Wednesday, 28 September 2016


Not long ago my pal Jill emigrated from Rhyl to St. Asaph. To mark the event here are a few more pix. The first is a shot of my alma mater Ysgol Ramadeg Llanelwy / St.  Asaph Grammar School on the Upper Denbigh Road, circa 1920 (now Ysgol Glan Clwyd):

No, indeed I would not support the return of grammar schools – not that there is even a remote chance of that happening in Wales.

Further up the Upper Denbigh Road, set back in several acres of grounds is Bryn Asaph built in 1830, a six-bedroom property used at times as a convalescent home. This card was posted in 1976:

Cards of St. Asaph Cathedral are not rare but the following is collectible because the inset shows Bishop Alfred George Edwards (1848-1937) a Bishop of St. Asaph who became the first Archbishop of Wales:

That monument like a little tower on your left is a memorial of the translation of The Bible into Welsh by an earlier Bishop of St. Asaph, William Morgan, who translated it from Greek and Hebrew.

Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

Here is a magic lantern slide of Cathedral nave looking East circa 1900:

The High Street looked like this around 1930 . . .

. . . and like this in early 1960s:

Here is a battered old pic of Y Llew Goch / The Red Lion in Gemig Street which long ago ceased to be a pub:

The Old Deanery in Dean's Walk was never just a pub. Around 1910 when the following was taken, it was a rather swish hotel with waiters in penguin suits etc. These days it is a care home:


Pictured above is Bodlonfa Hall in Rhuallt, which used to operated by Merseyside Youth Hostels Ltd. The card is postmarked 1953. Bodlonfa Hall is now a B&B.

Below is Brynbella in Tremeirchion, a 1790s villa with lovely gardens. The name Brynbella is an odd fusion of Welsh and Italian words. The pic is from a Sotheby's auction in 1994:

To see all posts about St. Asaph, including recent updates about Cefn and Llanerch, please click here:

Sunday, 25 September 2016


This week we have the uppermost part of two commercial buildings in Rhyl, photographed a few days ago by Yours Truly. In each case
The question is: What is the name of the business underneath?


You need correct answers to A and B to score 1 win.

You have until the end of Saturday 1st October 2016 to send your entry. The result will appear on this blog next day around noon.

Colin Jones / email:



Last Sunday I posted a photo, probably 1950s, of a place in Queen Street. The question: What is the name of the place?

The answer: OAP Friendship Club.
Here is the photo with missing words restored:

The club was founded in 1952 by Councillor/Alderman P.T. (Phil) Trehearn in upstairs premises at 72 Queen Street and operated for well over forty years. Last time I looked it was Flames Steakhouse & Bar.


Second question was about a card posted in 1979. The name of a house had been hidden by black dots. The question: What is the missing name?
The answer: Bryn Estyn.
Here is the image with missing words restored:

Bryn Estyn, 85 Russell Road, these days is a privately owned care home managed by Karin Witherspoon.


Scoring 1 win for Friendship Club and/or 1 win for Bryn Estyn:
Sue Handley 2, Jane Shuttle 2, The Great Gareth 2, Richard & Ceri Swinney 1, and Dilys Bagnall 2.


Dilys has supplied snaps taken circa 1950 showing General Post Office (GPO) workers in Rhyl. The first shows them assembled outside the main post office in High Street, opposite where Boots chemist is now:

Dilys' father Arthur Hughes is seated at the end on your left. Standing far left is Alf Murray.

Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

The following was taken outside the sorting office which was at the rear of the post office. Arthur Hughes is on your left:

Many families in Rhyl and district have GPO connections so these photos may help with family history. Thanks, Dilys.


No longer with us is the sex shop I mean licensed adult centre at 43-47 Queen Street. Our permission-givers obviously thought its location close to the Children's Village was appropriate. I didn't.

In High Street the camping shop Granite Outdoors at No. 64 has folded its tents and gone. The shop had far too many sale promotions and cluttered the pavement with displays but was marginally better than no shop.

A survey says more than 1 in 5 Rhyl shops are empty. See Daily Post:


Saturday, 24 September 2016


Photo: Russia Today TV

I am writing this on the day Jeremy Corbyn MP has been elected as leader of the UK Labour Party for second time by a big margin.

