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The Pier fire at W-S-M on national news

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


LadyBarbara Report 28 Jul 2008 13:17

Thanks Bev that last picture of the pier on fire is dreadful, so sorry.
Barbara xxx


Bev Report 28 Jul 2008 14:05

the pier is owned by a brother and sister

it was the brother who is on hols in spain, hes flying back today

firecrews are damping down, will be several hours before they can get into start investigating the cause

meanwhile it will be high tide in an hour at Weston

they hoping the the remaining structure can withstand it


LadyBarbara Report 28 Jul 2008 14:45

anyone any idea how old the pier is?


Bev Report 28 Jul 2008 14:50

planning of the pier started as early as 1880

it wasnt until 1903 that it was built


Julie Report 28 Jul 2008 17:54

Have been watching this on Sky sad, Had many fun days with the kids in Weston, so sad to see it burn to the ground like that. Wierd tho, how many Piers have been destroyed this way..!!


Bev Report 28 Jul 2008 18:41

for those of you interested

the Pier fire at Weston is on the national news



InspectorGreenPen Report 28 Jul 2008 19:03

It is really devastating. The Pier was only bought by the present owners about six months ago - the previous owners having saved it from dereliction.

Several millions have been spent on it, with the view to introducing Victorian entertainment, and other visitor attractions. Sadly it appears that the main buildings were rather flimsy, mainly wooden cladding, in in some parts very old and dry, so it was inevitable that once the fire started, it went up like a tinder box.

It was suggested by one observer on the BBC Radio today that a sprinkler system would have averted the disaster, but it seems that one was not installed.

Apparently the fire brigade were also hampered because of the lack of water, which had to be pumped long distances from shore based hydrants.


SheilaWestWilts Report 28 Jul 2008 19:06

So very, very sad - I have fond memories of donkey rides at Weston, and getting blown away in the 'bracing' air!


Bev Report 28 Jul 2008 19:16

yes it is tragic

been feeling low all day

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins Report 28 Jul 2008 22:51

I haven't been to W S M for about 20 years...but as a child we visited several time each year as it's our nearest 'seaside'.

I was so shocked to see the evening news...nothing of the building left on the pier at all...just a mangle of twisted metal.

I must admit to shedding a many childhood memories for me and so many people from the west country and of course the Midlands.

Owners say that it will be rebuilt and local officials will do everything possible to help the situation.

Good on them!

So many of our treasured landmarks are lost...never to be seen again.

I'm sure the people of W S M want to see the pier restored too.

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond Report 29 Jul 2008 01:53

The Pier at Birnbeck (opened in 1867) was a long way from the centre of town. Railway excursionists only went to the nearest beach, which was off the end of Regent Street. Ideas to build a pier here were announced in 1880 but various schemes fell through.

In 1893 the idea got as far as an Act of Parliament. Ultimately, the scheme was passed and £200,000 subscribed, mainly from local and South Wales shareholders. The pier, 1½ miles long, was intended to serve two purposes: for shipping at all tides at the far end and for entertainment near the shore.

In the event it proved useless for sea-going traffic and revenue from that source never existed. Of the two piers at Weston-super-Mare it is the more viable, despite the disappearance of trams and the virtual cessation of excursion trains and steamer traffic, because of its central position.

1867 Birnbeck Pier opened
1880 Ideas announced to build a Regent street Pier
188? Act of Parliament passed
1903 7 Nov - Work started by Mayoh and Haley of London
1904 11 Jun - Deck and Theatre opened
1907 16 May - Extension and landing stage opened
1907 Second application to run electric tram service turned down
1916 Extension dismantling started
1919 3 Jan - Became a Limited Company
1926 Light amusements added
1927 Windbreak screen added
1930 13 Jan - Theatre Pavilion destroyed by fire
1930 8 Nov - Leonard Guy bought remains of Pier and rebuilt deck with extra piles
1931 Pavilion deck opened with some rides, Dodgems and Lindy Loop. North part fenced off for arrival of steelwork for new building
1932 Some steelwork erected . Again opened with Boat Tank Dodgems and outside sideshows
1933 Pavilion opened with funfair instead of Theatre. Many attractions let out.
1940 July 18 - Leonard Guy's son killed in Battle of Britain
1946 Pier bought from Leonard Guy by George Brenner. Alterations and repairs carried out. All attractions now run by company
1970 Entrance slope and buildings re-built
1974 Pier listed as grade two monument
2004 June 12 - 100th anniversary celebrations

I found this just now, but I am sure someone on the news earlier on, said that it had been burned before and some rebuilding had gone on. They also said the metal structure seems ok and the owner? speaking on tv at a Press conference, said they would rebuild.
Hope the insurance was all in place.

There was going to be a Red Arrows display show later in August.

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond Report 29 Jul 2008 02:01

found this too, this mentions the previous fire.

A short history of Weston-super-Mare pier
The Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare was one of the last of the great seaside piers to be built.

The pier was opened in 1904 to complement the Somerset resort’s Birnbeck Pier and to cope with the huge numbers that would descend on Weston in the summer months.

It was built not only to provide entertainment for the bucket-and-spade crowds but, initially, as a landing facility for those arriving by steamer.

In the event, tides and strong currents meant the mooring plan was abandoned, as was a scheme to extend the pier to a length of 2,000 metres.

The highlight of the early days of the Grand Pier was the 2,000-seat pavilion where opera, music hall, ballet and even boxing was performed. In January 1930 the pavilion was wrecked by fire and did not re-open until 1933 when a large funfair replaced the theatre.

The Grand Pier was bought by a Mr A Brenner in 1946 and in 1970 the entrance area was redeveloped to provide shops and amusements. In 1974, the pier was granted Grade II listed-building status.

A new bowling alley was completed at a cost of £250,000 in 1993 and a few months later a two-storey funhouse and Ferris wheel were added for £350,000.

The Red Arrows had been due to fly over the pier in an air show next month and a new £500,000 indoor go-kart track had just opened at the pier, which had recently sported a new climbing wall.

Meanwhile, the old Birnbeck Pier, to the north of the town, is now derelict, although a Manchester-based company which purchased it in 2006 had promised to restore it.