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Last Updated: Friday, 19 October 2007, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Your comments on Gwyn Hall fire
Gwyn Hall fire (pic: Stephen Sullivan)
Firefighters took several hours to put out the blaze
Fire has torn through a much-loved Victorian theatre in the centre of Neath.

Gwyn Hall was undergoing a 4m refurbishment to turn it into an arts centre.

We asked for your comments and pictures of the blaze, and below is a selection.


As the Architect for the refurbishment of the Gwyn Hall I was deeply shocked to see the news this morning and visit the charred remains this afternoon. I attended one of the last performances in the Gwyn before it closed for the building work and was very impressed by the sense of community generated by those around me. To hear the comments sent in by people today has been heartwarming and just reinforces the fact that, at the end of the day, it's the collective experience of the people that have been involved with this building that make it special.
David Davis, Cardiff, South Wales

It was a shame, i saw from my window

the flames creeping up the building, i looked out at about 11.20pm and it was huge, and then about 8 oclock this morning it was still smoking, This would have tought kids about the history of neath for generations to come, but sadly this cannont be shown
Neath

It's a great shame that Neath has lost such a fine venue. I viewed the marvellous Welsh Rugby Union 125th Anniversary Exhibition there last year. You can see this exhibtion on a website here. http://www.rugbyrelics.com/Museum/exhibitions/NR125/NR125.htm
Dennis Porter, Neath

A great shame for this landmark of a building
John Richard Jones, Preston

What has happened to the Gwyn Hall is desparately sad. I remember visiting the building when in primary school to watch Christmas pantomimes and have watched some excellent shows there in more recent years. Then just when it was about to be shown off as a modern, technologically-advanced venue, while still retaining its original Victorian style, this cruel blow has been struck. It is a very sad day for our town and I feel for the council who appear to have some good plans for Neath, of which the Gwyn Hall project was a start. I only hope that it can somehow be saved from demolition and restored, but having viewed the wreckage this morning such an undertaking would be a huge task. A great shame.
Michael John, Cadoxton, Neath

I am shocked and saddened to hear the news of the devastation at the Gwyn Hall. I have been attending venues there since I was a young child. The Gwyn Hall was, in my opinion, the most impressive-looking building in Neath, and it's loss will have a massive impact on the town centre, both visually and culturally.
Barbara Rees, Neath

How very sad to hear this new this morning. I have fond memories of school concerts & shows at the Gwyn Hall, and taking my children to see Amateur Dramatics Shows. Hopefully it can and will be restored to its former glory.
SW, Neath

as a member of Briton Ferry Musical Theatre it is a very sad day for all of us have performed so many musicals there and was so looking forward to returning there next year, but oh what fond memories we have
glynis thurlow, neath

Gwyn Hall fire (pic: Brett Thomas)
People gathered to watch the fire in Neath town centre

I visited the hall with my daughter several years ago: we both enjoyed it and I'm very saddened to hear of the loss of this building and of the paintings - all that hard work, lost forever.
Tim Lewis, Horsham, England

I knew nothing of this apparently fine building, but if it was so dear to people, then it should be rebuilt, just as it was and avoid anyone imposing a new glass and concrete replacement on the site. Look at the example of La Fenice theatre in Venice.
Chris , Italy

A great shame for this landmark of a building. It has character and touched the hearts of many who appreciated it. Just like the beauty of the countryside it was well worth admiring. Although living in the Pyle area for over two decades it, like other buildings around the country I would admire it for its appearance. Like many towns and cities, whether you use the buildings, their appearance from the outside has a lot to say for the place and the Gwyn Theatre said a lot about the character of Neath. After hearing of the fire, I tired to jog the memories of a few older relatives and even they remembered it because of its Victorian design and it is one of the few places they remembered in the Neath area, so it must have something to be remembered by them. My sympathy goes to all those who are affected by it and the loss to their quality of life, especially those in entertainment. It was the epicentre of the town and I hope something will be done to help restore the services it provided for those affected by its loss.
John Richard Jones, Preston, Lancashire, UK

It must be rebuilt.....If this was a rotten hull of a boat there would be a fuss...REBUILD THIS VALUABLE ARTERY OF NEATH
RAY , NEATH WALES