The official position of the Labour Party is that UK is better off in the European Union – and I agree – but can the Party be trusted on this issue?

In early 1970s when Britain was debating whether to join the EU I recall hearing many Labour politicians and trade union leaders denouncing the EU as a conspiracy of big business.

Since then, even though being in Europe has brought us prosperity and better protection of workers' rights, I suspect there still may be a lingering anti-EU undercurrent in Labour.

Wales needs a stronger economy and more private sector jobs. That is more likely to happen inside Europe than out, and that’s why the more trustworthy pro-EU party Plaid Cymru gets my vote.

You could join Plaid online:
or you can email for membership forms.


Thursday, 22 September 2016


Bill Ellis’ collection of material relating to Billie Manders & Quaintesques continues to grow. This was a concert party that entertained at the Pier Amphitheatre, Rhyl, in summer seasons from 1921 to 1963.

Among Bill’s memorabilia is a book presented to Mr. Manders in 1942 by The Rhyl Hebrew Congregation in appreciation of letting them use the Amphitheatre for Yom Kippur Services. Here is the title of the book and the presentation page:


The President is H. Huglin; the Honorary Secretary is J.H. Lysman.

From my own resources comes the following blurry picture taken in 1951 showing a meeting room of the Congregation, location unknown. The pic is followed by a detail showing some names:

Click on an image to see a clearer version.

The names are Solomon Rifkin, Gabriel Alis, Marie Alis, M. Cohen, Gedaliah Fox, Aaron Adolph, Morris Sugarman, Ada Sugarman, Lewis Lipman, Hannah Leah Lipman, William Jachcel, Regine Jachcel.

Mr. Manders' wife had the maiden name Fox - so it could be that they were Jewish - a thought that had never occurred previously to me or Bill Ellis.

Apart from references to J.H. Lipman The Wire King and Sir Anthony Meyer MP there has been no mention of Rhyl's Jewish connections. Further information would be welcome.

Info about other ethnic groups in Rhyl would be welcome too.

Colin Jones / email:


SUN 25th SEP 2016 UPDATE: Gareth Morris remembers seeing the Star Of David symbol and Hebrew lettering on a first floor window in Queen Street as if a synagogue were there. The location was in or near No. 34 which is now The Happy Buddha restaurant.


Monday, 19 September 2016


A few years ago Rhyl West residents saw large numbers of problematic people being dumped into the ward by resettlement agencies.

The uninvited guests included habitual criminals, addicts of alcohol and illegal drugs, antisocial types, dysfunctional families and so on.

The cost of Social Services went sky high and so did the crime rate.

Some old holiday accommodation in Abbey Street/ Aquarium Street area has been demolished and tenants dispersed – some as far as Denbigh. This should reduce the density of problems in Rhyl West.

Lately the ward seems a more relaxed place, not so low-life, and not so dangerous, but some fundamental difficulties remain. There is still a lot of poverty and deprivation.

One man who knows about the difficulties is Mark Webster who lives in Rhyl West and served as a ward councillor until his wife Coral became ill. (She has since passed away.)

Mark is concerned about disabled people having to switch to new benefits and have their conditions re-assessed by private companies that have no medical expertise.

He is unhappy about the prospect of our losing access to the European Regional Development Fund. Money is needed to help new businesses get started.

On the other hand, he feels optimistic about the forthcoming Marina Quay (ex-Ocean Beach) and other local indicators of better times ahead.

Mark Webster (pictured below) is casting around for a role to play. It would be no surprise to see him back in public life in due course.


Daily Post has published a list of food places top-rated for hygiene. There are lots of top-rated places in Denbighshire, many in Rhyl:

Sunday, 18 September 2016


Above is a photo, probably 1950s, of a place in Queen Street, Rhyl.
The question: What is the name of the place?
You are looking for three words.
The correct answer would score 1 win.

Below is a card posted in 1979. The name of a house has been hidden by black dots.
The question: What is the missing name?

You are looking for two words.
The correct answer would score 1 win.

You have until the end of Saturday 24th September 2016 to send your entry. The result will appear on this blog next day around noon.

Colin Jones / email: