Saturday, 31 October 2009


Further to the post BIG GAME (Sunday, 11 July 2009) which was about Geoff Banks and his brother Glyn in 1950s on the seafront in Rhyl, sitting on what appeared to be a stuffed tiger (I can’t believe I’m writing this . . . ), here is another photo of the tiger.

The photo is from Ken Naughton of Weymouth who says, “My recollection is that the tiger was in West Parade between High Street and either Queen Street or Water Street. A note on the photo indicates 1954. That’s me in the picture, taking a day trip with family. We lived in Northop Hall, Flintshire; later on I lived in Rhyl from 1969-99 with an interval of about three years in the ‘70s.”

Speaking figuratively, Ken – and we speak figuratively a lot here in Rhyl – the noble tiger with its paw caught in a vicious trap, is reduced to being a target for kiddies’ firing practice. Behind the concept lies generations of empire triumphalism and blatant disregard for the value of wildlife.

The photo may provide some clues to help us determine exactly where the tiger was. Some of us will take no rest until we know. Meanwhile my thanks to Ken for sending the picture, and here’s hoping he’ll root around in Weymouth and see what other Rhyl goodies he can find.



Recently when writing about the Regal Cinema that used to be in High Street I referred to "a pleasant foyer”. Lo and behold, here is a picture of the very place from George Owen! Thank you, George.

The film in the advertisement is ‘Wanted: Jane Turner’ which starred Gloria Stuart and Lee Tracy, an American comedy-drama about a mail robbery. The film was released in USA in December 1936 and the Regal Cinema wasn’t opened until the following year, so I would guess that the foyer picture is from late 1937 or early ’38.


Friday, 30 October 2009


From Geoff Banks here are more 1960s photos from Little Theatre, Vale Road:

“The scene at the top has two actors that I don’t know on the left, then Joe Holroyd and Angela Day sitting. Then it’s my mother Iona Banks; she was born in 1920 in Trelogan and did a lot of TV drama from late 1970s to 1990. Far right is Thelma Gwilliam.

“The other production is Noel Coward’s ‘Blithe Spirit’; left to right are Iona and Angela as ghosts, next two I don’t know, and then Joe."

Thank you, Geoff. Keep 'em coming!


SUN 1st NOV 2009 UPDATE: Roger Hardwick has sent the following info: In the scene at the top, one of the actors that Geoff can't remember is David Williams. He did most of the painting and went on to work for Watts & Corry in Manchester who built the original sets for Coronation Street. David worked at Birmingham Rep from 1972 to when he retired in 2006.

Thank you, Roger!


Thursday, 29 October 2009


Royal Alexandra Hospital, Marine Drive, is a ‘community hospital’ offering a combination of non-surgical health care and social care. Like about a third of all community hospitals in the UK, the Alex has been under recurring threat of closure – as if people in authority have been itching to get rid.

The present threat is serious. Only one inpatient ward is functioning and that may close soon. We are told that the wards fail to conform with fire safety regulations. If this is true, the problem could be solved at a price. Recently the NHS found a lot of money to cover administrative costs of rolling all the North Wales NHS Trusts into one big ‘Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’.

If you wish to air your concerns about the Alex, you could contact Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Ysbyty Gwynedd, Penrhosgarnedd, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2PW, tel (01248) 384384.


SUN 29th NOV 2009 UPDATE
: Last week in Daily Post there were reports that a ward was still functioning and would not close on December 1st as scheduled. Campaigners have presented to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board a 500-signature petition to save the Alex's in-patient facilities.



toast rack
The black-and-white advert above is from Rhyl Urban District Council's tourist guide book of 1921. Rhyl & Potteries Motors/Primrose Motor Coaches were based at 14-15 West Parade on a corner of Queen Street, and they were operated partly by the Robins family. In 1933-34 on that site the family built their art deco style cafĂ© – now Les Harker’s Corner Cafe.

The larger of the two sepia images is from Rhyl History Club Community Archive and must have been taken in 1920s or very early ‘30s. It shows a group of passengers having the customary picture taken before a trip (all part of the service).

SAT 30th JAN 2016 UPDATE: Just arrived here at Jones Towers is the following image of a Primrose Motor Coaches trip to Dyserth Falls – with helpful note to the effect that Primrose coaches were yellow. Well I never, thanks Jimmy!

toast rack

MON 17th SEP 2018 UPDATE: Another gang of soon-to-be trippers outside the Rhyl & Potteries Motors booking office on corner of West Parade and Queen Street, circa 1930:


Wednesday, 28 October 2009


This Ysgol Llywelyn class photograph was supplied by Gaynor Williams. David Foulds had added the following information:
The picture was taken 1966/67 in Classroom 4. It was Mr. Gwynfor Jones’ class. He was the music teacher and went on to be the head of Ysgol Dewi Sant.

“In the front row far left is Gary Hulson whom I believe to be head teacher at the primary school in Dyserth; his father had a shop in Queens Street, Hulson's the Bakers. Next to him is Tommy Hughes, then David Roberts, then Glyn Hughes (who may also be a head teacher somewhere) and then me, David Foulds.

“To the right of me is Ian Jones, then Derek Oliver who if memory serves was a lifeguard at Rhyl Sun Centre and featured in one of their promotion photographs. The next chap I think is Gary Jones and next to him my best friend the late Gareth Williams (Gaynor’s son). My apologies go to the one far right for not remembering his name.

“In the second row from the front, second from the right is Amanda Kraus and third from right may be Linda Jones.

“In the third row from the front, fifth from the left is Christine Brookes and sixth is Julie Bell; second from the right is Elizabeth Davies. The rest I recognise but can not remember their names so again my apologies to them.

“Going to the back row. On the far left in a dark V-neck top is Martin Jones, next two I don’t know, fourth from the left is Keith Guy. Next to him moving right is Anthony Davies and then Barry Dale. Third from the right is Grenville Roberts who used to work at the sports centre at Rhyl High School and maybe still does. Second from the right is Keith Williams whose father was the caretaker at Rhyl High. Far right is Steven Hulse whose father was an architect.”

My thanks to David for that not inconsiderable feat of memory! Readers please send your Rhyl school pictures by email to:



Above is a photograph taken in Rhyl a couple of weeks ago. Where was I standing when I took the photo?

The answer will appear on this blog a week today, i.e. Wednesday 4th November 2009.



Last Wednesday I posted the photograph above (LEFT) and asked what the building is and where was I standing when I took the photo?

The answers are as follows: the building is the priest’s house (or manse) at Catholic parish church St Mary’s (Church of Our Lady of the Assumption) and I was standing in Ffynnongroew Road (Ffordd Ffynnongroyw).

The other picture shows the building as seen from the direction of Wellington Road. The house looks spacious but is often teeming with people and is a meeting place for community groups. The church's present incumbent is Father Charles Ramsay.

First correct answers came from Mr. Berwyn Jones of Rhyl. A non-Catholic! A Methodist, yet!

Well done, Berwyn.


Tuesday, 27 October 2009


Brig-y-Don GarageThis is further to the post WESTCLIFFE REMEMBERED (Sunday, 26 July 2009) which was about the Westcliffe Garage that used to be in Wellington Road on the site now occupied by Twiltex furniture shop.

Our correspondent John Jones, son of H.M. Jones who owned the Westcliffe, has sent this photo of Brig-y-Don Garage which was on the other side of the road. His father owned Brig-y-Don as well and operated it during World War 2 when the Army requisitioned the Westcliffe for military use. The name of the person in the picture is not known.

Brig-y-Don faced St. John’s Church; it had quite a small frontage but there was an enormous amount of space at the rear. The garage address was 149 Wellington Road (now R. Glyn Jones, Undertakers). These days to the left is the Sedgewick family’s shop named Select which is a very old building; my thanks to the family for their assistance with my enquiries.


Monday, 26 October 2009


Our first lifeboat was the Gwylan-y-Mor which was on station 1852-56, followed by Morgan until 1893, then Caroline Richardson (the first) until 1897 and then the one shown above, Caroline Richardson II, which served until 1939.

The larger picture above is from Rhyl History Club Community Archive and is wrongly dated 1890 (7 years before the boat went on service). Circa 1900 would be a better guess. The man standing on the boat is Joseph Hughes the coxswain who did the steering and was in charge of the crew from 1898 to 1921.

Joseph had six sons in the lifeboat service, too. They were fishermen deeply involved in maritime matters.


WED 1st MAR 2017 UPDATE: The photo below is circa 1920. It shows Caroline Richardson II outside the lifeboat house east of the pier. Caroline Richardson II and the lifeboat house both entered service in 1897.

That was our second lifeboat house. The first was a shed established in 1852 at the Foryd by the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society. Here is a picture of it from the book ‘Rhyl Lifeboats 1852-2002: 150 years of gallantry’ by Jeff Morris.

TUE 25th DEC 2018 UPDATE: Caroline Richardson II launch, the lifeboat is about to be uncoupled from horses that dragged it over the sands to the sea. This image is from a card postmarked 1907 - 



A Night At The Opera film movieIn last week’s local newspapers, reporter Martin Williams brought attention to a plan for a new hotel in Rhyl. A property investment company based in Northern Ireland wants to build a two storey block comprising 54 bedrooms, adjacent to our White Rose Centre which they already own.

