COLWYN BAY FIRE
£40,000 DAMAGE TO PAVILION
Fire completely destroyed Colwyn Bay Pier Pavilion, an ornate wooden structure accommodating over 2,000 people, on Sunday morning. The pavilion was used as a theatre and was the largest building its Kind in North Wales. The damage Is estimated at £40,000.
About seven o’clock the promenade inspector, Mr. Mayall, had his attention drawn to some smoke issuing from the south-west corner of the pier pavilion.
Mr Mayall rang the fire brigade, but before it arrived at about ten minutes to eight the pavilion, which was composed entirely of wood except the steel framework, was a vast bonfire, the flames being fanned by a stiff north-east wind from the sea. The plate-glass window of the corner shop had burst with a loud bang. In a very short time nothing was left of the building except twisted girders, but the fire brigade, who had their new motor engine in action, were able to save the pier itself, with the exception of a portion adjacent to the pavilion. The entrance to the pier and the bijou pavilion at the end were undamaged.
It seems that the fire originated in the corner shop, which was used as a sweet shop and refreshment room. In it the proprietress had a perfection oil stove, but she stated that this was extinguished about nine o’clock at night. On Friday and Saturday nights the pavilion was used by a Welsh opera company from Bethesda for the performance of ” Aelwyd Angharad,” the Welsh opera by Lloyd Williams and Llew Tegid, and the pavilion was closed after Saturday night’s performance in the usual way.
The whole of the contents the pavilion were destroyed, including a valuable music library which belonged M. Riviere. The wind blew the fire and smoke in the direction of the pier entrances and the railway station, and when the fire was at its height the spectators gathered on the promenade were driven back by the heat to a safe distance. The fire brigade were able to pour water on the pier entrances and the kiosk, preventing these from being damaged. During the last twelve months the pavilion had been redecorated at a cost of many hundreds of pounds.
AN UNFORTUNATE VENTURE
The pier and pavilion were constructed 1899 and 1900 by the Colwyn Bay Victoria Pier and Pavilion Company, Limited, which (the late W. F Mason, of Llandudno, was chairman. It was intended to give in the pavilion, which would accommodate about 1,500 persons, high class concerts on the lines so successfully adopted by the Llandudno Pier Company. Ltd., and the new company secured as their first conductor M. Jules Riviere, who originated the Llandudno concerts, and afterwards conducted similar concerts in a building erected at Craigydon, Llandudno.