No one would have believed that in the early years of the 21st century that our pier was being watched by intelligences greater than our own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns, ‘they’ observed and studied…..and yet, across the coffee tables and in secretive groups intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic regarded our pier with envious eyes and slowly, and surely, they drew their patterns against us….
…The old Victorian pier at Saltburn pointed lazily Northwards into the calm waters of the north sea. As the cloak of dark clouds crept away toward the horizon taking with it the rain that had fallen hard onto the well trodden planks along the pier the first delicate fingers of blue reached skyward. Pointing out the first signs of the new day.
This was their sign. Their indication that they must be away. To slip back into the darkness from where they came, taking away all traces of their presence. To disappear. To once more go gently into that good night. To escape.
Amid the gentle rustle of wet waterproofs and the shuffling of soft footsteps on damp wood could be heard whispers. Instructions passed amongst their number. The occasional giggle!
As their fingers worked nimbly tying the strands to the wet railings they glanced up as I approached. Their head torches illuminating me. Always wary of approaching a group such as this I had kept my escape route open and if the pack became startled or aggressive I could make good my escape back along the pier.
I approached cautiously, camera in hand, trying not to spill my brew…. “Alreet“, I said in my light Northern accent! A cunning attempt to disarm their natural wariness. It seemed to work as soon I was free to move among them. Capturing the occasional face glancing in my direction as the hierarchy of the group kept a watchful eye on me. I slowly took my pictures. Then, as if they communicated without the need for speech they had one last look at their efforts and began to make the walk back along the pier and away into the night…….