At beginning of 2014 the swinging fish on
the front of Southwold Pier were removed.
A couple of years previously the pier owner had asked
me to design a sign for the front of the building. The swinging fish and
lettering, made of anodised aluminium, were the result. I was quite proud
of them – such a simple idea but the way they caught the light as they
swung, particularly in the afternoon, was effective and unusual.
Technically they were problematic. At first hung on
chains, they thrashed round so violently in every storm that the front entrance of the
pier had to be closed because it looked as if they might fall on people. I then made brackets that only allowed a limited a
mount of swing – also disastrous because the constant tapping on the
brackets eventually caused metal fatigue and brackets started to snap off.
Finally I let them to swing freely, but this was too noisy and looked too alarming so I
added 2.5mm nylon restraining cords. This was OK for a year or so but in
recent high winds some cords snapped even with a breaking strain of
Thicker cord would have prevented this but in the
meantime the pier had changed hands and the new owner understandably
decided to rebrand everything, so goodbye fish.