Sunday, 15 March 2015

WITHOUT A PADDLE


Above: a pre-planned piece of performance art by German artist Hans Winkler (born 1955).

This post is further to one a couple of weeks ago about Rhyl’s ‘Little Venice’ which, because of a video on Facebook, has managed to achieve near-legendary status.

A perusal of files belonging to the late Glyn Rees has confirmed my suspicions about this matter. Our ‘Little Venice’ was no big deal; it was a poor man’s I mean miniature version of the spectacular Venice In London exhibition in 1891-92 at London Olympia.

‘Little Venice’ was not as big a spread as some people would like to think; it did not even take up the whole of the Queen’s Palace basement – there were stalls and sideshows of various kinds down there as well.

At Queen’s Palace many different attractions came and went in summer months and the venue was closed in winter. In 1905 the complex reopened with a new look and – hey presto – ‘Little Venice' had gone, as the following press cutting from Glyn’s collection shows:

 

So 'Little Venice' was there only for two or three seasons. It had gone two years before the fire that put an end to the whole Queen’s Palace venture. 

There are indications that the owning company may have been struggling financially in the run-up to the disaster. The Secretary told shareholders the cash book and ledger were destroyed in the fire, and the company seems to have wound up without an insurance payout on the Queen's Palace. 

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THU 16th APR 2015 UPDATE: The press cutting is from Rhyl Journal dated 22nd April 1905.

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