Tuesday, 24 November 2009


Rhyl Pavilion opened in 1908 with an orchestra in residence. The Rhyl History Club Community Archive photograph above (TOP) shows the orchestra in 1910. Players would have been high calibre and adaptable enough to produce a wide variety of styles, but chances are they had to stick to classical, romantic and light music, and not play anything 'vulgar' like popular dance music.

The Pavilion’s music and entertainment policies moved with the times – perhaps about a mile behind – and in the early 1930s the building was converted into a theatre with ballroom and cabaret. The ballroom did not lure too many dancers away from Queens in West Parade, nevertheless it was a handy venue for local song and dance acts and visiting dance bands.

The advert above is from the official tourist guide book of 1948 and it shows how the ballroom (the floral ballroom if you don’t mind) had become an attraction in its own right. Within a decade though, public tastes would start to shift slowly away from glamorous ballrooms and formal dancing. The writing was on the wall, and the kid holding the chalk was a bad lad called rock ‘n’ roll.


These references are noted here for indexing purposes: Eric Easton, Nat Gonella, Jazz.]