ruin and a wreck, in an idyllic spot in the Bristol Channel, it would be great if some of the £20 million generated while the Banksy show was in town could be used to repair the pier. It's not that simple of course, the latest information appears on Sept 1st when chair of CNM Estates who own the pier and Birnbeck Island sounded as though they were trying to do .http://www.thewestonmercury.co.uk/news/birnbeck_pier_owner_is_committed_to_fix_1_4209788
Meanwhile Friends of Birnbeck Pier have a Twitter feed.
Kathy had visited Dismaland on Saturday with her daughter Ruby who had been able to buy tickets online. She sent me the following photos of Dismaland at night:





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