The project is described as a £4 million hotel; there is no indication of how much grant aid the company would require. Chris Ruane MP, who in the past has sneered at the tourism industry for creating only low-paid seasonal jobs, has declared himself to be in favour of the plan and has described it as exactly what Rhyl needs.

Yours Truly, who has always supported the tourism industry, has one or two doubts. Many of the hotels that we used to have were forced by circumstances to go residential; a number of these spiralled downmarket and gave the town social problems, grief and a bad image. The new hotel could be a slum of the future.

I would rather see £4 million put into de-residentialising existing hotels and helping them to move upmarket. Failing that, OK let's have a new hotel or two.


Sunday, 25 October 2009


Football in Rhyl dates back to the 1870s. Rhyl F.C. was formed in 1882 but changed name from time to time. In 1893 the team became Rhyl Athletic and was a founder member of the North Wales Coast League, winning the title in 1894-95.

That league disbanded at the end of 1910-11 season. The team joined a new league and operated with the new name Rhyl United for a while before becoming Rhyl Athletic again a few years later. This picture from 1926-27 season (in which the team topped the Welsh League) was provided by Dave Williams.



Football, soccerDiana Jones (was Roberts) has been researching her family history and discovered that an ancestor William Roberts, pictured above, was a soccer player of note.

He was born in Rhyl in 1863 and played for Rhyl from 1880 to 1885 including in a Wales v England match in 1883. William was a captain of the Rhyl club and the town’s first international player. He was a butcher by trade and moved eventually to Manchester and played for Manchester Welsh 1885-91.

William was the youngest brother of butcher E.P Roberts who had a High Street shop and a stall in the market that used to be in the square behind the Town Hall. The High Street shop was on the site of the present Cooltrader frozen-foods place near Jobcentre.

To round off a good story, Diana has supplied the above photos of the old shop and that end of High Street as it would have looked in William’s time.

The High Street photo includes Free Trade Hall on your left, and Gwalia Stores at No.37 on your right.

SAT 21st OCT 2017 UPDATE: Here is an alternative view of High Street from Alexandra Bridge (Vale Road Bridge) with Alexandra Hotel on left. This is a card from E.M.B to Miss Roberts of 63 Erddig Road, Wrexham, mainly in French language.

The card is captioned Polkinghorne's Series Rhyl. J.D. (Jay) Polkinghorne was a Publicity Officer for Rhyl Urban District Council.



Vanessa Boyes, in glorious colour above, has sent a black-and-white picture which seems to show a late-1940s or 1950s Rhyl Conservative Club snooker team. In the front row, far left is Vanessa's grandfather Les Purcell, and at the opposite end of that row is Norman Perry. Can anyone help to identify the remainder of these gentlemen? Please send email:


MON 26th OCT 2009 UPDATE: Thanks to George Owen for sending the following info: "Front row fourth from left in dark suit is Steve Roose, a quiet unassuming man who was for quite a number of years the finest snooker player in the locality and regularly scored large breaks. I remember him playing at the Labour and Victory Clubs. Back row far right is Les Tooby who always played for the Cons and was also a stalwart of the local bowls teams for many years."

FRI 19th FEB 2016 UPDATE: Carole Deuitch of Canada (was Carole Harrison of Rhyl) writes: “In the top picture the man in the front row, to your left of the shield, is Fred Buchanan. He has a huge big grin, looks really happy with winning the shield. He was a next door neighbour to my parents in Rhyl when they lived on Trehearn Drive.”


Saturday, 24 October 2009


This is our first Rhyl Rose Day post.

Whereas May Day started the summer season and May Queens wore white dresses, Rose Day came at the end of the season (August) and Rose Queens wore pink dresses.

Info about Rose Day is proving a little difficult to obtain at present. The event may or may not have been rooted in Alexandra Rose Day a charity fundraising event established in 1912; no one seems sure. A person closely involved with May Day and Rose Day in Rhyl was Madame Lewis who ran a school of dancing (and singing) in Mount Road, off Grange Road.

In the 1950s - and probably quite early in that decade – Rose Day seems to have fallen by the wayside. To keep us mindful of the event until further info comes to hand, here is Rose Queen Miranda 1950. The larger picture is from Rhyl History Club Community Archive.



This is our first Rhyl golfing picture. It was provided by Peter Trehearn and shows his grandfather P.T. Trehearn taking a swipe in a manner rather like a new club captain would tee off, but records show that he never held the position of captain.

