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Anonymous

Weston Super Mare Pier - 09/10/09 Pier will get Roboarms

Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:14 am

As you may allready know the Pier has been totally gutted with fire that started at around 7.15am this morning, destroying the amusments, arcade and structure of the pier.

Its a shame really as I used to enjoy popping into Weston on the way back from Devon to visit the pier and have a few quid in the arcade, a portion of fish and chips and a stroll up the pier.

After reading the BBC News report this morning - I ask only one question..

Why is it when anything like this happens, the owners had previously went on the holiday the day before...Strange!? hmmmmm
 
AdamJ

Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:42 am

News story on BBC news, with a video: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/7528165.stm


I find this quite sad :( The BBC news story:

"BBC News Website" wrote:
A huge fire has destroyed the historic Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare.

Dozens of firefighters fought to tackle the blaze which took hold of the partly wooden pier in the North Somerset seaside resort at about 0700 BST.

No-one was injured in the fire, though black smoke and flames were said to be visible from as far away as Cardiff.

BBC Radio Bristol reporter Nigel Dando, who is at the scene, said: "It looks as if the pier has collapsed on itself. Nothing is going to be saved."

"I'm about 200 yards away from the fire, there'll be nothing left after this fire, it's a desperately sad scene."

Dee Williams, deputy manager of the Grand Atlantic Hotel, which lies 200 yards from the pier, said: "It is an inferno. There will be no pier by tonight.

"There are loud bangs going off, which could be fireworks because there was a display on there recently. The tide is out and I think they are having difficulty getting water to it.

"My night porter spotted the flames at 7.15am. There are lots of people about, watching the fire, and the police have blocked off the road.

"The pier was bought by new owners and done up recently, it is part of our identity and would really affect trade if we were to lose it."

Jacquie Whelan, owner of Sunfold Hotel on Beach Road, said: "I just looked out of the window about 10 minutes ago when I woke up and could not believe what I was seeing.

"It is the most horrendous thing. There are massive red flames, hundreds of feet in the air, all over the pier.

"We are a five minute walk to the pier and from where I am standing it just looks like a huge bonfire. It is not going to survive."

Bruce Watson, who works at the Sovereign shopping centre opposite the Grand Pier, said: "The fire has taken complete control of the pier, they won't be able to repair it.

"It's just a shell virtually now, the flames are hundreds of feet high and the smoke into thousands of feet."

Police have placed a cordon around the pier and beach and advised people to avoid the area.

The quarter-of-a-mile-long pier, which attracts thousands of visitors a year, reopened in April after a massive revamp.

It was owned by the Brenner family for three generations and had only changed hands three times since it opened in 1904.

Earlier this year, it was sold in a multi-million pound deal to brother and sister Michelle and Kerry Michael.

Relatives of Mr Michael said he left the country yesterday for a holiday in Spain.

Speaking from his home in Bleadon, near Weston-super-Mare, a woman, who asked not to be named, said Mr Michael was aware of the situation and was likely to return home as soon as possible.

Foundations safe

The cause of the fire is not yet clear.

Stephanie Mounsey, from Avon Fire and Rescue, said the structure, which is supported by iron girders, was not at risk of collapse.

She said fire officers were first notified of a blaze at 0645 BST.

Ms Mounsey added: "There is plenty of water on it and things look like they are getting under control.

"We believe the foundations should be safe."

Christopher Donkin, manager of Seaquarium aquarium in Marine Parade, some 500 yards from the pier, was alerted to the fire by a colleague as he drove to work.

He said: "Fortunately, we're not in danger, no other properties are in any other danger.

"The fire brigade have put a wall of water along the walkway between the seafront and the end of the pier.

"Traffic this morning was absolutely chock-a-block.

"When I first saw the fire, to be honest my first thoughts were for the livelihoods of people who work here.

"It's Weston's number one attraction. It's full of childhood memories.

"All those people's livelihoods and businesses - where will they go?"

Tory MP for Weston-super-Mare John Penrose said he was "shocked and dismayed" by the scenes at the Grand Pier.

"The Grand Pier is one of the icons of Weston's seafront," he said.

"Anybody who has ever visited the town or lives here permanently has probably strolled along the boardwalk, eating candyfloss, to play on the amusements at the far end.

