OPENING OF LLANDUDNO PIER.
FORMAL TRANSFER OF THE WORKS.
Last Wednesday, the 1st of August, the pier which has for nearly a year past been in progress, was formally transferred from the hands of the contractor to those of the directors. The execution of the works bas been watched with the greatest interest by the inhabitants of the place as well as by those visitors who have a regard for what they think of as the first watering place of the north, which they therefore believe ought to be supplied with every means of improvement. This pier will, be one of those principal means of support to this watering-place, and as such its completion is hailed with delight by both residents, and visitors.
At half-past eight on Monday night the last pile of the pier was driven, amidst the hubris of the workmen engaged on the works, and the beginning of the end of the scheme was thus indicated. It had been previously decided to open the pier formally on the 1st of August, and by dint of incessant exertion the structure was enabled to be put in proper trim for the inauguration. It will be remembered that the first pile of the pier was driven on the 15th of September, 1876, by Lord Hill Trevor, in the presence of Lord Mostyn, Lady Augusta Mostyn, Mr Llewelyn Mostyn, and other distinguished visitors. Thus a period of a little more than ten months had elapsed between the commencement of the pier and its completion for although all the girders to be put in position are not yet in their places, the structure may virtually be said to be finished. When completed the pier will be a total length of 1,234 feet, reckoning from the face of the abutment, and of an ordinary width between the parapet of 25 feet. The sides of the abutment and the wing walls are built of local stone, and sufficient room is given for carriages to draw up and for a toll-house. The main deck of the pier is carried on wrought iron lattice girders 4 feet 2 inches deep, supported on cast iron piles 12 inches in external diameter, built up in lengths of about 11 feet and strongly braced by a series of 1 ½ inch diagonal ties. ‘The pier-head is T shaped on the plan and is 13 ½ feet measuring on the centre line of the pier, and of an increased width of 60 feet. The crossend is 203 feet long by 67 wide and on the head it is intended to erect a pavilion and concert room 100 feet long by 40 feet wide, access to which will be by a spiral staircase, and around which there will be an upper promenade, which, being covered over with verandas, will place the whole pier-head under shelter.
The pavilion, which will be a part of another contract distinct from the first, which only includes the staging itself, will be constructed of ironwork and glass in an ornamental form, which while affording the requisite shelter, will obstruct the sea views as little as possible, and form a handsome group of buildings. The landing stages at the head will of course be constructed so that passengers can land at any state of the tide.
The formal transfer of the works from the contractor to the directorate of the company was effected in a very quiet and unostentious manner at twelve o’clock on Wednesday last, the opinion being that the grand demonstration ought to be deferred until the inauguration of the pier, which will take place before the beginning of next season. At noon, therefore, only a small knot of directors had assembled at the end of the pier, which had been gaily decorated with flags by the pier master, Mr Cheesman. Since the previous evening the manager, foremen, and workmen have been exerting themselves to the utmost to bring matters to a proper style, and as a result the pier looked wonderfully trim, considering that the works were actually in progress. The road which forms the approach to the pier is yet in only a very rough state and needs a good deal of levelling, while for the next fortnight or so it will be necessary for the managers to convey girders down the wooden tramway to the end of the pier.
However, when at noon on Wednesday, Dr, Nicol & Major Thursby, directors of the pier, Mr T. Williams, who has acted all along with considerable industry in the arduous and unthankful office of honorary secretary, appeared on the scene, we could hardly have supposed that much remained to be done to the pier, such was the clean and neat appearance of the works. Everything had been put in perfect order, and except at the extreme end there was nothing to be seen that indicated that the work was not entirely finished. Besides the gentlemen already named, there were also present Mr. Neal, the resident clerk of the work; Mr Coeesiran, pier master; Mr Doubble, manager of the works and about fifty of the foremen and workmen who have been engaged in the erection of the pier.
In declaring the pier open to the public, Dr Nicol said he was not there to make an ovation, but to declare the pier open, and to ask the favour of Almighty God upon the undertaking. He hoped and trusted that it would provide a great gratification to many visitors, and also remunerative to the shareholders. The pier, as they were aware, was not yet finished completely, but the directors considered it was sufficiently so to to render it available to all those persons who wished to enjoy a most beautiful and healthy marine promenade. They trusted that the public, for whose benefit that great work had been undertaken, would show by the generous and liberal manner in which they patronized it, that they appreciated their exertions’ on their behalf, on behalf of the directors, he would now ask them to give three hearty cheers for the success of the new Llandudno pier.
Three cheers were given by the company present and the workmen with the utmost enthusiasm.
Rounds of cheers were afterwards asked for, and given, with great cordiality, for Mr J. Dixon, the contractor; Mr Doubble, the manager; Mr Neal, the resident engineer on behalf of Messrs Brunlees and McKerrow, the engineers and, lastly, for the Queen.
It would hardly be fair, in concluding this, notice of the formal opening of the pier to the public, not to recognise the constant and unwavering, courtesy of the officials who have been engaged upon the work. Mr Neal, especially, has been at all times anxious to give every information that lay in his power as to the progress of the pier works, while Mr Doubble, to whose continuous hard work the rapid of the pier is in a great measure due, has been equally obliging. We may add that, upon the whole, a more steady and civil body of men never worked for almost a year in the excellent manner the pier workmen have done, and their cheerfulness and willingness to work have been generally admired.
After the per had been declared open on Wednesday, a throng of visitors flocked upon it, and it presented quite a lively appearance. The kiosques at the side have been rented by Mr. T. C. Tompkinson (book and newspaper stall), Mr Parr (fancy goods), and Mr C. Rose (fancy linen drapery).