Monday, 3 May 2010


Abbey Street, Aquarium StreetMy mother, who passed away some years ago, was born in Bedford Street, Rhyl, in 1916. She used to say that the family shopped in Abbey Street. “We hardly ever had to go to High Street for anything,” she said. “There was every kind of shop you could think of in Abbey Street.”

Pictured above in black-and-white was one of them, a branch of E.B. Jones & Co. Ltd (a North Wales chain of grocery and general stores). The picture, from the collection of Mrs. A.M. Kerfoot Hughes, was used in Trefor Thompson’s book ‘Old Rhyl’ published in 1982.

The colour photo shows the same corner as it looks today. It has been like that for a long time. Millions of pounds of grant aid have rolled into Rhyl but Abbey Street, which is off the seafront, has been allowed to remain the ugliest street in the resort.

It is almost as if the status quo is being preserved there for political reasons, perhaps to attract more grant aid. As you cross over from Drift Park and walk down Abbey Street the contrast is shocking and depressing. I suspect that the residents are being kept in unnecessary squalor.

SUN 11th JUN 2017 UPDATE: Here is a very faded picture of the Abbey Street-Aquarium Street corner when it was Wood, Son & Co., Grocers. The address was No.23 Abbey Street at that time. Later renumbering turned the building into No.38.

Abbey Street, Aquarium Street

MON 11 SEP 2017 UPDATE: During World War 2, No.38 was the headquarters of Rhyl Air Raid Precautions (ARP) which was dedicated to protection of civilians from the danger of air raids. You know, "Put that light out!"
The local council was responsible for ARP wardens, messengers, rescue parties and liaison with police and fire brigades. In Rhyl the ARP had its own ambulance.
You can read about the ARP organisation in general in Wikipedia: