A Brief History of Significant Events
Work starts on Victoria Pier as the first steam driven pile was screwed into the seabed at Colwyn Bay. Architects and Engineers were Mangnall & Littlewoods of Manchester, with the ironwork being pre-fabricated and supplied by the Widnes Foundry Co.
June 1st 1900
Victoria Pier officially opens. 40 feet wide and 316 feet in length, owned by a private company "Victoria Pier Company"
Pier extended to 750 feet in length to allow for outdoor performances.
During the first world war the pavilion was used to entertain the wounded troops who were billeted in Colwyn Bay.
The Bijou Theatre was built on the pier head, catering for more lighthearted performances.
The pavilion burnt down during the night.
After parliamentary session, Colwyn Bay Urban District Council purchased the pier. The pier was restored and a new pavilion built at a total cost of £45,000
New (2nd) pavilion opened.
In separate fires, both the second pavilion and the Bijou Theatre were completely destroyed. Once again the Council set to and rebuilt the pier and a new, 3rd pavilion.
The cafe of the 3rd pavilion was decorated with murals by Eric Ravilious.
8th May 1934
The 3rd (current) pavilion opened. This time in a very moderne Art Deco style, and totally fireproof, being made of iron and concrete at a cost of £18,500. A detailed description and photos of the pavilion was published June 1934. Read it here.
After waning popularity, the ballroom/theatre part of the pavilion was closed.
The Council sold the pier to a division of Trust House Forte.
THF wreck the art deco pavilion by turning it into the "Dixieland Showbar". In the process, the building was clad inside and out, covering up all the original features and blocking off all the windows and most of the doors. Workmen simply punched holes through the wonderful Art Deco stained glass ceiling in order to install hangers for the new suspended ceiling.
Top cabaret acts and pop groups performed on the pier.
The beautiful ornate Moorish toll booths and iron gates at the entrance to the pier were torn down and the awful new "Golden Goose" amusement arcade built.
Permission to demolish the pier refused due to local opposition with a 4000 signature petition to Colwyn Borough Council.
Pier sold to Parker Leisure, who converted the Dixieland Showbar into a disco.
Seaward end closed to the public.
Pier totally closed to the public. Restoration costs are put at £850,000. The picture shows the end of the pier in October 2003.
Council gave permission to demolish the pavilion and seaward end of the pier.
After years of dereliction, marine engineer Mike Paxman bought the pier.
The £80,000 "Waterfront Strategy" commissioned by Conwy County Borough Council puts the pier as a central asset to the future of the bay. Restoration costs are estimated at £2.6 million
Pier put up for sale on eBay - but failed to sell.
11th Dec 2003
Pier sold to Steve Hunt from Cambridge...
17th Jan 2004
Pier re-opens under Steve Hunt's ownership.
The first live show on the pier for 20 years, The Circus of Horrors entertained hundreds of terrified visitors on a cold winters night.
17th July 2008
After submitting a fraudulent claim and knowingly false evidence to court, Conwy County Borough Council managed to make pier owner Steve Hunt bankrupt. An intense legal battle ensued.
2008 - 2011
Rod Withinshaw of Royce Peeling Green Ltd., the Insolvency Practitioner appointed to deal with the pier refuses point blank to carry out any maintenance work to the pier. He also refuses to allow Steve Hunt to carry on trading, and refuses all attempts by Steve to resolve the bankruptcy, despite £100,000 being made availble to do so (double the total of all creditors claims).
August 10th, 11th and 17th 2011
Evidence of Rod Withinshaw's blatent disregard for his fiduciary duty, his refusal to resolve the bankruptcy despite more than adequate funds being offered, and the tacit agreement between him and Conwy County Borough Council to let the pier rot away is presented to the Court, and the solicitors to Rod Withinshaw and Conwy County Borough Council.
August 18th 2011
Rather than face the evidence of gross misconduct against him in Court the following day, Rod Withinshaw disclaims the pier - a legal process which means he no longer has any interest in it, and cannot sell it to the Council (as they had both been plotting to do for many months). The pier vests in the Government, from whom Steve Hunt will now claim it back.
Currently the pier is falling into a state of dereliction due to the actions of the local Council. Legal action against them continues, including a criminal investigation by CID into the actions of Council officers.