Tuesday, 1 September 2015


The Foryd harbour at the estuary of River Clwyd is a lot older than the rest of Rhyl and might have remained active until present day even if the town had never developed. 

The image above would be pre-World War 1 and coloured at a later date. The big building on your left has been labelled Foryd Hall but the position looks unconvincing; it may be a pair of semi-detached hotels such as the ones demolished quite recently, one was Westcliffe Hotel.

Here is the motor boat ‘Alice’ taking passengers for a mini-cruise. This looks pre-WW1 as well, and the harbour is spelled Voryd:

The letter V does not appear in the modern Welsh alphabet, but it does crop up in some ancient Welsh texts so its use in this context may not be entirely incorrect.

From the following monochrome photo taken not long after the Foryd Bridge was opened in 1932 it not possible to tell what colour it was. It certainly hasn’t always been blue.

Rhyl Pavilion is not visible in the following two shots, so they must be from the late 1970s or later. Ocean Beach Fun Fair is in the background.

Rhyl Life reader Dilys Bagnall writes, “I remember when for about a shilling (less than 10p) you could take a return trip across the Foryd to Horton’s Nose in a small rowing boat.
“Also I remember the proper Romany caravan behind the Fun Fair in which Billy Williams’ mother-in-law Mrs. Waltzer lived. I talked for hours with her, and she showed me inside her caravan. That was a great honour for a “flattie” like me. It was beautiful inside.
"Mrs. Waltzer may not have been her real name but that’s what she was called. I worked on her daughter Sue’s hot-dog stall –I think it was the first ever in Rhyl. That was at the far end of West Parade near the Mad Mouse. The hot dogs cost a shilling and I had to chop up fresh onions so I was always crying.”



The Foryd is a harbour of two sides, the other side being in Bae Cilmael which has become known as Kinmel Bay which, in turn, has become known jocularly as "Criminal Bay".

According to Wikipedia, "A ship called "The Italia" sank in the River Clwyd near Kinmel Bay in 1798 with the loss of 90 Tones of Spanish gold coins. These coins are still being found today."

Just Rhyl's luck, having the ship sink on the wrong side!

The card below is unposted; it looks 1940s/'50s. It shows Kinmel Bay's Glan-y-Don camping ground "near Voryd" with tents that were probably for boy scouts and/or girl guides:

A similar place, Ty-Croes Holiday Camp, was further to your left (west). There may well have been others.

The house below, Belle Vue Foryd "near Rhyl", presumably in Kinmel Bay, was a guest house/small hotel in 1911 when this card was sent.

Click on any image to see a bigger version.

I have been over there in search of this house but carn find it.

The following references are added here for indexing purposes: Summerscales Yates Morecambe.


Colin Jones / rhyl.colin.jones@live.co.uk


Monday, 31 August 2015


This being in media terms the “silly season” it is time for a little more Rhyliana and Rhylery. How about a winking cat emblazoned with lucky white heather from Rhyl?

 Doan like cats? How about dogs as in this cruet set, a present from Rhyl?

Here is an oddity: a game card from a board game named ‘From Here To There’. The description Rhyl Flintshire dates it as before 1974:

Paperweights seem a good idea until one falls on your toes. This Victorian glass one harks back to a time when parts of the prom were lawned:

(Go back even further and you would discover a much more rural Rhyl. In High Street there were some houses with gardens in front.)

This china shoe is just over six inches long and bears the Rhyl town crest. There is reason to believe that the shoe may have been part of a pair, but this is just a sole one, ha ha.

Considerably bigger is this item which was recently for sale on Internet, described as ‘Rhyl Souvenir Genuine Sea Front Wall Piece’. No, I did not buy but it would have made a nice pet rock. 

Rhyl rock!


Colin Jones / email: rhyl.colin.jones@live.co.uk

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


Sunday, 30 August 2015


A reader has asked how long this quiz is going to last. Hmmmm. Well, the first series ended at # 80 so the present series should end at # 160 unless I run out of Rhyl before then.

This week our brain exercise is short and sweet. Here are four images, numbered 1-4. Only two of the four are Rhyl:



The question: What two numbers are Rhyl?

The correct two numbers would bring you one win.
You have until the end of Saturday 5th September 2015 to send your entry. Second tries not accepted.
The result will be published on Sunday 6th September 2015 around Midday.

Colin Jones / email: rhyl.colin.jones@live.co.uk



Last Sunday I posted a partly masked image of one of Rhyl's Victorian buildings that no longer exist.
The question: In the 20th century what was it used as?
The answer: Convent:

Originally the above building in Russell Road was named Bryntirion Hall. At the start of 20th century it became St. Mary’s Convent wherein there was a school. The building was demolished in early 1970s. The housing estate St.Mary's Court stands there now.

