Thursday, 11 February 2016


First of April this year marks the 20th year of Denbighshire’s administration of Rhyl. The ancient rural county and brash young seaside resort have been uneasy partners - and there seems to me to have been a mutual lack of understanding.

This book dates from 1996, the beginning of the period. It was compiled by staff at Denbighshire Record Office (Ruthin).

The book is not arranged by place names, so Rhyl photos are sprinkled among images of the county’s other towns and villages, and there is no index. Finding a picture quickly is not easy.

Rhyl seafront is well represented. Other shots are interesting; the following one of High Street viewed from Vale Road Bridge caught my eye.

It was taken on Friday 1st July 1960 when I was aged 14. Where was I? Sitting in a stuffy classroom, watching summer rain trickling down the windows, and waiting for summer break . . .

These references are added here for indexing purposes: Alexandra Hotel, Worthington brewery, William Roberts shop.


Tuesday, 9 February 2016


Rhyl was part of Flintshire from the very beginning of the town until the mid-1970s. This book was compiled by staff at Flintshire Record Office (Hawarden) and published in 1996.

The 10 chapter headings are: Flint, Mold, Buckley, Prestatyn, Rhyl, St. Asaph, Hawarden, Holywell, Industrial Deeside, Flintshire Villages.

The Rhyl chapter runs to 12 pages containing 20 illustrations, of which the following is my favourite.
Click on it to see a bigger version.

Pictured is White Lion Hotel in High Street, Rhyl, c.1900. The White Lion was replaced by a Crosville Bus Station (whose fuel smells linger in the memory) and then by the present Jobcentre Plus.

This book's text has inaccuracies as in the companion volume about Denbighshire, but the pictures can be enjoyed for what they are. You would find both books in local libraries.

These references are added here for indexing purposes: T Parry publican, Roberts bakery.

Colin Jones / email:

See my Rhyl videos on YouTube:
Only the videos marked RhylTime are mine!


Sunday, 7 February 2016



Above is a photo taken on New Year's Day 2016 in Rhyl. Hidden behind the big bush is a place name.
The question: What is the place name?
The correct answer would score 1 win.

Below is a cutting from a pre-World War 1 publication, an advert for Vaughan's chemist, doctored by your crafty blogger: 

The question: What is located there now?
The correct answer would score 1 win.

You have until the end of Sat 13th February 2016 to send your entry. Second tries not accepted. The result will be published on Sun 14th February 2016 around Midday.

Colin Jones / email:



Last Sunday I posted this picture of a derelict bus that used to belong to Gold Star buses of St. Asaph. On the side is a Rhyl attraction advertised as The Dom Bier Keller. The question: When the bierkeller closed what replaced it?

The answer: Breaks.

In the 1970s when First Leisure Corporation were running Ocean Beach and the fun fair's satellite businesses, they had a Dolphinarium there and this was replaced by the bierkeller.

Eric Hughes, First Leisure's Director of Technical Services, takes up the story in the book Rhyl At The Fun Fair published in 2001:
"The Dom Bierkeller was a huge success but, after we experienced behavioural problems among some customers and difficulty in finding suitable entertainment, it was closed and replaced by the present Breaks Snooker Club and Sports Bar."

Also I posted the photo below taken on New Year's Day 2016 in Rhyl by Fred Burns. A place name has been blanked out. The question: What is the missing name?

The answer: Eleri Close.

Eleri is a lovely Welsh female name of uncertain origin. Very near is Owen Close. I wonder whether Eleri & Owen are names of the builder’s children. Readers who know please tell me.

Scoring 1 win for the bierkeller question and 1 win for Eleri Close:
The Great Gareth 2, Jane Shuttle 2.


Writing this post brought to mind the year 2000 when I visited Eric Hughes several times at his home in Ffordd Derwen, Rhyl.

Eric told me his story of Marine Lake and Ocean Beach Fun Fairs and I wrote everything down, edited & published the manuscript in 2001 using community facilities. (Eric had been manager of both sites and therefore he was expert on the subject).

