Saturday, 26 September 2009


Roller skating in Rhyl goes back at least as far the 1880s when it was a feature of the ill-fated Winter Gardens in Wellington Road. Later an indoor rink was created for a while in what had been the ballroom of the Queen’s Palace, West Parade, after the building was damaged by fire in 1907.

Before World War 2 there was a large skating rink on the south side of Wellington Road, quite far down towards Marine Lake; this one seems poorly documented – I have never seen a picture of it. The rink that is best remembered is the open-air one on the promenade in Pavilion Gardens opposite Water Street.

The rink on the prom was created in 1947-48 by Cyril Henley who is on the left in the picture above; he was running a rink for Herne Bay council in Kent and came here at the request of Rhyl council to establish one – and stayed to operate it. Cyril is pictured with his son Terry next to him, and his other son Bobby. Both boys looked after the place at various times. Terry was manager in 1991 when the rink closed to make way for new developments.