This morning I got up at 4.30am to watch a man pressure wash a wall. Thankfully this was not any old wall, but one side of the extraordinary Hastings Pier pavilion building.
Hastings Pier burned down on 5 October 2010. A mammoth restoration effort by the Hastings community has brought it back to life, reopening in April 2016 and winning Pier of the Year Award 2017, and various RIBA and other architectural awards also, for it’s bold redesign and reimagination. It is a pier unlike any other.
The pavilion on Hastings Pier is bedecked in remnants of the old pier. There are five different kinds of hardwood, including Ekki, and the extraordinarily coloured Purple Heart (Peltogyne). Scorch marks from molten metal can clearly be seen in some pieces.
Each side takes approximately 6 hours of painstaking pressure washing. You can see the startling difference between the unwashed sections and the beautiful colours of the newly cleaned areas.
It is, perhaps tedious and painstaking work, but the results are stunning. I ask the engineers when the pavilion might have to be cleaned again. “Hopefully, never”, they reply.