Photos preserve memory of Altona Pier

Russell Cassar stands before one of his photos of Altona Pier. (Supplied)

Goya Dmytryshchak

An Altona photographer is preserving memories of Altona Pier through large-scale images, before the old wooden structure is replaced with a modern design.

Detailed design work is under way on a $10 million modern pier with an angled head, with construction expected to start in the second half of 2021 and finish in late 2023.

Photographer Russell Cassar said the pier had always been a colourful and vibrant hallmark of Altona life and instantly conjured up memories.

“We can all instantly remember what it feels like to walk the old timber’s bare footed, the feeling of the timber’s texture under our toes,” he said.

“We have all huddled under the pier on those scorching hot summer days.

“As kids, we have all dared each other to take big jump off the top rail at the end of the pier hoping we clear the bottom platform on the way down.

“As kids we all remember fishing from the end of the pier.

“But most of all, I have concentrated my photography on the old pier as it’s the only way I know to preserve her memory.

“I’d hate it to be forgotten – she deserves better.”

Altona Pier was built in 1888 and was originally 149 metres longer, extending nearly 400 metres into Altona Bay.

Its longer length was designed for its original purpose to transport potential land buyers by steamship and later to ferry people to and from the city.