Tuesday, 15 September 2009


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Recently on this blog there was mention of a resident circus from 1949 to 1961 at Rhyl Pavilion; the big advert above is dated 1953. Circus promoter Captain Albert Prince-Cox, also ran aqua shows at the Open-Air Bathing Pool on the promenade.

A publicity photo of the company was an annual event. Lined up in the one above are clowns, acrobats, jugglers; the gentlemen with dinner jackets and bow ties are members of the orchestra. At the circus you could have seen performing dogs, lions and leopards, monkeys, horses and ponies, and if you were lucky an elephant who never forgot you.

Lots of info and pictures from the Pavilion’s circus can be found in book ‘The Spirit Of Rhyl’ by Bill Ellis.

As members of an audience we saw nothing wrong about keeping animals in captivity for our entertainment, but then we saw nothing wrong in blacked-up minstrel shows and women’s beauty contests either. Times change, society develops, we move on.

FRI 3rd MAR 2017 UPDATE: This newspaper cutting is dated 1957 and may be from Manchester Evening News. It shows Candy Ranga the circus elephant on the prom with minder Felicity Butcher.

MON 8th MAY 2017 UPDATE: Just arrived here at Jones Towers - the circus ensemble of 1958. In front row are The Digger Pugh Girls and in the row behind them, centre with cigar, is Captain Prince-Cox himself:

Prince-Cox, Digger Pugh Girls


WED 25th APR 2018 UPDATE: Rare pic showing one of the speciality acts at the Pavilion, Trio Hazmas from Sweden.