I recently spent the night in Clevedon, a small seaside town in North Somerset with an early example of a Victorian Pier and the remains of an early Iron Age hill fort. Clevedon itself is slightly rugged but elegant, with a pebble beach, rocky cliffs and architecture typical of the English seafront. It was a bright, sunny winter day and we decided to walk along the pier, however as soon as I stepped onto the pier it was like a wave of sadness rolled in over me and I couldn’t understand why. As we walked down the pier I noticed all the wooden railings were covered in brass plaque memorials, not all for deaths, some for birthdays, anniversaries and wedding proposals, however the majority were in memorial, many of which being poignant, emotional and well written.
I have never seen a ghost, but I have felt inexplicable things, sometimes it can feel like a presence – good, bad or ambivalent. This was different, this pier and in fact this whole town was filled with the residual emotions of the people who have placed those memorials. This pier for me, was thick with the ghosts of the emotions of the living not the dead, and this is not something I have experienced so strongly before. These emotions did not belong to me, but I could feel them. Maybe this is a testament to the beauty of the place and how much love has been physically bolted into its very structure.