Saturday, 30 June 2018


On our eastern promenade two new businesses are emerging. Next door to the west of Pavilion Theatre a Travelodge is being built:

Between this Travelodge and Garden Of Remembrance the Sun Verge pub/restaurant is under construction:

The photographs above were taken a week ago by Yours Truly.


During June 2018 the following posts were updated:

Arthur Cheetham -

Belvoir Hotel, East Parade -

Canterbury House care home -

Floral Hall / Cambrian Railways -

Flying Scotsman train -

Haven Hotel, West Parade -

May Queen Beryl 1937 -

Rhyl Love, the song -

Rhyl Pavilion demolition -


A new book of interest to railway enthusiasts is on sale at local bookshops and on Amazon, eBay etc. It is Lost Lines of Wales: Rhyl to Corwen by Paul Lawton and David Southern.

Rhyl to Corwen


NEWS FROM ICELAND (the shop not the country)

On Tuesday 31st July 2018 the food retailer Iceland will open a new store on Clwyd Retail Park, Rhyl Road, Rhuddlan. The branch in White Rose Centre, Rhyl, will continue as usual. See story in Daily Post:

Colin Jones / email:


Thursday, 31 May 2018


Muliview card from the 1960s

During May 2018 the following posts were updated:

Elvis Presley -

Foryd Harbour, more old pix -

Kinmel Bay, vintage aircraft -

Louis Volpe, photographer -

Mystery shop -

Promenade illuminations -
Rhuddlan, A.E. Williams (company) -

Rhyl Silver Band CD -

Roma Expresso Coffee Bar -

Waterpark progress -


Castell Rhuddlan / Rhuddlan Castle by English artist
George Grainger Smith, circa 1930.
Rhuddlan - Abbey Farm in Abbey Road, undated. The farm is
built on the site of an ancient Dominican Friary.

Colin Jones / email:

Don't forget my YouTube channel featuring Rhyl videos and slideshows. The channel is named RhylTime.

Click on the link below to see RHYL AT THE FÊTE, a new slideshow of stills from an amateur video of a garden party at The Lawn care home in Russell Road, circa 1990.
Featured are many residents, staff and visitors including councillors Nancy Fletcher-Williams & Frank Selby.

Only YouTube items labelled RhylTime are mine!


Saturday, 28 April 2018


Punchinello aka Punch and Judy on Rhyl promenade, late 1800s.
On your left is the Rowley-Conwy drinking fountain
which had been erected in 1862.

A rare and rusty old tin that once contained "dainty pieces"
of  Mountain Heather Toffee made by
Convalli Confections Ltd of Rhyl.

During April 2018 the following posts were updated:

Circus at the old Pavilion / Trio Hazmas -

Dolphinarium in West Parade -

Johnny Gizzi -

J.W. Jones / Rhyl Pavilion -

Kinmel Park Camp, National Service -

Premier Inn project -

Rhylsville the song -

Roller skating rink -

Vaughan's Baths, High Street -

World War 2 -

Jafflong Spice
New-ish in Queen Street is Chutney Lobster Indian Restaurant (renamed
from Jafflong Spice) on the former Chilli Pink premises. Pity about the
spelling mistake "Takewaway" on fascia.
Preparing to launch is Tim's Coffee Lounge at 90 High Street (with black
frontage) formerly the  premises of Soulmates Bridal Shop.
Soulmates went round the corner to 12 Kinmel Street.

These references are added here for indexing purposes:
Front Room pub restaurant Rhyl, Reeds Rains estate agents.


Saturday, 31 March 2018


Above: stamp albums published in Rhyl by Thomas Cliffe of The Philatelic Factory, Marsh Road, and one by Martin Mills of The Philatelic Workshops, Lusanga Mews.
Lusanga Mews?

Since 1st March 2018 the following posts have been updated:

Albion Hotel, Rhyl -

Botanical Gardens: lily pond -

Coal mines -

David Cox, artist -

Derbyshire Miners’ Camp -

Fiveways Café -

Floral hall: birds -

Kavern Records -

National Eisteddfod 1985 -

Rawicz & Landauer at Pavilion -

YMCA Kings Avenue -



Kathryn Nedd

As hinted in a previous post, there exists a biography of Albert Barnes the creator of Marine Lake Fun Fair and Ocean Beach Fun Fair. The book is written by Kathryn Nedd. The back and front covers are shown above.
Click on the image to read the blurb.

Kathryn is Mr. Barnes' granddaughter (and Eric Hughes' daughter). Although essentially a piece of family history, the book gives a thorough appraisal of the Barnes contribution to Rhyl. He was one of the most important figures in the development of the resort.

The first edition of the book, 'White Socks and a Walking Stick' by Kathryn Nedd, was circulated privately. The second edition is yours for £10 in Central Station at Marine Lake or £11 from the miniature railway's website:

At long last the chain store named The Range has opened at Marina Quay the former Ocean Beach Fun Fair site. The Range sells furniture, bedding, curtains, and has a garden centre and cafe. The company's headquarters are in Plymouth.
To see the Rhyl store's opening hours please click here:


Thursday, 1 March 2018



In 1993 after a long absence I returned to the Vale of Clwyd where born and raised. My mother and her mother being Rhylites, I had known the town all my life and was shocked to see how much it had changed.

Since then I have been involved with community groups in Rhyl, and from early 1990s onwards with the resort’s history. One way or another I have been thinking about Rhyl on a daily basis for a quarter of a century.

It’s time I thought about something else.

Rhyl Life therefore is closing today, but the existing posts will continue to be updated, and ‘Life Goes On’ bulletins about these updates should appear occasionally.


