Friday, 16 October 2009


This is an attempt to compile a complete list of books about Rhyl. If you know a book that ought to be here and isn’t, please send details by email:

Recommended bookseller Dafydd Timothy:


Ball, D.F. The Soils And Land Use Of The District Around Rhyl And Denbigh (published 1960). An Agricultural Research Council/HMSO publication.

Berry, David. Wales And Cinema: the first hundred years (published 1994). Comprehensive survey with notes and index. The chapter on Arthur Cheetham has film stills and a picture of Rhyl cinema ‘The Silvograph’.

Clarke, Stephen. Ocean Beach Rhyl (published 2014). Black-and-white photographs of the fun fair. Limited edition of 150.

Clarke, Stephen. Rhyl Seafront (published 2015). Black-and-white photos of the prom and West Parade. Limited edition of 150.

Connolly, Andrew. Life In The Victorian Brickyards Of Flintshire And Denbighshire (published 2003).

Conway, Ambrose. The Reso (published 2007), Beyond The Reso (2009), and Resolution (2011). Trilogy about growing up on a Rhyl council house estate 1960s-1980s. The books are available separately.

Cornish, Tony & James K. Plant. Rhyl: a photographic history of your town (published 2002 exclusively for W.H. Smith Ltd). Pictures from the Francis Frith Collection.

Culwick, Colin. Oh! I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside: memories of Rhyl (published c.1990).

Davis, William. Handbook For The Vale Of Clwyd (published 1852, reprinted 1988). A substantial source of information about Rhyl in the early 19th century.

Denbighshire Record Office. Archive Photographs Series: Sir Ddinbych / Denbighshire (published 1996). Rhyl is well featured in this miscellany.

Drew, Malcolm. E.H. Williams' Merrie Men Of Rhyl: A Minstrel Troupe. This is a book in Kindle format downloadable from Amazon (made available 2015).

Easdown, Martin & Darlah Thomas. Piers Of Wales (published 2010). This has a 20 page section about Rhyl's pier also information about other piers nearby.

Ellis Bill. The Spirit Of Rhyl (published 2004). Photo book by one of Rhyl’s acknowledged experts.

Ellis, Bill. Entertainment In Rhyl And North Wales (1997) includes interesting coverage of minstrels and other early entertainers.

Ellis, Bill. Seaside Entertainment In Old Photographs: Rhyl & North Wales 1868-1968 (1995).

Ellis, Bill and Frank P. Selby. Rhyl In Old Picture Postcards (1987).

Fletcher, Allan. Rhyl - The Evolution Of A Resort (published 1992). Flintshire Historical Society Journal Vol.33. Scholarly essay on period up to 1870s, lots of facts and figures.

Flintshire Record Office. Archive Photographs Series: Sir Fflint / Flintshire (published 1996). Has a chapter on Rhyl because the town was part of Flintshire until mid 1970s.

Gill, Andrew. A Victorian Tour Of Wales; Rhyl to Llandudno (published 2015). Relevant parts of Black’s Guide, published in 1897, and thirty five photographs, most of which were taken between 1880 and 1920.

Goodall, Stephen P. Vale Of Clwyd Railway: Rhyl To Denbigh (published 1992). Illustrated. Not sure whether there is an index.

Griffiths, J.H. Parish Of Rhyl: a brief history of the parish and the parish church (published 1999). Development of the town from an ecclesiastical point of view, with illustrations.

Griffiths, Robert H. The story of Kinmel Park military training camp 1914-1918 (published 2014).

Harris, D.W. Maritime History Of Rhyl And Rhuddlan (published 1991). Foryd Harbour, good coverage of the lifeboat ‘Morgan’ and Victoria Pier. Useful survey, with index.

Healy, H. Desmond. Y Rhyl A'r Cyffiniau -Bro'r Eisteddfod (published 1985). Cymraeg/Welsh language.

Hornsey, BrianCinemas Of North Wales (published 1996). More than 10 pages about Rhyl. Illustrated.

Howe, Marjorie. Old Rhyl - From 1850s To 1910 (published 2000). Reprint of Mrs. Howe’s ‘The Commissioners Of Rhyl: the men who made the town’. This edition has pictures from the Harry Thomas Collection and an index.

Howe, Marjorie. The Hinterland Of Rhyl (c.1991). Places of interest in the surrounding area.

Hughes, Eric. Rhyl At The Fun Fair (published 2000). A history of Marine Lake and Ocean Beach fun fairs, with illustrations and index.

Hywel, William. Modest Millionaire: the biography of Captain Vivian Hewitt (published 1973).

Jones, Colin. Rhyl Holiday History c.1800-2000 (revised edition published 2005). Essays with index.

Jones, Colin. Rhyl Music In The Ritz Years 1955-1968 (published 2004) illustrated, with index.