The fire lit up the skyline
The fire lit up the skyline
OMG! Can't belive what happend 2 the Gwyn Hall, Its been there years, We are all gutted likee ! R.I.P Gwyn Hall :( FROM DWR-Y-FELIN YEAR 11 x
Anthony & Raquel, Bryncochh-Skewen-Neath

I was shocked to hear that the Gwyn Hall was on fire, I'm gutted. Its a fantastic building which I used to love going to as a child at christmas when they did plays and went to the museum that was there with my grandfather...i hope they restore the Gwyn Hall to what it was before
Cerys Louise, Neath

To say I am devastated is an understatement. I have spent the past year working on the commitee of the Friends of the Gwyn Hall planning gala concerts, rock gigs and cultural events for the grand opening and working with the arts team to secure high profile artists for the future. The Gwyn Hall has has a major impact on my own musical life and many others in the community. Hopefully we can make sure that plans continue to secure a first class arts venue for the town centre which the borough council, friends commitee and other arts teams have been working so hard to ensure.
Luke Lockyer

as a member of Briton Ferry Musical Theatre it is a very sad day for all of us have performed so many musicals there and was so looking forward to returning there next year, but oh what fond memories we have
glynis thurlow, neath

I stood and watched the fire last night, both myself and my neighbour were so very shocked at the sheer height and power when the flames took it over. We talked about times that we have been at the Gywn Hall. For me i used it for my children when the Museum was there , the children loved to go there and dress in the roman clothing, do the rubbings, they even enjoyed looking at the paintings that were on show there at times. Football presentations are annually done there for the mini football at neath. The children were very sad when i told them as we were only talking about the history of neath with our oldest son for a project the other day, For the people of neath its a very sad and depressing day.
Louise Bevan, neath

I am shocked and saddened to hear the news of the devastation at the Gwyn Hall. I have been attending venues there since I was a young child. The Gwyn Hall was, in my opinion, the most impressive-looking building in Neath, and it's loss will have a massive impact on the town centre, both visually and culturally.
Barbara Rees, Neath

I am devastated. As a member of the backstage crew for all the local societies I have so many memories of the Gwyn. We were so looking forward to going back next year to perform our next production. Absolutely gutted!
Elizabeth Jenkins, Neath

I was so sad to see this on the news today, I have lived away from Neath for a few years but have fond memories of the hall from Ballet classes when i was little, to concerts with my gran and beer festivals with friends. The hall was used for everything and it will be a loss to the town.
HJ, hants

I knew nothing of this apparently fine building, but if it was so dear to people, then it should be rebuilt, just as it was and avoid anyone imposing a new glass and concrete replacement on the site. Look at the example of La Fenice theatre in Venice a few years ago.
Chris , Italy

I'm gutted. I think it is a fantastic building which I used to love going to as a child at christmas when they did plays there. What I'm most upset about though is the fact my 2 year old son won't get to see the xmas shows through school.
Clem, Neath

the Gwyn Hall is the ctr piece of Neath and everyone knows it. Many bands and shows have played there over many years. Lets hope the re-build it, but I doubt it!!!
aled lewis, Neath

A great shame for this landmark of a building. It has character and touched the hearts of many who appreciated it. Just like the beauty of the countryside it was well worth admiring. My sympathy goes to all those who are affected by it and the loss to their quality of life, especially those in entertainment. It was the epicentre of the town and I hope something will be done to help restore the services it provided for those affected by its loss.
John Richard Jones, Preston, Lancashire, UK

I grew up in Briton Ferry and saw a few great little gigs in teh Gwyn Hall. Billy Bragg with Kirsty McColl being a highlight. Living away from Neath - I had no idea the place was being revamped. Reading about that makes the fire doubly sad.
Trev, London

How very sad to hear this new this morning. I have fond memories of school concerts & shows at the Gwyn Hall, and taking my children to see Amateur Dramatics Shows. Hopefully it can and will be restored to its former glory.
SW, Neath

Grew up in Neath and visited many times especially for the Dwr y Felin christmas disco - fond memories. It is a centre piece of the town and hopefully will be rebuilt
Rich Lewis, Bridgend, Wales



SEE ALSO
Blaze wrecks town's historic hall
19 Oct 07 |  South West Wales



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