Sunday, 18 January 2009


The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own and not the views of the town council.

These pictures show Marine Lake Fun Fair in the 1920s. They were taken from the Wellington Road side of the lake. The one at the top is by Rhyl photographer Rae Pickard.

In the background of the pictures - to your right - the ‘Canadian’ Water Chute was the first novelty ride. You would get in a big flat-bottomed boat and be raised in a lift then shoved down the chute with an oarsman behind you to steady the boat as it hit the water.

After a few years the water chute was closed following a fatal accident. Many early 20th century fun fair rides would fail to get past the army of risk assessors that we have today! Most of the other rides at Marine Lake were created by clever Yorkshire-born engineer Albert Barnes.

In the background - to your left - the big white structure is the Figure Eight Rollercoaster. Mr. Barnes built it where it stood.

He also built miniature locomotives at his Albion Works in Rhyl for use at Marine Lake and for sale to other towns. He became eventually a Rhyl Urban District councillor and was a man of many other parts. His contribution to Rhyl was enormous, and yet he seems largely forgotten.

Albert Barnes ought to be commemorated officially.

THU 23rd NOV 2017 UPDATE: A book has been written about Albert Barnes, not by Yours Truly but by somebody who knew him personally.
The book is not published yet. This week I had sight of it and I am sworn to secrecy. Lips sealed for the time being but hopefully not for long!