"Kerry and Michelle Michael have been investing huge amounts of their own time and money into regenerating the pier. This is a tragedy for the town as a whole and for them in particular.

"The only piece of good news is that there are no reports of casualties. At least there is something to be thankful for."


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^That one really shows how it's damaged the pier :cry:


According to Newsbeat on Radio1, it was deep fat fryers in the kitchens, but nobody knows for clear. Also, I feel sorry for the owners, only just putting a brand new funfair & go-karting track on there.
 
Crofty

Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:35 am

Really Really sad news. I watched this unfold this morning on Sky News and it went from nothing to blazing inferno and back to just ashes in a matter of 2 hours!
We could see the smoke passing from the garden, we are opposite Western.
Freaky thing is I was at my mums last night who lives right on the coast. I was using the telescope to get some cracking views of Western and Brean. I got up this morning and was thinking we might go over there, I turn on the TV and it's on fire!
I feel really sorry for the new owners who seemed to be trying to improve the attraction.
Hopefully it will be rebuilt as a modern replica and not some cheap shed with a few fruitys bunged in. In the meantime with the obvious impact this will have on holiday makers it might be worth relaying the boards ASAP and slapping a traveling fair on there.

Oh and another thing slightly related. BBC News' very poor coverage of this event. They brushed over it a couple of times just saying there wa sa fire with 6 units attending, they didn't get a camera there until 9:10 am Sky beat them by a good couple of hours!
It seems once again that if you live outside London then your not worth mentioning.
 
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Sam
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Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:32 pm

Apparently the owners have said they plan to restore...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/7529611.stm

"The BBC" wrote:
The owner of the Grand Pier at Weston- super-Mare, which was destroyed in a fire, has said he "will work tirelessly to restore" the structure.

Kerry Michael, who bought the pier with his sister in February, said they were "absolutely devastated" by the blaze.

Dozens of firefighters tackled the fire which broke out in the North Somerset seaside resort at about 0700 BST.

No-one was injured in the blaze, which firefighters said started in an area containing deep fat fryers.

'Near destruction'

But the fire service added that the cause of the blaze might not be known till midweek, as safety concerns were preventing crews from getting inside the pier's burnt shell.

Mr Michael, who was on his way home from holiday in Spain when the fire started said the "magnificent" structure, would be "restored to its former glory".

In a press statement he also thanked people for their messages of support.

Among those was the Bishop of Bath and Wells who broke off from the Lambeth Conference to express his shock and sympathy.

The fire on the pier - picture by Penny Broomhall
The fire on the pier - picture by Penny Broomhall

"The near destruction of the Grand Pier is a devastating blow for the people of Weston-super-Mare and I assure you all - the owners, the town's people and the visitors - of my sympathy, support and prayers at this very difficult time," he said.

Mr Michael said: "I feel very sorry for all our dedicated staff, many of whom have been here all their working lives and treasured the pier.

"I don't know how they are going to come to terms with this tragic loss.

"I feel very sorry for the people of Weston, for them the pier was Weston. In these difficult economic times I sincerely hope that this event doesn't bring further hardship to those businesses and people who rely on our tourist trade.

"I would like to assure all these people that we will work tirelessly to restore this magnificent structure to its former glory."


Yeah, I need to see it with my own eyes until I believe that :roll:
 
Crofty

Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:51 pm

"ShootTheCore" wrote:
Apparently the owners have said they plan to restore...
Yeah, I need to see it with my own eyes until I believe that :roll:


I think your underestimating the impact that the pier has/had on the Town. It's by far the biggest crowd puller and without it Western has very limited attractions that will pull in the visitors it's used to.
the owners are bound to restore in any case as they also own a number of other tourist businesses in the town that rely on the trade.
Watching them on the news was quite upsetting. They seem like genuinely kind people and were very apologetic to everyone in the town and to holiday makers, they looked like they were Heart broken TBH.

Good luck to them I say!