Chances are that the photo dates from 1947-48 when Peter’s ‘other’ grandfather, C.W. ‘Bernard’ Bestwick was captain. P.T. may have been covering for C.W.’s absence at a special event, which might have been a match in tribute to Dai Rees.

Dai Rees (David James Rees, CBE) from South Wales was one of Britain’s leading tournament golfers in the 1930s and ‘40s.


Friday, 23 October 2009


Chapel Church MosqueIn previous posts on this blog there are photographs of the Roman Catholic Church in Wellington Road, St Thomas’ in Russell Road,
Soar Chapel in Sisson Street and Baptist Church in Sussex Street.

Pictured above are other places of worship photographed this year. Your crafty blogger has brushed out some identifying signs. Just for your own amusement see if you can match the pictures to names:

TYNEWYDD ROAD URC (Ambrose Evans Memorial Hall)


Thursday, 22 October 2009


Regal CinemaEarlier this month on this blog there was mention of the Regal Cinema, High Street. The colour photo above shows the site as it looks today with the Co-op on the left and Lloyds Pharmacy right. The Regal opened in 1937 and was owned by Rhyl Entertainments Limited, the company that owned already the Queens Theatre & Ballroom, Plaza Cinema and Cinema Royal.

Architecturally the Regal had one or two nice touches including the exterior details shown above. It also had a pleasant foyer and usually there was a doorman. The Regal was equipped for technological changes in the business in 1940s and ‘50s (colour, widescreen etc) but by the end of the ‘50s television had become so accessible and fashionable that the end was nigh for a lot of cinemas.

The photograph above (CENTRE) is from the collection of Rhyl Library.

SUN 15th OCT 2017 UPDATE: A few weeks ago the Co-op premises shown above changed to a British Heart Foundation Cymru (charity) shop. The photo below was taken today by Yours Truly.

The phrase Siop Nwyddau'r Cartref translates as household goods shop. The stock includes large items of furniture.


FRI 27th OCT 2017 UPDATE: Today it has been reported that Lloyds Pharmacy, 103-105 High Street, to your right of British Heart Foundation, is closing down. See story by Owen Hughes in Daily Post:

There is a smaller branch of Lloyds Pharmacy at Clarence Medical Centre, No.1 West Kinmel Street. Tel: (01745) 353343.



film movie advert posterThe Regal photograph in the previous post would be from about 1950; just about discernible are posters for films that were first released in USA in 1949: ‘Bride of Vengeance’ and ‘Streets Of Laredo’. Pictured above, working in the projection room a little later, is young Wally Wright. Wally is alive and well in War Memorial Court, Grange Road, and he is still a fan of films of that particular period.

The Regal closed in December 1962, narrowly failing to complete a quarter of a century. Many picture houses in UK closed in 1960s or were converted to Bingo. The fortunes of the cinema industry have risen and fallen a few times since then. Rhyl’s present cinema, part of the Apollo chain, is on the promenade between the Children’s Village and Skytower.



World War 2, World War Two, Second World WarHere in 1941, during World War 2, are girls in the lifesaving team at Glyndwr School, Rhyl.

Left to right:

The back four: Kathleen Winterbottom, Dilys Evans, Dorothy Beech and Joyce Davies.
Middle row: Sheila Jackson, three not known, and Doreen Harris on the end.
Front row: Pat Smythe standing, Isobel Cowan, Thelma Cole, three not known, and Sheila Shardlow on the end.

The photo is from Rhyl History Club Community Archive.


Wednesday, 21 October 2009


football soccer teamFooty fan Dave Williams has sent loads info and photos relating to soccer in Rhyl. Above, in the first of his pictures, we have the Rhyl Church Guild 1905-06.

Hmmmm, a church football team. I wonder what the fans chanted.

Thanks Dave!



May QueenHere is a choice item for our May Day collection, courtesy of Diana Jones. It is a picture of Rhyl’s first May Day, 1891, when the May Queen was Miss Beta Barger (on your left in the smaller pic). Thank you, Diana.



This photograph was taken a couple of weeks ago in Rhyl by Yours Truly. The question is in two parts and you have to get both parts of the answer correct!

(a) What is the building shown in the photo?
(b) In what street was I standing when I took the photo?

The answers will appear on this blog a week today, i.e. Wednesday 28th October 2009.



Last Wednesday I posted the above pictures and asked:
Between what pair of streets does the alley on the left run?
Between what pair of streets does the alley on the right run?
[For a win you had to get both parts of the question right.]

Here are the answers:
The alley on your left is between Church Street and Bath Street; the building with a conical shape over a bay window is No.24 Bath Street. Quite a few readers got that correct.
The alley on your right is between Clwyd Street and Paradise Street; the building at the far end is No.4 Paradise Street. Nobody got that correct!