Also I posted a card commemorating the opening of a Rhyl business.
The question: What do the G----- and L----- stand for?
The answer: Grange Laundry:

My pal Bill Ellis says: “I worked at The Grange Laundry in the early 1960s straight after leaving school. It was owned by a Mr. Hindley who lived in Pendyffryn Road.
"I worked on the washing machines, which were operated by pulleys, and later as one of the laundry’s van drivers. I well remember the foreman Tommy Boiler (Tommy Roberts). On your left of the building was a shortcut to Vale Road and on right was The Cut.
"The business has long gone but the building still exists opposite Hafan Deg/War Memorial Court in Grange Road as a shop named One Stop and a home help agency named Dyffryn Care.”

Also I posted this photo dated 1974 of the bus station. In the background on your left is a cinema. 
The question: What is the name of the cinema?
The answer: Astra.

It had been Odeon and would become Apollo, but in 1974 it was Astra. Your crafty blogger removed evidence from top left corner:

Finally I posted the following in which a place name was blanked out.
The question: What is the missing name?
The answer: Maes y Gog.

Above is the restored picture.
The English equivalent of the name Maes y Gog seems to be Cuckoo Field. Open countryside is close to where the photo was taken, and New Pines Holiday Homes Park.
A right turn would bring you face to face with an Anwyl construction site named Parc Aberkinsey.
Rhyl continues to expand . . .

With two out of four correct answers for 1 win, or more than two correct answers for 2 wins:
Jane Shuttle 2, Geoff Hughes 2, Sue Handley 2, Richard & Ceri Swinney 2, The Great Gareth 1, Dilys Bagnall 1.


So far in this blog there are no pictures of our annual air show. I have my doubts about the event - aircraft are the biggest polluters of all - but the show has been pulling big crowds since 2009. Each year brings a new harvest of photos on Internet. Readers are welcome to send any unusual shots to:

Colin Jones / email: rhyl.colin.jones@live.co.uk


Saturday, 29 August 2015


Above is a Daily Post photograph of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan.

Last time I was laid up there I saw some staff behaving in crazy ways as if they were not answerable to anybody. Some lower grade staff seemed to be there because the hospital is a big employer rather than because of their personal commitment to the health service.

This year there has been a public row over the threatened temporary withdrawal of some maternity services at Glan Clwyd, and there have been cases of medical neglect (including one dreadful case of fatal neglect).

In the last three years the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which is responsible for this and other local hospitals, has increased the number of its managers by 17 per cent and increased the average pay of managers by 9 per cent.

Recently Glan Clwyd’s mental health unit was mired in scandal about abuse of patients. This led to the Betsi Board being put into special measures by Welsh Government which has twice refused to publish minutes of the meeting where that government decision was taken.

What is lacking from top to bottom in NHS Wales is the principle of customer service. If introducing that ethic would mean having some elements of the NHS operated by commercial companies – including the management of hospitals – so be it.

When our electricity supply was run by government-employed workers we had power cuts with monotonous regularity. Now the service is provided by commercial companies the power cuts are rare – because now we are thought of as customers.


Colin Jones / email: rhyl.colin.jones@live.co.uk

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


Thursday, 27 August 2015


Published this year and definitely worth a fiver is the slim paperback titled ‘A Victorian Tour of North Wales: Rhyl to Llandudno’.

The author Andrew Gill says, “This booklet reproduces relevant parts of Black’s Guide, published in 1897, and thirty five photographs, most of which were taken between 1880 and 1920, owned by the Keasbury-Gordon Photograph Archive.”

The text describes Rhyl as the Margate of North Wales and refers to our broad sands and safe bathing and remarkably favourable winter climate. The description of Rhyl includes a reference to the unbeautiful Pavilion. That would have been the Grand Pavilion concert hall at the shore end of the pier.

The book refers to Rhyl having an Operetta House which I take to be Lyric Hall in Market Street. Lyric Hall became Central Hall where Mr. Cheetham had his Silvograph Cinema. The building is the row of shops between Wilkinsons and The Lorne. The 'Hall' part was upstairs.

The Rhyl chapter is not very long and there are only four old photos – fascinating nevertheless. From there we go to Rhuddlan, Dyserth, St. Asaph and other places in the Vale of Clwyd.

Next town to get a substantial share of the book is Colwyn Bay. The front cover photo of a fisherman and his friend was taken in Colwyn Bay.

Llandudno gets the biggest chapter and then there is a Victorian guide to the Welsh alphabet and a glossary of some Welsh terms. What’s more, the author has produced a companion volume titled ‘A Victorian Tour Of North Wales: Conwy to Caernarfon via Anglesey’.


Mr. Gill has similar publications about other parts of UK. See this list: