Friday, 7 May 2021


In 2021, demolition of the Queens site revealed no sign of Little Venice and I am not surprised.

   After this Rhyl Life blog closed, my own studies showed that Little Venice had been an exhibition in the basement of Queen’s Palace. The photos in circulation are of the models. The whole of Venice took up only half of the basement floor – there were funfair-style stalls and sideshows down there as well. There was nothing at a lower level such as an ‘underground river’.

   It was based on a huge event going on at Olympia in London at the time (“Venice in London”). Rhyl’s version was here for two or three summer seasons and then replaced by a similar exhibition of Constantinople (Istanbul). In summary, I would say that our Little Venice was not very big, not wildly popular, not here for long, and not important. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Rhyl Life

but there was a major update in June-July 2020 when 82 additional images were inserted into 62 existing posts.
If you would like to see those posts, here is a direct link:


Saturday, 19 January 2019



At the time of closure, it is not clear what is happening with regard to the Government’s plan to strip us of our European citizenship.
In case there is a second referendum, let me address people in Wales:

Don’t get fooled again. The UK’s membership of European Union is good for Wales. About sixty per cent of exports from Wales go to continental countries; in some industries the percentage is higher.
As a comparatively poor part of Europe, Wales has benefited over and over again from EU investments in a range of areas from sea defence works to cultural projects.

Before MPs at Westminster had the EU as a higher authority looking over their shoulders, we in Wales were treated with a lot less consideration and respect  I am old enough to remember that.

So don’t be so willing to pay heed to English newspapers and English voices telling you what’s best for England. You don’t live in England.

Be a proud Wales-based European and – if you get the chance – vote to Remain in the EU.

Colin Jones / email:


Friday, 28 December 2018



These refs are added here for indexing purposes: West Shore Hotel Rhyl, Mr & Mrs. A. Lawton.


During December 2018 the following posts were updated:

Aubrey Phillips / Gaiety Theatre -

Grand Theatre / Denbighshire Hussars -

Kinmel School For Boys, Kinmel Hall -

Lifeboat launch, vintage pic -

Lowther College For Girls, Bodelwyddan -

Pentre Bach Model Village, more pix -

Politics: Trump-related sleaze -

Vivian Hewitt, aviator -


In previous posts I said that the old Pavilion "faced a little to the east of Edward Henry Street"; "was between Water Street and Edward Henry Street"; and "near Edward Henry Street".
In 2018 the following image was on auction, illustrating precisely where the Pavilion was in relation to EHS, i..e. just round the corner!

On the subject of auction items, how about this splendid vintage aerial view of the pier:

At shore end of the pier is rear of the original wooden Pier Amphitheatre ("The Amphi") which in early 1920s was rebuilt in brick.



On Monday 17th December 2018 the pub named The Wellington (formerly Liverpool Arms) in Wellington Road, Rhyl, was closed down by court order because it was unhygienic and posed a health risk to the public.
I would have said the same about some of its customers.

Colin Jones / email:


Wednesday, 28 November 2018


The Baths

Above: 1956 advert for Prince's Water Phantasy at the council-owned Open-Air Bathing Pool ('The Baths') on the prom, featuring exhibition divers, swimmers and novelty acts: Tarzan and his mate, The Famous Lambert Trio, Prince Zahoor the 'brilliant Indian balancing star', and The Water Phantasettes.
When these performers were out of the way you could go and have a dip. The location was roughly where the Events Arena is now.

During November 2018 the following posts were updated:

Electrip Records, letter from Italy -
J.A. Elliott-Jones, artist -
Jasper Maskelyne in Rhyl -

St. John’s Church, Wellington Road -

Westcliffe Hotel, West Parade -



Earlier this month, Denbighshire County Council announced a £5 million redevelopment plan that targets the run-down Queens Indoor Market which has entrances in West Parade, High Street and Sussex Street.

Queens Market (established 1960) was previously Queens Ballroom which was established in 1920s. The splendid dance floor was taken up and sold at the time of conversion. Queens Theatre upstairs closed shortly after the ballroom.

Queens Theatre & Ballroom were preceded by the Grand Theatre upstairs with indoor roller skating rink below. Early film shows started at the rink and then moved upstairs to the theatre which operated off-season under the name Futurist Cinema.

Grand Theatre and the skating rink comprised a redevelopment of the Queen's Palace i.e. palace of varieties, which included theatre, ballroom, exhibitions and novelty sideshows. Queen's Palace opened in 1902, was open only in summer seasons, and closed down after a fire in 1907.

