Collapse of Rhyl Pier

Photographs today are instant, immediate, and we share them with family and friends within seconds.  We may think that this something quite new, but the photograph below was taken when storm damage to the pier was discovered on the morning of Wednesday, December 29th*, 1909, and it was available to buy as a picture postcard by noon.

rhyl-pier-collapse-1909_edited-1

Rhyl pier had an eventful and chequered history.  Built in 1867, it suffered from fire, storms and collisions and was eventually dismantled in 1973.  To read more about the history of Rhyl’s Victoria Pier click here

At daybreak on Wednesday, December 29th, 1909 a startling discovery was made – part of the pier had collapsed onto the sands below.
During the night a heavy westerly gale blew, the tide was very high and the Rhyl Record and Advertiser reported that “the seas were tremendous”.  The first person to discover the collapse was Coastguard O’Connor whilst on his beat – the gap was about 30 yards long in the middle of the pier, a short distance beyond the Bijou Pavilion.  Crowds soon gathered to witness the scene and inspect the damage.

The collapse occurred in that portion of the pier which was supported by just two cast iron piles or columns, the centre column having broken two or three years before.  Instead of replacing the central column a girder was placed between the two that remained. All the other supports on the pier were three abreast.

*the damage was discovered at daybreak on Wednesday, December 29th.  The date of December 28th which appears on the postcard presumably refers to when the collapse occurred – that is during the night, but before midnight, on the Tuesday.

Read also “Tommy Burns – High Diver” 
and
“The Grand Pavilion destroyed by fire 1901”

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Filed under Buildings/Location, Maritime

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