Building Name

Pier Rhyl

GMCA, England
Extension and improvements

NEW PIER FOR RHYL. OUTLINE OF AN ELABORATE SCHEME, AUTHORITATIVE STATEMENT. After the disappointed hopes of the past, to many it will seem almost too good to be true, but we have good authority for stating that the long projected enlargement of Rhyl Pier will in all probability be an accomplished fact ere another "season" comes round. This announcement will, we feel sure, evoke the liveliest satisfaction to the town and its many patrons in various parts of the country, and that the realisation of the scheme will greatly enhance the popularity and prosperity of the town goes without saying. The present pier, which was erected in 1866 and is about 750 yards in length, was the first and for many years the foremost attraction the town possessed so far as the enterprise of man is concerned. But while of late years the town itself has developed in a very gratifying manner, the pier has not quite kept pace with the times—in fact as a promenade it has altogether been outstripped by the town promenade which forms one of the finest and most extensive sea fronts in the country. Moreover, the destruction by fire, four or five years ago, of the imposing pavilion at the pier entrance was a disaster to the town which has not yet been repaired. The greatest drawback in connection with the present pier is that notwithstanding its great length it is completely out of water when the tide is at its lowest ebb. In consequence of this the town has been badly handicapped in its competition with more fortunate resorts where sea trips are possible at all states of the tide. This drawback will, however, exist no longer once the scheme now arranged is carried out. A pier projecting into permanent deep water, thereby affording a regular steamboat service, is what the town has all along needed, for such facilities for sea traffic cannot but give it a most enviable position amongst seaside holiday resorts. The possibilities of such pier have been for some time past claiming the attention of capitalists, and at last we are assured that an influential syndicate is about to put the matter into practical form, definite arrangements having been made for the commencement of the work as soon as the necessary preliminaries are completed. The scheme provides for the widening of the present pier by 20 ft., making the total width 36ft. In addition to increasing the space for promenading and improving the pier generally, the effect of this widening will be to greatly strengthen the whole structure. From the present, pier head, which will be considerably increased in area, and studded with various structures of an ornamental character, including an entertainment platform, it is proposed to run a lower level pier 300 yards further into the sea. This extension will be 14ft wide, and it is calculated that at its furthest point there will be a permanent depth of at least Oft of water, which will permit of steamers of light draught landing or receiving passengers at any state of the tide, thereby ensuring constant steam- boat communication for the town. The pier approach is to be completely revolutionised. The west side of the entrance will be adorned with a handsome theatre or opera house capable of seating 1,500 persons. This structure will be built of Ruabon pressed red bricks with ornamental stone facings, and will comprise a pit, cress circle, and upper circle, with a stage 65ft wide and 40ft deep, and a proscenium opening of 30 feet-the whole carried out and equipped on thoroughly up-to-date principles of theatrical construction, with every safeguard against fire. On the east side of the entrance there will be erected a pavilion available for light entertainments, with seating accommodation for 1,100 persons, all on the ground floor, no balcony being provided. Between the two buildings will run a spacious glass-covered arcade, 4oft wide, lined with shops on either side, 20 in all. It is hoped that the whole scheme will be carried out within six months from the start] of operations, and every effort is to be made to have everything spick-and-span by June next, though no guarantee is furnished on that point. The scheme is certainly an ambitious and comprehensive one, and we trust that the promoters will be accorded every encouragement in their venture. It is satisfactory to learn that the Rhyl Urban District Council are co-operating in every possible way to facilitate the completion of the preliminaries, so that there may be no delay in effecting a start with the work. We understand that the plans have been submitted to the Office of Woods, Forests, &c., and that an interview with the Crown Surveyor respecting them took place on Wednesday, when the undertaking was outlined by the syndicate's architect, Mr Maxwell, with whom was Mr Samuel Warhurst, the vendor of the present pier.

RHYL PIER IMPROVEMENTS, OUTLINE OF A GREAT SCHEME,  AN EARLY START PROMISED. We have been favoured by Mr F W Maxwell, F.S.I, (of the well-known Manchester firm of architects, Messrs Maxwell and Tuke, who have been identified with so many seaside enterprises both in this country and on the continent), with the following details concerning the Rhyl Pier improvement scheme as described to a committee of the Urban District Council on Monday, and brought to the notice of the Licensing Justices on Wednesday. Pier improvement schemes have been so much in the air during recent years without materialising that the public have become somewhat sceptical on the subject, and nothing short of the actual working out of a scheme will now convince many as to its genuineness. All persons in any way interested in Rhyl will, however, wish well for the present venture, which, when carried into effect, should completely revolutionise the town and greatly enhance its prosperity in every way. The matter has been taken up in real earnest by a number of Manchester gentlemen, chief among whom is one of the leading members of the Council of the British Cotton Growing Association. This gentleman (whose name has been confided to us) is not only jj a very prominent figure in commercial circles, but he also carries considerable influence in the highest social and political circles, and he has been largely interested in the Franco-British Inhibition. An agreement has been entered into between Mr K Warhurst, the present proprietor, and the syndicate for the acquisition of the whole of the Pier undertaking at a certain price, and a company is to be floated with a capital of £50,000. The bulk of the capital has already, we understand, been practically arranged for, and matters are being pushed forward with a view to the commencement of operations within the next few weeks. Under the special Act of Parliament which had to be obtained for the erection of the Pier the proprietors are Crown lessees of the foreshore affected by the Pier, and they are also the harbour authorities for Rhyl. The present enclosure a the entrance to the Pier represents only a portion of the land to which the proprietors are entitled, and it is proposed to take full advantage of the 250 feet frontage to the Promenade to which they arc entitled. The present length of the Pier is about 700 yards, and, as is well known, people may walk beyond it on the sands at low water, while its inaccessibility to steamboat communication except at certain states of the tide has been a great drawback to the town. It is now proposed to alter this state of things by adding to the Pier an iron and concrete jetty, which will extend it 540 yards further out to sea, giving it a depth of six feet of water at the lowest tides, with a maximum depth of 35 feet at high water. This extension will practically be a quay, alongside which several boats can be accommodated at the same time. It is also proposed to strengthen the present structure and re-deck and widen it at one or two points, and a scheme of alternating kiosks and shelters is to be carried out in the embayments on both sides. The present pier head is to be converted into an open-air dancing platform or promenade, about 250 feet square and the Bijou Theatre is to be replaced by a dining hall of the latest type. Here again the Pier will be considerably widened, and it is intended to remove the turnstiles at the entrance to the seaward end of the dining hall, thereby throwing open to the public the whole of the pier up to that point. With regard to the shore, end considerable improvements are to be effected in connection with the Amphitheatre, one proposal being to provide new entrances and exits and to alter the present roof and add a balcony. In front of the Amphitheatre, but detached from it, there is to be a pavilion with an imposing frontage to the Promenade, capable of seating about 800 persons, and adapted for all kinds of entertainments. No effort is to be spared in laying out the whole of the Promenade frontage in as ornamental and attractive a manner as possible, the idea at present laid hold of being the carrying out of a miniature "White City or something on that principle. The promoters appear to have in view the probability of an extension eastwards of the Council's Marine Gardens scheme, in which event they are prepared to give a right of way right across their property. Altogether the plans which have been prepared provide for a most elaborate undertaking and one that will be a decided acquisition n to the town. The promoters have been assured of every support in the matter by those interested in the North Wales steamboat traffic, and they hope to place before the public very shortly the prospectus of the company.[Rhyl Journal   31 October 1908 page 4] 

RHYL PIER - We hear on good authority that the whole of the difficulties connected with the application for the new provisional order to enable this Pier to be extended to deep water, so that streamers can call at all states of the tide, have been overcome, and that the new provisional order is expected to be issued within the bed two or three weeks. The promoters have instructed the architects and engineers, Messrs Maxwell and Tuke, of Brazennose Street, Manchester, to immediately obtain estimates for the whole of the works, and intend to let the contracts immediately upon receipt of the provisional order, so that this work, so long delayed, may proceed early in the spring. The scheme is a large one, involving a capital of some £65,000, and includes encasing the present iron pier in ferro-concrete, widening the same, and extending it seawards by means of a ferro-concrete jetty, by some 600 yards. The landing place at the head of the jetty will be constructed in Tasmanian blue-gum, and will have a depth of water at low spring tides of not led than 12 feet. The present pier-head will be considerably enlarged, and an open-air enclosure with band kiosk will be erected thereon, capable of seating 1,000 people, and will be sheltered from all winds, whilst enjoying fresh air and sunshine. Along the five embayments of the pier there will be ornamental kiosks and shelters, each 45 feet long and 12 feet wide, whilst nearer the land end will be erected a dining room capable of accommodating 400 people at separate tables, together with a fully licenced bar and refreshment room, and between the Pier proper and the promenade, on an area of some 6,800 yards of land, there will be erected a large amphitheatre, with gallery, capable of accommodating 1,400 persons, to be used for variety and minstrel entertainments, together with a large assembly room or theatre, accommodating 2,500 persons, with full theatrical stage and galleries. There will also be a visitors’ club, with reading, billiard and smoke rooms, twenty-four shops, and two tea rooms. All these buildings will be erected on terra firma, and are designed with Old English Cheshire framing, and form a most picturesque group. [Building News 1 April 1910, page 458].

Reference    Rhyl Journal    31 October 1908 page 4 -  News   
Reference    Builder 2 April 1910 page 388
Reference    Building News 1 April 1910, page 458.]
Reference    Rhyl Journal 28 October 1905 page