The resulting book, Rhyl At The Fun Fair by Eric Hughes, is a true classic and worth seeking out; Denbighshire libraries should have it.

Eric was a nice gentleman, very kind to me in my role as a novice writer about Rhyl history. He passed away in 2011, and I miss him.

On your left at top of this page you would find BOOK LIST, an attempt to compile a complete list of books about Rhyl. If you know a book that ought to be there and isn’t, please let me know:


Thursday, 4 February 2016


The western side of the seafront, loved by generations of children, has been well featured in this blog. You would find many of its attractions categorised under labels on your left near the top of this page.

Here are a few more images, starting with the relatively uncluttered way it looked in 1960s from the junction of - probably - River Street.


Earlier, in 1940s this was the scene near Queen Street. Robins is now Harker's Corner Cafe - and on opposite corner was Savoy CafĂ©:

Click on any image to see a bigger version.

Above: the ornamental fountain in 1930s. The fountain had been opened in 1892 with a big splash of publicity but the water had been turned off by the time this picture was taken.

The fountain was scrapped during WW2 (1939-46) to provide metal for the war effort.

Below: a picture showing the cycling and tricyling opposite the Queens is always welcome, even a badly-coloured one: 

Here are a couple of contrasting shots of the bandstand to the east of Rhyl Pavilion, in the area that became eventually a roller skating rink. The first must have been taken during or just before WW2:

The lower picture above shows the original bandstand on the same part of the prom. The date would be circa 1901 because in the background there is work in progress on building the Queen's Palace (opened 1902).

Who could resist this striking pic of Punch and Judy booth on the west side for a change instead of what became the customary position east of High Street? This is a card postmarked 1905:


Tuesday, 2 February 2016


The eastern side of the seafront, far from noisy attractions in the west, has a relaxing atmosphere preferred perhaps by older residents and visitors.

Below: Sandhills that used to be at the east end of the beach. Eventually these were removed by Flintshire council. Some observers felt sad to see this natural part of the landscape disappear.

The following snapshot of an unknown family is dated 1929 and has East Parade in the background. Love the cloche hats - I do wish they would come back into fashion!

Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

Spaces on eastern prom for exercise on bowling greens and tennis courts shown below, and there was swimming at The Baths (see under the label SWIMMING on your left near top of this page).

This rare pre-WW2 item shows the Sportsland amusement arcade in East Parade, near to High Street. The picture came from Peter Trehearn; the arcade was run by his maternal grandfather (his mum's dad) Bernard Bestwick who also had an arcade in Barmouth.

Mr. Bestwick's other business in Rhyl included the Joyland amusement arcade in Queen Street, and silver plating factories in Bedford Street and off Vale Road. I am delighted with the picture, thanks Peter.

The postcard below shows the prom east of the pier just as I remember it as a kid in early 1950s. On your left are chalets that were for hire if you preferred a little more privacy by the seaside - and could afford it.

Below from Rhyl History Club is an image showing the Floral Hall being built at the end of the 1950s, and from my own collection a later image of the gardens outside what was - by then - the Royal Floral Hall.

These postcards of the Rock Gardens and hotels in East Parade including the Westminster have a 1960s/70s period charm:

You know I would end with a donkeys picture, didn't you?

These references are added here for indexing purposes: Marine Drive, super speedway.

Colin Jones / email:

Don't forget my YouTube channel featuring Rhyl videos and slideshows. The channel is named RhylTime. Click here to see RhylTime's Top Ten:

Only YouTube items labelled RhylTime are mine.


Sunday, 31 January 2016


This wonderfully derelict bus looks like something out of an old Ealing comedy film. It used to belong to Gold Star buses of St. Asaph. On the side is a Rhyl attraction advertised as The Dom Bier Keller.

The question: When the bierkeller closed what replaced it?
The correct answer would score 1 win.

Below is a photo taken on New Year's Day 2016 in Rhyl. A place name has been blanked out.

The question: What is the missing name?
The correct answer would score 1 win.

You have until the end of Sat 6th February 2016 to send your entry.
Second tries not accepted!
The result will be published on Sun 7th Feb 2016 around Midday.

Colin Jones / email: