Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Chewing Gum

(Photo Credit)

The state of Llandudno's main streets are a disgrace. I'm not talking about the general standard of maintenance or litter...I'm talking about chewing is everywhere and it looks disgusting. To the best of my knowledge, there has not been any effort made by Conwy Council to remove chewing gum from Mostyn Street's pavements in 5 years at least, and maybe a lot longer.

The next time you're walking along Mostyn Street, take a look down at your feet and you'll see how bad the problem is. Over in Rhyl, Denbighshire County Council have the main streets steam cleaned (the most effective method of chewing gum removal) twice yearly. Back in May 2005, Conwy Councillors were complaining about the chewing gum problem and it was agreed that the purchase of a Gumbsuter machine be investigated.

So, four years later, why have Conwy Council done nothing? I intend to email Mike Priestley (Cabinet Member for the Environment) and ask him...

Sunday, 20 December 2009


Couple of photos of the Snow that fell this morning:

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Crunch Time for Colwyn Bay Pier

Crumbling Handrails on Victoria Pier, Colwyn Bay (Photo Credit)

I'm back in the online world (for a while, at least) and have been catching up with the goings on in the local area. I was interested to see that a Public Meeting to discuss the future of the Pier has been called for Friday the 22nd January 2010 at 6pm in the Town Hall, Colwyn Bay. I understand from Cllr. Oddy's blog that the meeting will be chaired by David Jones MP and will be a 'full and open debate about the Pier’s future'.

As it stands, the future for the pier is not looking terribly bright. It is in a very poor state of repair and I'm struggling to see where the money could come from to undertake a comprehensive renovation.

Let's look at it more closely ....

Pier Structure - Most, if not all, of the piles are perfectly sound. Many of the tie-bars and struts that 'lock' the piles together are damaged or missing. The iron girders that rest on the piles and support the decking and buildings are in varying states of repair - whilst the ones underneath the shoreward building are fairly sound, the outer ones underneath the main Pavilion building are in a very poor state, the inner ones not so bad. The girders on the newer section of pier neck (from the buildings to the pier head) are in fairly good condition.

Deck Level & Handrails - The decking around the shoreward building is in a fair state of repair. The decking around the Pavilion building requires some repair/replacement of planking. The decking on the section of pier from the buildings to the pier head is all in need of replacement. The cast iron decorative handrails are, themselves, in fairly good condition but the wooden supports they are attached are badly rotted in places (see above photo) and will require extensive replacement.

Shoreward Building - This building was renovated internally by the current owner and comprises a former Fishing Tackle Shop, Amusements, Cafe & Bar. The main current concerns with this building are roof leaks and the exterior appearance - it requires a complete repaint and tidying up/removal of the various additions/alterations over the years to give a more pleasing appearance.

Shoreward Building (Photo Credit)

Main Pavilion Building - a good friend of mine is fond of describing this building as looking like a 'shanty town at sea'. It's not hard to see why; it is in an appalling state of repair externally and would require extensive work to make it look acceptable again. Internally, it is far better looking but, again, requires extensive work.

Main Pavilion Building (Photo Credit)

My Conclusion -'s a tough one. Who in the private sector would want to throw millions at renovating the entire pier when it is extremely unlikely that the profits earned would repay their investment? A parallel can be drawn with Hastings Pier - the brother/sister that own the Grand Pier, Weston Super Mare were recently asked to look at Hastings Pier with a view to buying it and restoring it. Their view was that it was not economically feasible to do so, given its state of repair (which is similar to Colwyn Bay Pier).

Therefore, I feel the only realistic option may be to concentrate scarce resources on reopening the section of pier that houses the two buildings (the original 1900 structure) and effectively abandoning the rest of it unless the funding can be found at some point in the future. Given that a commercial partner with money to invest has not materialised in the last few years, it seems unlikely that one will appear now.

It may therefore be that the only choice is for the Owner to either hand the pier over to a charitable trust or let it fall into the sea.

The original Victoria Pier in 1900

Monday, 30 November 2009

Pier Pressure...or lack of it!

Stormy times for Colwyn Bay Pier (Photo Credit)

The revelation on Councillor John Oddy's blog that a certain County/Town Councillor seems to be doing his utmost to prevent any movement forward with the renovation/reopening of Colwyn Bay Pier seems, on the face of it, bizarre.

Councillor Chris Hughes, who represents the Glyn Ward in Colwyn Bay (one of the most deprived in Wales, as a matter of interest) is Chairman of the Friends of Colwyn Bay Pier Group. Given this fact, you'd have thought he would be constantly working to break the current impasse with the Pier, maybe even using his influence at County Council level to negotiate a way of resolving the problems? By way of comparison, see how much work the Friends of Hastings Pier down in the South of England are doing to try and save their pier. Their website is here.

But, in Colwyn Bay...nope, sorry, you're out of luck. No meetings of the Friends Group have been held for three years and when the Secretary/Treasurer, a Mrs Pat Jackson, organised a meeting herself, who turned up to close the meeting down but Councillor Hughes, who said that the meeting was 'unconstitutional'. He also allegedly said that only he had the power to call meetings and, to put the icing on the cake, refused to resign as Chairman of the Group!

This leads me to ask the question....what are his motives? Why is he apparently trying so hard to prevent the Friends of Colwyn Bay Pier Group actually mobilising public support to do something about the current state of the Pier?

Wherever his interests lie, it would appear that they are sadly not with the people of Colwyn Bay...

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Stormy Day In Llandudno

High winds, a high tide and squally showers in Llandudno this morning, so what better activity than a 'bracing' walk down the Pier? At least the cafe at the end was open, so a chance to thaw out and have a steaming cup of what was allegedly coffee was warmly welcomed.

Stormy Day In Llandudno by you.
Llandudno Bay from the Pier (Photo Credit)

Stormy Day In Llandudno by you.
Waves crash against the Pier Tollhouse (Photo Credit)

The Optimist by you.
An optimistic Kiosk owner is open for business (Photo Credit)

Landing Stage by you.
Landing Stage at the end of the Pier (Photo Credit)

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