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Weston Pier fire
Fire destoryed it in 1930
Century of attractions on Weston's Grand Pier pavillion
As a fire destroys the Grand Pier pavillion at Weston-super-Mare, we take a look at the attraction's history.
The Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare was the heart of the town.
Over the years, thousands of holiday-makers have enjoyed the attraction. Tourism is vital to the town's businesses and local economy and the Grand Pier was a big draw in attracting visitors.
Ever since 1867 when nearby Birnbeck Pier opened, there were calls for Weston to have its own attraction.
That wish was granted in 1893 when parliament gave it the go-ahead.
Work began on the structure in 1903, after £200,000 was given by local and shareholders from south west Wales and in 1904, the deck and theatre opened.
The 2,000-seat Theatre Pavilion hosted concerts, ballet performances, opera and boxing matches.
Throughout the next 20 years, light amusements were added as well as a landing stage.
The pier has had three owners
All that was destroyed by fire in 1930. On 8 November, Leonard Guy bought the remains and re-built the deck and in 1931, the Pavilion deck opened with some rides, dodgems and lindy loop.
In 1932, steel was put in place while Boat Tank Dodgems were installed and outside shows took place.
The Pavilion was finally re-opened in 1933.
In 1946, George Banner bought the pier. Alterations and repairs were carried out, making the attraction a holiday-makers' paradise.
The 70s saw the entrance slope and buildings re-built while in 1974 the pier became Grade II listed.
In the early 90s, a bowling alley with a two-story fun house and ferris wheel were added.
After changing hands of three generations, the Brenner family sold the pier in a multi-million pound deal to siblings Michelle and Kerry Michael in February 2008.
The duo have since spent thousands revamping the site, including £500,000 on an indoor go-kart track as well as a climbing wall.
last updated: 24/10/2008 at 15:44
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