[Note for romantics: For two or three seasons Queen's Palace had in its basement a 'Little Venice' exhibition which included a gondola ride. This was taken out a couple of years before the fire and was nothing special in that day and age.]

A lot of genuine history is associated with the building and, up to 5 or 6 years ago, I would have thought it worth preserving if enough public money could be found. But since then the town centre has nose-dived and is in urgent need of something new.

At this point in its history Rhyl needs something new more than it needs something old.

Also in the proposed new scheme is Queens Market's next-door neighbour in West Parade, the Savoy Enterprises' building at Nos. 7-13. For a long time until fairly recently this was owned by the Trehearn family and operated under the name Vern's Amusements.

Readers may remember its corner of Queen Street as The Bistro night club (originally Savoy Cafe).

At present Denbighshire Council is seeking match-funding from Welsh Government for the proposed scheme and has not yet announced what it would intend to create on these sites.


Above: I like the idea of a tobacconist named Mr. Stubbs . . . and indeed a sprinter named Mr. Bolt!


Colin Jones / email:


Tuesday, 30 October 2018


European citizenship is the most valuable thing that
Welsh people have ever been given.
Fight for  second chance to keep it.


It used to be a matter of routine to take a photo of passengers setting out on a day trip, as in the Rhyl & Potteries Motors image above.
Here the background is interesting: Midland Hotel, Rhyl, on your left with Ye Olde Welsh Cafe (not very olde) in basement on right.
Midland Hotel was a Victorian building in East Parade, close to High Street; now the site is part of White Rose Centre.
I am obliged to Philip Lloyd for a reminder of its location.


During October 2018 the following Rhyl Life posts were updated:

Comic postcard, Rhyl -

Kinmel Hall as Kinmel School for boys -

L. Volpé photographer, Rhyl -

Pennaf / Clwyd Alyn, new boss -

Pickard, Rae, Dining Hall at the Alex hospital -

Pickard, seashore picture -

Pickard, WW1 soldiers on parade -

Scottish independence -

guest house
'The Hague' guest house, Rhyl, was at 2a North Avenue, just round the corner
from Butterton Road. The building still exists, still has same name
and is now in residential use.

You may have passed No.36 Eastville Ave and thought it unremarkable, but the very
existence of this late-1940s postcard suggests it was a small B&B.


Photo: Daily Post Wales
Pictured above is Carl Foulkes who is taking over from Mark Polin as Chief Constable of North Wales Police. Mr. Foulkes is from Caergwrle near Wrexham.
Until recently he has been Deputy Chief  Constable of Merseyside so I'm sure he will see many familiar faces in North Wales, especially in Rhyl.

Colin Jones / email:


Thursday, 27 September 2018


Prince's International Circus, Rhyl Pavilion, 1955

During September 2018 the following posts were updated:

Ask Centre, Water Street --

Bird’s Eye View Of Rhyl -

Circus “Petite” -

Foryd Bridge -

Gun Shop, Elwy Street -

Mike Peters / The Alarm -

Pennaf / Clwyd Alyn Housing Assoc -

Rhyl & Potteries Motors (charabancs) -

Rhyl Football Club -

Southlawn School -

Prince's Royal International Circus, 1956
The word Royal may refer to sea lions!

Click on any image to read small print.

Above: The Royal Sea Lions and June; Tom, Dick and 'Arry with Jack Dale (clowns); Dumarte & Denzer; Broncho the comedy horse; Lions trained by Captain Sydney Howes;  Lucken's  Liberty Ponies (Shetland ponies); Digger Pugh's girls as The Wallabies (tumblers); The Amazing Maurices (trapeze act).
Among other names in 1956 programme are:
Keefe Brothers & Annette (balancers); Evelyn's coloured pigeon phantasy; Sam Linfield & his Crazy Scouts; The Kamtoi Company (Chinese acrobats); Pat Somers (cat impersonator);  Monkeys trained by Jack Klette; Freddy, Tommy & Co. (fighters); Walter's famous comedy dogs; and The Alexis Troupe (acrobats).
The mayhem was accompanied warily by the Prince's Circus Orchestra conducted by Eugene Auld.

And here is a trophy from the 1958 season, an autograph of The Sensational Shermans 

I wonder what their speciality was. Does anybody know?

Colin Jones / email: