The Grand Pavilion on Rhyl Pier was totally destroyed by fire on Saturday morning. The contents included a magnificent four manual organ, made by Bishop and son for the Manchester Exhibition at a cost of £2,000. The wardrobes of a theatrical company playing “Darkest England” (sic)* and Geo. Penn’s Pierrot Troupe, scenery etc were also destroyed. The fire brigade directed their efforts to saving the pier. Thousands of people witnessed the conflagration.
The scene, while it lasted, was magnificent. This whole building, roof, towers and sides, was on fire at once, the flames having spread with inconceivable rapidity. The organ chamber was a veritable fiery furnace and molten lead was seen running like a glistening cascade. The boards on the pier platform were pulled up, the fire brigade confined their efforts to saving the pier and other pavilion. The damage which is estimated at thousands of pounds is understood to be covered by insurance.
The pier and pavilion was opened by a Manchester syndicate, Messrs Carter and Warhurst, and was designed in the early nineties by Messrs Darbyshire and Smith of Manchester. Several years ago in consequence of the failures of orchestral concerts, the building was converted into a theatre and was used by the best travelling companies. The whole place was built of wood and iron and was capable of accommodating three thousand people. It was erected at a cost of £3,000. In a couple of hours the pavilion was gutted and the treble organ, which under the master hands of Mr Kendrick Pyne charmed thousands of people at the Royal Manchester Exhibition of 1887, was reduced to ashes.
*The Rhyl Journal listed the play as “In Darkest London”