:D :D
 
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amylovesaltontowers
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Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:06 pm

I heard about it on the news this morning. I'v never been, but it's a real shame. :(
\'It is better for people to think you are stupid, than to speak out and remove all doubt in their mind.\'
 
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Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:35 pm

:shock: i saw this only the other week when i was down for T4, i live an hour away and whilst i really don't like Weston, i do like the pier and it was so sad to hear this. I was only admiring it the other week then woke up this morning to hear breaking news on GMTV that it was on fire before i had to go to work and then i came home to see images of the now damaged pier and i feel so sorry for all those who work there and the owners :(
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Everything can be classed as theatre...even you are classed as theatre.
 
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Lon
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Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:15 am

Sad news about the pier, but I must admit, I went to Weston once and thought it was the most boring seaside town I've ever been to. Lifeless, soulless and dull. Can anyone convince me otherwise??

For the life of me, I cannot work out why piers seem to have a habit of catching fire, is there some phenomenon that makes them spontaneously combust?
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IronDan
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Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:17 am

"Lon" wrote:
For the life of me, I cannot work out why piers seem to have a habit of catching fire, is there some phenomenon that makes them spontaneously combust?


It's called: Owner's away, randomly dropped cigarette and insurance.
 
Anonymous

Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:01 am

Glad you posted that Irondan, as thats what I have been thinking from the second I heard the news story..
 
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Liam
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Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:10 am

Oh sure! :roll: Right after they'd spent loads of money closing is, refurbishing it and then reopening it, only to burn it down.
Image
 
Kaz
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Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:18 pm

"IronDan""][quote=""Lon" wrote:
For the life of me, I cannot work out why piers seem to have a habit of catching fire, is there some phenomenon that makes them spontaneously combust?


It's called: Owner's away, randomly dropped cigarette and insurance.[/quote]

It's not an inside job, you wouldn't spend £1 mill on the place and then go and burn it down would you? It seems like it's going to be a deep fat frier that was left on by an employee accidently over night, general stupidity really.

Piers do seem to be very prone to burning down, you would think they would install some serious fire systems such as pumps able to suck up sea water and so forth.

I dread the day I hear Walton pier burns down, thats some seriously big pier and it's managed not to have a fire since 1945!

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Also why Im on it did anyone know Clacton Pier use to have it's own Vekoma corkscrew?

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25 years later and after looking like this for ages...

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It's now currently under construction in Brazil with a new paint job!

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'Random I know'
Last edited by Kaz on Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:19 pm

I heard about that on the news last night they only refubished it 6 months ago its such a shame!

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Sam
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Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:28 pm

Whoah, that Corkscrew layout looks mental! Especially that huge overbanked turn and the oddly small station - it just doesn't look right...

Where did it go?
 
Kaz
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Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:35 pm

"ShootTheCore" wrote:
Whoah, that Corkscrew layout looks mental! Especially that huge overbanked turn and the oddly small station - it just doesn't look right...

Where did it go?


It's currently being built in Brazil 25 years after first being built on Clacton Pier...

http://www.rcdb.com/id3701.htm

Image
Image
 
Crofty

Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:06 pm

Just looking at the official website of the Grand Pier. They've not had chance to update it yet and you can see form the attracvtions list that they were putting a lot of effort into the restoration.
They even had the Red Arrows booked for 27th August!

http://www.grandpierwsm.co.uk/attractions.asp
 
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Sam
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Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:28 pm

Oh looking at that site is so sad :(

I hate it when you see something someone was obviously passionate about literally go up in smoke because of a stupid mistake. I have never been but judging on their website, they were obviously very proud of their pier and it's history. The architecture on the main building looks rather magnificent for a British seaside town too. Let's hope they can rebuild :)
 
Anonymous

Dragster Attraction - Weston Super Mare

Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:31 am

Dont quote me 100% on this as its come on to me on sketchy information from somebody else.

Weston Super Mare pier are looking at installing a supposed worlds fastest launch coaster in conjunction with there refurbishment. The ride is manufactured by British company Gravitron and they shall be providing a "Dragster" which has a 125m launch track with a 200mph top speed.

Furthur information is located here..

http://www.gravitron.co.uk/html/dragsters.html

If this does happen then it would be the fastest launch type ride in the world but would be Subject to structural investigation and planning permission
 
geraintl
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Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:53 am

thats the same company that built the splash karts for alton towers!
 
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DomB
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Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:14 am

EVERBODY RUN!

seriously, this won't be any good then will it. :lol:

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