Rhyl Pier
Rhyl Pier Model
(Click the image for a larger version)


(Click the image for a larger version)


Pier End
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Following the success of my model of Ruthin Gaol, Denbighshire Museum Service commissioned me to build a model of Rhyl Pier for Rhyl Museum. This was something of a challenge, because Rhyl Pier no longer exists. It was demolished in 1973, after a progressive decline.

We started by tracking down every old photograph we could find in archives and on the Web. After an extensive cross-referencing exercise, I managed to create plausible engineering drawings of the layout and structure. Luckily, an original plan of the pier turned up, which helped a great deal in locking down the dimensions.

Then there was the question of scale. A pier is very long and thin. If a model is going to fit into a workable space, the scale has to be pretty tiny. I decided on 1:500, which made the model just over a metre long.

Next came the challenge of building the complex structure of the ironwork. It was clear that cutting and placing every stanchion and strut individually would take a very long time, and push the project way over budget. I solved it by having whole sections of the structure and handrails produced by a custom brass etching firm. It was pushing the limits of the technology (some of the scale struts came out at 0.2mm), but it worked beautifully.

Just a note about the photos on the left. Please excuse the slightly "tatty" appearance of some of the detail. The subject is very small (the entire pavilion, for example, is about 10cm wide), and modelling at this scale inevitably introduces a few tiny spots and blemishes which the naked eye won't pick up. Unfortunately, a powerful macro lens will.