Sunday, 4 April 2010


Pier Grand PavilionThe pier’s Grand Pavilion has popped up in previous posts and you would find them under the label PIER/SANDS. The pier opened in 1866, and by the 1880s the novelty was wearing off. The private company that owned the pier built the Grand Pavilion in 1891 to boost public interest. The photo at the top shows its position (where Seaquarium is now).

Music was the big feature of this pavilion; it was as a concert hall. A huge theatre organ was installed  at an early stage; its measurements vary slightly depending on what source you read, but it must have been magnificent. From an official programme owned by Gaynor Williams and dated 1891, the advert above reads:

The Grand Organ of the Jubilee Exhibition, Manchester, specially made by Messrs Bishop & Sons, Marylebone Road, London, is now being erected in the Grand Pavilion, Rhyl, and will be opened in the first week in October. Facts!! 1 - This fine organ weighs 25 tons; 2 - It has 4 manuals, 3,095 pipes, and will be worked by a gas engine of 8 HP; 3 - 
It has been pronounced as the “King of Instruments” in Great Britain. Season Tickets admits to the daily organ recitals.

The organ (pictured above) was destroyed when the Grand Pavilion was wiped out in a spectacular fire on September 14th, 1901.