SOUTHSEA PIER FIRE
LOSSES BY ARTISTES
A CHAPTER OF ACCIDENTS
(From Our Own Correspondent.) PORTSMOUTH, Wednesday
The fire which resulted in the destruction of the pavilion and greater portion of the South Parade Pier, Southsea, has meant a serious loss to several companies of artistes. The “Merry Makers,” who had only just commenced a week’s engagement, and were actually giving a performance at the time of the outbreak, lost all their theatrical properties, together with apparel, to the total amount £5O.
More serious, however, was the lost sustained by Mr. H. W. Stockham, Birmingham, whose company of Grecian Harpists had appeared at the pier pavilion the previous week. Preparatory to fulfilling another engagement at Southampton they had left their four harps, valued at £60 each, fastened up, and ready for transit, in the reading room adjoining the manager’s office. Their other belongings included beautiful and costly dresses, and music valued at over £4O, so that Mr. Stockham’s loss alone is over £4OO.
Mr. Stockham is the victim a double misfortune, last week, whilst he and his family were at Southsea, his house in Birmingham was visited by burglars, and a quantity of valuables was taken. Mr. Stockham was acquainted of this fact whilst taking part in a performance in the pavilion. To-day he declares that the fire means the losing of a lifetime’s savings.
Others who wore unfortunate were the “Gay Gondoliers,” who were carrying out a season engagement at the pavilion. All their stage properties, stored the dressing rooms, were destroyed.
The pier directors are unable to estimate the actual damage to the pier as yet. The property is insured, however. In the manager’s office was a safe containing £40 in gold and silver. This fell through into the sea, and has not yet been recovered. The charred planks and debris from the wrecked pier are strewn along the beach for a considerable distance.
Mr. R. Norman-Concorde, director of the Concorde Concert Control and Orchestra, writes to us from 82, New Bond-street, to call attention to the fact that it not the Clarence Esplanade Pier which has been destroyed, and that therefore the concerts and entertainments given on that pier and the many excursions from it are not affected.