North West Wales

Llandudno Pier boat docking ceremony hit by weather

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Media captionThe historic paddle steamer would have been the first ship to dock at the end of Llandudno Pier

Strong winds prevented the long awaited return of boats docking at the end of Llandudno Pier following the revamp of its landing stage.

Council officials cancelled Wednesday's opening ceremony after a paddle steamer sailed yards from the pier before being forced to turn away.

About 1,000 people were left disappointed as they had been hoping to take a short cruise.

Over £300,000 has been spent repairing the landing stage.

It has been about 10 years since a boat has been able to dock at the pier.

The first vessel to return was supposed to have been historic paddle steamer Waverley.

Image caption Paddle steamer Waverley: So near and yet so far from Llandudno pier

Champagne, canapés and a welcome from the town crier were all ready to welcome the first passengers to arrive at the pier, but the Waverley was unable to dock because of the weather and sea conditions.

The original landing stage was built in 1891 to provide berthing facilities for vessels before it was closed in 2006.

They offered services to the Isle of Man and trips to Puffin Island and Anglesey.

It was replaced with a concrete platform in 1969, but became defunct when the frame fell into disrepair and became unsafe.

Image caption The landing stage was first built on the pier in 1891

Jim Jones, head of tourism at Conwy county borough council, said: "It started off a great day, a lot of expectation. We've worked hard to get this pier fixed in order to bring vessels like the Waverley and cruise ships to Llandudno.

"But passenger safety rules, and the captain had to make a judgement, and that judgement was that the sea was a bit too choppy."

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