Saturday, 26 September 2009


Cyril Henley, originator of Rhyl’s promenade skating rink, and his son Terry are deceased. This week on Thursday I had the pleasure of visiting Cyril’s other son, Mr. Robert (Bobby) Henley at his home in the west end of Rhyl. On the eve of his 74th birthday he looked extremely fit due to daily exercising and swimming. Bob became a roller skater of International class. After the promenade rink closed he taught skating in Rhyl High School's gymnasium for a few years.

"On the prom in the 1950s and ‘60s we were skating from 10am to 9pm," says Bob. "We had a lot of teams and put on shows and special events that drew big crowds; on some days we had as many as 1600 people there – more than at the shows in the Pavilion and the Open-Air Bathing Pool. Skating was hugely popular.”

The pictures above are from Bob’s collection.

The one at the top shows ‘The Shirley Five'. Left to right: Ann Elliott, Audrey Davies, Shirley Jones (leader), Muriel Mee and Gaynor Jones.

The other picture was taken on a Rhyl team visit to Herne Bay circa 1951.
Left to right:
Back row: Gaynor Williams (later Bellis), Eileen Garnett, Gillian Parry, Muriel Mee again (now Jones) and Gaynor Jones again (now Williams).
Front row: the late Audrey Davies, the late Shirley Jones (leader), Pat Barclay (now Wilkinson) and Ann Elliott (now Taylor).


SUN 22nd NOV 2015 UPDATE: Sorry to say Bob Henley passed away on 13th November 2015 at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, aged 80. I am grateful to Dilys Bagnall for letting me know.