Jones, Colin. Rhyl In The Second World War (2003) illustrated, with index.

Jones, Colin. Rhyl’s Grand Pavilion 1891-1901 (2002) illustrated, with index.

Jones, Ivor Wynne. Luftwaffe Over Clwyd: air war over Denbighshire and Flintshire 1939-45. Denbighshire Historical Society.

Jones, Ivor Wynne. Shipwrecks Of North Wales (first published 1973). Includes a chapter on Liverpool Bay and wrecks near Rhyl including the Victorian submarine Resurgam.

Jones, J.W. Rhyl The Town And Its People (published 1970). Indispensable articles about holiday Rhyl and municipal Rhyl, with chronology and a section of photographs.

Jones, J.W. Rhyl And Round About (1976). Indispensable collection of his pieces for Rhyl Journal, with updated chronology and more photographs.

Jones, Malcolm. When The Sea Came By: the story of a flooded coast (published 1992). A chronicle of the North Wales disaster of 1990 and its aftermath, illustrated.

Jones, Malcolm. Norman And The Seagull (1986). Children’s story set in Rhyl with illustrations by Jim Taylor.

Lloyd, Philip. Glorious Rhyl: a peep at its past (published 2002). Authoritative, multi-faceted work with drawings, reproductions of lantern-slides, prints and photographs.

Lloyd, Philip. Silvograph, Arthur Cheetham 1865-1937, pioneer film maker (2018). Illustrated.

Longfield, P.G.C. A Trip Round The Bay - recollections of pleasure boats at Rhyl 1936-1967 (published 2011). Illustrated.

Louis, M. Sketches Of A Tour In Wales (published 1839). Interesting comments on very early Rhyl.

Mate’s Illustrated Guide. Rhyl And Its Environs (published 1902, reprinted 1974). A substantial source of information about Rhyl in the late 19th century.

Morris, Jeff. Rhyl Lifeboats 1852-2002: 150 years of gallantry (published 2002). Reprint of ‘The Story of the Rhyl Lifeboats’ updated to opening of new lifeboat house in 2002, with illustrations.

Nedd, Kathryn. White Socks And A Walking Stick (published privately 2017 / 2nd ed. 2018). Biography of Albert Barnes, creator of Marine Lake Fun Fair & Ocean Beach Fun Fair, with illustrations.

Olygiaeth, O. Dan & E. Vincent Evans. Cofnodion a Chyfansoddiadau Eisteddfod Genedlaethol, 1892 - Rhyl (reproduction published 2009). Cymraeg/Welsh language

Owen, Linda. So What’s So Special About Bodfor Street? (published 1999). A well researched focus on one Rhyl town centre street from 1850 onwards, with illustrations.

Porrino, Darryl. Rhyl Lads In Foreign Fields: Rhyl's Great War (published 2014). Research based on the war memorial in our Garden of Remembrance on the prom.

Putkowski, Julian. The Kinmel Park Camp Riots 1919 (published 1989). Highly detailed research, with illustrations.

Redfern, P. (Ed.). North Wales Today - the book of the Co-operative Congress at Rhyl 1934 (published 1934). Much more about Co-operative Movement than about Rhyl.

Roberts, R. Fred. Birth of Kinmel Bay (a lecture). Published by Clwyd County Council, 1989.

Samuel, Judith. The 'City Of Ottawa': the story of a sailing ship (publ. 2012). The tale of the ship whose remains are embedded in Foryd Harbour, with notes and bibliography. Illustrated and indexed.

Slee, Leslie & Mary Owen. The Catholic Church In Rhyl 1854-2005 (published 2006) with illustrations.

Strahan, Aubrey. The Geology Of The Coasts Adjoining Rhyl, Abergele And Colwyn (published 1885).

Thomas, Harry. Memory Lane (Series) Vol.4 (published 2006), Vol.3 (2005), Vol.2 (2004), Vol.1 (2003). Pictures and stories from his weekly column in The Visitor newspaper.

Thomas, Harry. Rhyl: a portrait in old photographs and picture postcards (1991).

Thomas, Harry. Eisteddfodau Cenedlaethol Y Rhyl: treftadaeth werthfawr /Rhyl’s National Eisteddfods: a valuable heritage (1985) bilingual and with illustrations.

Thomas, Harry. Rhyl & Rhuddlan Days Of The Past (1985) illustrated.

Thompson, Dave. Images Of Wales: Rhyl (published 2006). Photos and captions.

Thompson, Trefor. Old Rhyl (published 1982). Mainly a photo book. Good coverage of Winter Gardens, abandoned plan for a promenade tramway, several theatres and Marine Lake.

Winterbottom, Derek. The Vale Of Clwyd: a short history (published 1982) illustrated and indexed.