Any elderly visitors enjoying a walk along Brighton seafront in the evening could be forgiven for thinking the lively scene between the piers signalled a revival of the pre-Seventies heydays of the British seaside resorts - crowded, open-air cafe bars and many groups of people simply lounging on the beach.

This illusion, however, shattered when I realised the vast majority of these people appeared to be under the age of 30 and probably locals living it up after a busy week. Still, a lovely sight.

Now retired, I was born, brought up and still live at the seaside. With climate changes, the threat of terrorism abroad and the increasing popularity of short-break holidays, will eventually be in favour of British resorts.

As an outsider - but regular visitor to Brighton - my observations prompt me to comment on the problem of the West Pier.

It may be of interest to your readers that there was a similar problem in my home town where two of the country's most unique tourist attractions of bygone days deteriorated as British resorts went into decline and the vandals took over.

The activities at both venues (an open-air swimming pool linked to cliff-side gardens and an open-air theatre) closed 20-30 years ago and, following years of controversy, have only recently been demolished.

In a lighter vein, the mangled wreckage of the pier, when compared with the deplorable exterior of a nearby block of flats can, with a little imagination, be seen as a modern sculptor's work of art.

-Charles Braithwaite, Scarborough, North Yorkshire