Wednesday, 4 May 2016


Rhyl Life and the YouTube channel RhylTime support
Polling Day: Thursday 5th May 2016.

On 5th May - or sooner if you vote by post - you will receive two ballot papers for Welsh Assembly Election; this is because of our proportional representation system.

The first ballot paper is a list of local Vale of Clwyd candidates such as Mair Rowlands and you have only one vote. The second is a list of regional North Wales parties and individuals; here again you have only one vote.

In addition you will receive a ballot paper to elect a Police and Crime Commissioner whose job is to secure efficient & effective policing of the North Wales Police area. You can read about the candidates by going through on this link and then scrolling down:



Daily Post has published The North Wales Bucket List: 30 things to do in the region before you die. The sole Rhyl idea is to sample the fish ‘n’ chips at Les & Rita’s (Wellington Road) which I do happily from time to time.

Real buttered toast at Sidoli’s and/or a bag of chips from Les & Rita’s is a feelgood cure for the blues, believe me.

To see the whole Daily Post list please click here:



These days television commercial breaks seem so agonizingly long that I forget what the programme is, but in the future these TV adverts may be of interest to somebody.

Here are some printed adverts from circa 1900 of definite Rhyl interest provided by Dave Williams - thanks Dave!

Click on any item to see a bigger version and read small print.

And these 1920s items are from another source: 

The following references are added here for indexing purposes: John Owen baker grocer Rhyl Llanrwst, Pen y Don boarding house Strevett, John H Ellis Glenlivet whiskey whisky Red Dragon, David Pritchard upholsterer french polisher Edward Henry Street, Bov Rhyl concert party, John Brookes.


Colin Jones / email:

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


Sunday, 1 May 2016


This photo was taken recently and has a place name blanked out.
The question: What is the missing name?
The correct answer would score 1 win.

The advert below is from Edwardian times and refers to the Free Trade Hall in Rhyl. The building still exists.

The question: Where in High Street is the building?
The correct answer would score 1 win.

You have until the end of Saturday 7th May 2016 to send your entry. The result will appear on this blog next day around noon.

Colin Jones / email:



Last Sunday I posted the right-hand-sides-only of two postcards: the upper one postmarked 1973, the lower looking 1950s. The question: Which is a Rhyl picture - the upper one or the lower or both or neither?
The answer: The upper one.
Here are the postcards in full. The upper one is Derbyshire Miners' Holiday Centre, Rhyl. The lower is Rainford's Camp, Gronant near Prestatyn:

Also I posted a photo labelled 1973 but it may have been just a shade earlier. The question: Where in Rhyl is the bus standing?
The answer: Bodfor Street.
Here is a slightly wider view of the picture, that's Costigan's on your left:

Incidentally, Snow Goose Ices was the 'own brand' of Rhyl Amusements Ltd. It was sold at the fun fair and wholesaled to other outlets.

You needed correct answers to both questions to score 1 win. Only Richard & Ceri Swinney managed that feat!

So with 25 more weeks to go before the end of the quiz the regular players stand as follows:
The Great Gareth 81, Jane Shuttle 72, Richard & Ceri Swinney 61, Sue Handley 56 and Dilys Bagnall 32. 
Well done if you doing half as well!


Friday, 29 April 2016


Sorry to report that David Thomas has passed away. Dave made several contributions to this blog and to Rhyl life in general. He is pictured above in 2007 during his year as Mayor of Rhyl, with a lifeboat man and schoolkids at the 75th Anniversary of Foryd Bridge. Photo by Tony Mottram.

Dave was from Llandudno way, but he had been in Rhyl a long time. He worked at the fun fair in the 1960s and ‘70s and did some market trading such as selling sweets at Tir Prince. He liked to be in the open air and liked Rhyl’s open spaces such as Brickfields Pond.

Dave and I first met in late 1990s in a residents’ campaign to try and stop Denbighshire council and Welsh Water from destroying the heritage value of Marine Lake. We failed; the biggest sewage tank in Wales was put under the lake and the original walls of the lake were ruined.

Rhyl’s dead-loss Labour councillors just let it happen, and this was one factor in Dave's deciding to stand for election himself as an Independent. I remember helping him by doing some leafleting on the housing estate where he lived, The Reso. He didn’t win.

Dave, like so many others regardless of their personal or political beliefs, had to join the Labour Party to get elected and I watched him get drawn into the party culture and the workplace culture of the council chamber - and further from grass roots.

He was elected to the cabinet of Denbighshire council where he served as lead member for Regeneration, and this was his downfall. He infringed a Labour Party rule that prevents Labour councillors from being in cabinet in an authority where Labour does not have a majority.

[Be aware! Labour Party candidates don’t tell you about the rule when they come round asking for your vote.]

Therefore like others before him, Dave was expelled from the party. He stood for re-election again as an Independent and again didn’t win. The double whammy of being stabbed in back by Labour and then snubbed by the electorate hit him hard; it took him a while to recover.

Eventually Dave was drawn to Botanical Gardens where in recent years he helped to run a horticultural project. Last I heard from Dave was about a week before he died and he made no mention of feeling ill, so the news of his death came as a shock.

I took the following photograph in 2012 at Botanical Gardens. Dave was more or less standing in the way as I lined up a shot of the pond. The photo catches him in contemplative mood, menthol cigarette hidden in the palm of his hand Reso-style.

So long Dave, thanks for what you did and what you tried to do.


Wednesday, 27 April 2016


Recent mention of Adeler & Sutton's Pierrots on this blog brought some correspondence about early entertainers in Rhyl. Above is Charley or Charlie Harvey who was a prominent member of the Adeler troupe - no pun intended.

The photo was taken circa 1908 in Rhyl and shows Mr. Harvey wearing standard pierrot costume. Similar attire was still in use as late as 1940s. The following picture shows Rhyl Amphitheatre's resident Billie Manders' Quaintesques in 1941:

Concert parties such as the two mentioned were principally theatrical. In that sense they differed from open air entertainers on our minstrel pitch even though the mix of comedy and music was somewhat similar.

The minstrel pitch on Rhyl sands is shown in the foreground here . . .

. . . and on your left in this shot dated 1905 taken from Queen's Palace:

The minstrel pitch was established in 1890s by the council to get minstrels (strolling players) off the streets and get some rental money out of them.

First to take up the pitch were the black-faced Tom Wood & his Merrie Men, then came E.H. Williams' Merrie Men (from 1899) and finally Gilbert Rogers' Jovial Jesters (from 1907 until 1920s):

Before leaving the topic of early entertainers here are two rare images from the Gilbert Rogers era, both dating from around 1909 and showing the newer, smaller edition of the pitch:

The pix of Quaintesques and Tom Wood & his Merrie Men are from Bill Ellis' book Entertainment in Rhyl and North Wales. The remainder are from Yours Truly.

Colin Jones / email: