Victoria Pier view @ Colwyn Bay

holga pier view, originally uploaded by lenfirewood.

Okay this is another photo taken with my 35mm format Holga (Holga 135BC) – the subject is Colwyn bay’s Victoria Pier which if you haven’t heard about it is now in imminent danger of being demolished by our local council. This is due to unpaid council tax and business rates by the current owner Steve Hunt. Steve Hunt however, is now questioning the actual figures asked for by the council and the argument is far from academic because the council have already asked for and been granted a bankruptcy order against Mr Hunt and closed the Pier.

Mr Hunt sold his house in order to buy the Pier from it’s previous owner about 5 years ago and has sunk all his available money into trying to upgrade and repair this rare piece of heritage ever since. Just recently at what must have been considerable expense he has completely renovated the old Pier bar into a bar that could rival many of those found in more prosperous town centres – there are facilities for playing live music and cabaret as well as a very pleasant outside ‘beer garden’ for enjoying the seaward views and fresh air. He has also built a new cafeteria facility that is modern, smart and clean in appearance. The old ballroom perhaps in most need of renovation has not been neglected either – to help raise desperately needed funds to restore this ballroom to it’s former glory he has had local artisans and craftsmen working on it’s stained glass ceiling lights – this has been party funded by his opening the ballroom as an  exhibition space for local artists.

In short Steven Hunt has done what he can so far to repair the ravages of time and the neglect of those too short sighted to invest in maintaining this valuable heritage asset. Just to give you some idea of it’s illustrious past – the world famous ballerina Pavlova once danced on this Pier and in more recent times it has played hosts to show business greats such as Morcambe and Wise as well as rock and roll bands like Saxon.  The Pier represents a valuable living piece of social history and as a piece of architecture it represents a fast disapearing national treasure. The bankrupcy hearing is due to be heard in just a day or so so any wealthy investors out there who are interested in rescuing a part of our irreplaceable heritage should move very fast.


~ by lenfirewood on August 8, 2008.

4 Responses to “Victoria Pier view @ Colwyn Bay”

  1. Oh, somehow, let it not be demolished!!! It reminds me (and much of its story, though with an American twist) of my favorite shore area, Asbury Park, New Jersey.

    Asbury Park was also once a beautiful place with a rich history. In my later teen and early twenties I spent many happy moments soaking in its glory.

    Then the town became run down, poor and dangerous … for years…but I still visited and brought my kids there. There is SO much corruption in the local government, but there is some big investing going on there now, trying to revive this beauty. If they go “too” far, I won’t like it…it will lose its character; I will keep visiting and waiting to see what happens.


    And Len Firewood – your photography work – which I have taken some time to look at, it truly amazing…everyday life/man – natural narotic – that worn sea rail…ah…the nightmare tree – oooh; and, can’t rememeber the name (or where)that wonderous ocean skyscape…I am partial to everything sea and sky.

    Best to Victoria — she MUST survive.

  2. Thank you Beeha for your kind words – If I hear anything new about the fate of Victoria Pier I shall post details on my bog you can be sure of that. 🙂

  3. Pier owner is STEVE HUNT not Jones!

  4. I wrote my rather lengthy commentary to the photo to help provide in my own little way some positive publicity towards a cause I believe in. I am willing to accept correction but not your tone of admonishment – coming on here into my blog with a ‘get facts right’ moniker I regard as an insult towards my good intentions and any more comments you make to this blog under the same moniker will not be accepted by me and will be deleted forthwith.

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