Thursday, 6 August 2009


Beach sandsThese pictures are of a kind known as ‘photochrome’ or ‘photocrom’ produced by a printing and tinting process invented in 1880s in Switzerland. The process involved the use of black-and-white negatives because colour photography was not yet a serious option. Photochrome pictures were very popular when these Rhyl scenes were done in late 1890s.

The one at the top shows the central part of the promenade. On the left a crowd is gathered around the open-air minstrel pitch, and on the right at the shore end of the pier stands the Grand Pavilion concert hall which opened in 1891.

The other picture shows the view looking westwards from the pier; the long tubes of the rifle range are on your left. There is a gap in West Parade, to your right of the Queens Hotel’s balcony, ready for the building of the glass-domed Queen's Palace which opened in 1902.