I've had my say about the inadequacies of local politics and about the 2016 referendum on UK's membership of the European Union having produced the wrong result for Wales.

In my 72nd year I feel unhappy about the bigger picture but could never feel pessimistic about Rhyl – it has as much potential as ever. It is a young town with far more of a future than a past. 

Rhyl Life has operated on-and-off for ten years. Many early posts were of a temporary nature and have been deleted. At the time of writing there are 1,220 posts and an estimated 3,000 images.

At its height, the site attracted about 10,000 pageviews a month. A large part of this success was due to the contributors who generously supplied material for inclusion.

With a final word of thanks to the contributors, I sign off here and wish all readers the best of health and happiness.

Colin Jones / email:



book by Philip Lloyd

Arthur Cheetham the Rhyl-based movie pioneer and businessman is the subject of a new book by Philip Lloyd whose previous work 'Glorious Rhyl: a peep at its past' was published in 2002 and well received.

Of the new book, which is titled 'Silvograph, Arthur Cheetham 1865-1937, pioneer film maker', Philip writes, "Arthur Cheetham arrived in Rhyl in 1889 and set up in business as a phrenologist, ‘medical electrician’ (offering ‘treatment’ for a variety of ailments with his ‘electro-curative battery’), printer, publisher and photographer.

"But he is best known as the town’s pioneer film maker. Between 1898 and 1912 Cheetham shot at least 47 films, depicting aspects of contemporary entertainment, sport, industry, transport etc, well over half of them in Rhyl, including the arrival of the first through Euston/Rhyl summer-service train."

Arthur Cheetham, film movie maker

The new book will be on sale on Thursday 22nd March 2018 at Rhyl Library. The author will be available to sign copies between 9.30 am and 5 pm and will screen a selection of Cheetham films at 2 pm.

Most of the films came from the collection of the late Eric Foulkes of Foulkes' Bar, High Street, Rhyl.


Saturday, 24 February 2018


Artwork by The FastStone Kid - Rhyl's clock tower in original position

During February 2018 the following posts were updated:

The Beatles at Ritz Ballroom -

Chinese food -

H. Batten-Jones, undertakers -

Jewish connections -

Miller’s Camp, Towyn -

Former Morville Hotel -

Plastirion Puzzle -

Sussex Street Baths -

Swimming at Marine Lake -

Visit by Duke of Connaught & Strathearn -



The UK Government continues to hatch its plan to rob us of our European citizenship. Meanwhile, there is a new organisation named Is It Worth It?  They are running a campaign in favour of remaining in European Union and they have a touring battle bus.

Is it worth it?

Link to the organisation:

ALSO there is a new political party named RENEW whose policies include staying in the EU, and I am getting involved.

Link to the party:

See them on YouTube:


Saturday, 17 February 2018


Most of my favourite old Rhyl images are already on Rhyl Life except the following which have been lying around waiting for a context. 
Before the blog closes to new posts, I present these images for no better reason than
I would hate to see them left out.

In this blog there have been already a couple of references to Professor Miller / Millar who operated Rhyl's first Punch and Judy booth on the prom opposite Queens Hotel. Here is the good professor up a ladder with a ventriloquist's doll:

Queen's Palace

The Queen's Palace dome dates the image as 1902-1907. A point of interest far left is a sign for 'Queens Mews' 
– haven't noticed that before.

From a 2018 Internet auction: a rare and unaffordable postcard of putting greens at Botanical Gardens, undated, certainly before WW2 -

putting greens

The family snaps below are from a 1930s album belonging to George Robert Eden of Birmingham. Our 'continental' basket chairs, the pier, deckchairs - and a sand castle - made very good props.

Around 1960 at Ocean Beach Fun Fair there were two Big Wheels as shown below. This image is artificially coloured; the shed-like building shown with dark green  roof is the Playland arcade/cafe, and next door with brown roof is Ritz Ballroom:

Eli ferris wheel

I think the Big Wheel nearest to camera arrived first and departed first; it was a 'ferris wheel' made by Eli Bridge Company of USA and operated by Billy Williams. The wheel further away looks smaller but was in fact bigger and was owned by Rhyl Amusements Ltd.

Here is a picture of the promenade paddling pool which had been built in 1920s as the Children's Lake for nippers to splash around in, sail toy boats and get cramp if the weather wasn't warm enough.

Some years ago in newspaper archives I found a reader's letter scorning "that montrosity they are building on the prom". The year was 1908 and he was referring to Rhyl Pavilion as shown above.

[I wouldn't go along with term "monstrosity" but it has to be said that the Pavilion was highly photogenic and looked better in postcard images than in reality.]

The summer show being advertised is 'A Night At The Varieties'. That happened to be the Pavilion's final show and therefore the date is 1972. The building was demolished in 1974.


MON 9th APR 2018 UPDATE: In his book ‘Rhyl The Town And Its People’ (1970) the author J.W. Jones says of the Pavilion, “It isn’t beautiful – I have heard it described as more the design of an engineer than an architect – but neither is it ugly. Perhaps its best description is one which I have already used, ‘striking’.
“I have seen it against a moonlit sky when it had some aesthetic appeal, but in the cold light of day one has to admit that it looks ‘heavy’, for want of a more descriptive word.”
Mr. Jones goes on to list some of the stars that appeared in concert there, including the following whose visits have not been mentioned previously in this blog:

Madame Melba (Dame Nellie Melba) -

Paderewski -

Jose Collins -

Dance band leader/clarinettist Harry Roy; Forces' Sweetheart Vera Lynn and Shirley Bassey.