Now let me think.........been on Brighton, Southend, Yarmouth, Weston S.Mare, Ryde (I.O.W), Southport, Rhyl, Blackpool, Fleetwood, Clacton and Liverpool.
Maybe a couple more, and enjoyed 'crabbing' as a kid.
I have been to Largs Bay,Semaphore,Henley,Grange,Glenelg,Brighton,to name just a few. I have walked on all the piers(jetties),and fished from them all. We have raked for blue swimmer crabs at dozens of crabbing beaches, my husband and I still enjoy putting the rakes and tub in the boot of the car, and going crabbing. Then we bring the crabs home and cook them in an old gas copper, in salt water from the sea,with mint.
My interest in piers is what swims beneath them. Spent many happy hours float fishing for mackerel, then eating them fresh the same day.
There's nothing better than finding your bait on the shore, catching a Bass or Cod and eating the same day. Although I have fished on too many piers to mention throughout the country, my favourite spots are off the beaches. Anyone wanting an experience to remember, buy some live sand eels caught that morning, from a seller on the beach at Teignmouth, Devon, cast them into the river on a unweighted line on a light rod, and let them swim in the current. When a bass hits, and they always do, you know about it
Interesting points about the French flag and the cavalryman. However, it is definitely Brighton chain pier. A bit of background: it was painted in about 1840 (we don't know the exact date). Henry Bodle was a son-in-law of William Vine who had operated a windmill in Brighton and we believe was a friend of John Constable (yes, THE John Constable). Why do we think this? Because William Vine's mill appears in at least six known works by Constable; both men had similar strict non-conformist backgrounds. In 1843, Henry Bodle also painted Vine's mill (watercolour, donated to Brighton Museum last year by another descendant) and a portrait of William Vine himself, and it is very likely that he had learned his painting from Constable - though his day job was carpentry.
So why the French touches? I have no idea. Possibly some sympathy with the egalitarianism of the French republic. I am not aware of any family connections with France.