My 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.