Thursday, 30 April 2015


Not Roxy Music and Led Zeppelin, but two groups of people photographed in the 1970s. The photos are from the collection of Val Lovibond. Firstly, badminton players at Rhyl Leisure Centre, Grange Road:

Above: Of the people standing, Val is the 8th from the left (long dark hair, white top). Also in there are Iwan Dodd, Mary Nixon and Martin Foulkes. Who else?

Click on a picture to see a bigger version.

Below is a scene from a Confirmation event on Thursday 6th April 1972 at St. Thomas’ Church, Russell Road:

Val’s daughter Sharon is just about discernible, and one of the young men is Alan Evans. If you recognise anybody else please get in touch.

Colin Jones / email:

See my Rhyl videos on YouTube:
There are hundreds of Rhyl videos on YouTube. Only the ones labelled RhylTime are mine - don't blame me for the others!


Monday, 27 April 2015


Rhyl has never been a Welsh town. It was never a town at all until English people decided this would be a good place to build themselves a resort. At that time, local inhabitants were not many in number and were mostly uneducated manual labourers such as farm workers and fishermen - more likely to speak Welsh than English language.

A century later, as the 1800s turned into the 1900s still more than half the population of Rhyl were able to speak Welsh because they were workers and business people who moved here from other parts of the Vale of Clwyd as the town expanded.

These days around here the dominance of English language is such that many residents born in Rhyl district are unable to pronounce local place names properly because they have picked up incorrect versions directly or indirectly from incomers.

Being seven parts Welsh (and one-eighth Irish) I have tried to learn Welsh language three times and failed three times because of having no one with whom to practice. The third time, in desperation, I declared myself willing to marry any Welsh-speaking woman with nice legs.

The illustration is a 1960s postcard showing Rhyl's promenade clock tower in its original position with Punch and Judy on your right of it. Opposite is Woolworth now B&M, followed by a garage, then a white building which was the original Pier Hotel (formerly Belvoir Hotel) and then Westminster Hotel in pale green.



Today's Daily Post ran a story by Kelly Williams about possible closure of Denbighshire council’s Hafan Deg Day Centre, Rhyl, which is part of the development that replaced our demolished War Memorial Hospital in Grange Road.

This is not the first time Hafan Deg [= Fair Haven] has been threatened with the axe. Also, two other council-run day centres in the county are under review.

Elderly people can be very indoorsy and don’t necessarily want to go anywhere but those that do may have to be robbed of the choice. Let's be glad that we aren't the ones whose job is to sit in council meetings and decide where budget cuts must fall.


Sunday, 26 April 2015


Here is an undated image of Voryd Hotel, Rhyl. On its nearest corner are two street signs blanked out.  
The question: What are the two missing street/road/whatever names?

Have a look at this photo of a long alley on the eastern side of town. It was taken this month by Yours Truly.
The question: Where was I standing?

You need to get both answers right to score a win.

You have until the end of Saturday 2nd May 2015 to send your entry.
Second tries not accepted!
The result will be published on Sunday 3rd May 2015 around Midday.

Colin Jones / email:



Last Sunday I posted this nice old image of the prom, but how old is it?
The question was: Would the nearest date be 1890, 1900 or 1910?

The answer: 1910.
You could have arrived at that conclusion in more than one way. The biggest clue is that the Pavilion wasn’t there until 1908.

Also I posted a Rhyl scene, circa 1940.
The question was: What is the name of the avenue/road/street?

The answer: Tynewydd  Road.
Here is the full picture with the caption restored:

You needed to get both answers right to score a win, and the winners are Richard & Ceri Swinney, Jane Shuttle, Dorothy Jones, The Great Gareth.

In this new series of the quiz, nobody has scored ten wins yet so there is still time for new players to catch up!

WED 17th MAY 2017 UPDATE: In the image of the prom you can see on your right the Boer War (aka South African War) Memorial Statue that now stands in our Garden of Remembrance. Here is a closer view.

WED 28th JUN 2017 UPDATE: The soldiers sent to fight in this war were volunteers. Lots of men from Rhyl district offered their services; only eleven were accepted initially. They are listed in 'Rhyl And Roundabout' by J.W. Jones as:
Hugh Hughes, E.G. Jones, John Ellis, Norman Roberts, Vernon Jones, Hugh Wynne, Tudor Ffoulkes Hughes, Hugh O. Hughes, Roger W. Jones, Griffith Evans and Joseph Jones (the author's father). 
They appear in this portrait by Rhyl photographer Wills Jones.

Family history fans who can match names to faces, please get in touch.
Colin Jones /

SUN 9th JUL 2017 UPDATE: David Hughes writes to say that his grandfather, Hugh Owen Hughes, is far right in back row in the picture above and picture below which was taken a week later in Wrexham.

HOH’s medal and pith helmet are in the museum at Rhyl Library:

Thanks, David!


Friday, 24 April 2015


Q: What brings people to Rhyl? A: Sunshine. When the sun comes out, people come in from the holiday camps and down from the villages into Rhyl town centre and onto the seafront.

The general street market that departed recently from High Street would have brought no more shoppers than it deterred. Personally, I tended to avoid it. [The original proposal had been for a specialised local produce and local arts & crafts market.]

Now there is a new proposal to introduce stalls into Market Street which bears that name not because the street used to be a market place but because in Victorian times it was the way from High Street to a Market Hall at back of the Town Hall.

Having stalls at back of the Town Hall, in Town Hall Square (pictured above), is also part of the new proposal. Three or four years ago that was tried but eventually the stalls were denied access. We seem to be going round in circles.

A moving force behind the new proposal is Raymond Worsnop who has shown such determination to squeeze money out of Rhyl in various ways that he been likened to Aunty Wainwright in Last Of The Summer Wine.

Mr. Worsnop’s company, Community Events And Market, was registered at his home address in Marine Drive. According to Companies House, the company began life in 2011 as Rhyl Community Events And Market, and in 2013 the word Rhyl was dropped from its name.

In February 2014 the company was dissolved.


Colin Jones / email:

See my Rhyl videos on YouTube:
There are hundreds of Rhyl videos on YouTube. Only the ones labelled RhylTime are mine - don't blame me for the others!


Thursday, 23 April 2015


This photo was taken in April this year by Yours Truly from near the Sun Centre showing the scene across the road. The beige-and-cream house at the end of a row was once St Thomas's College, 8 Plastirion Terrace. The 1881 Census shows that David Beatty aged 10, and his brother Charlie aged 11 were scholars there.

David Beatty is a figure of special interest to John Williams of Rhyl Liberty Players who is in the foreground wearing black hat and coat. The link between David and John is through John’s mother Cicely Muriel Beatty. David Beatty's father and Cicily's father were brothers.

David was in the school in Rhyl for a couple of years before moving on to naval academy and embarking on an extraordinary career in the Royal Navy that turned him into the formidable character below, Admiral of the Fleet David Richard Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty GCB, OM, GCVO, DSO, PC.

An account of his adventures can be found on Wikipedia:,_1st_Earl_Beatty

At the time of uploading this post, there is nothing on Internet about the surprising Beatty-Rhyl connection, so we have a scoop here!


Incidentally the aforementioned John Williams, pictured below, is still hoping somebody will tell us why the Rhyl streets Patagonia Avenue and Madryn Avenue are named after places in Argentina.

MON 17th APR 2015 UPDATE: Gareth Morris writes, “Patagonia had a large population of Welsh speakers who emigrated from Wales in the 1860s. Since then there have been many exchanges in both directions including their visit in 1953 to the National Eisteddfod in Rhyl. The streets in question were built in the mid 1950s and may have been named to commemorate that visit."

SAT 9th MAY 2015 UPDATE: Returning to the matter of St. Thomas's College, Rhyl, here from files of the late Glyn Rees is an advert from Rhyl Journal, June 23rd 1883.
Click on it to read the small print: 


Monday, 20 April 2015


More files of the late Glyn Rees were delivered last week to Jones Towers by Glyn's daughter Janine and her husband Gareth. Here from one of them is an advert dated 1879 for D. Trehearn, stationer and music publisher at Stationers' Hall, 165 and 166 Wellington Road, Rhyl.

Currently Wellington Road has low numbers near High Street, but at that time it was numbered the other way round. So the position of the building in the advert is where Typhoon Thai Restaurant and Better Buys are in the two photos below:

Birmingham Arms

Glyn's notes say that to the left (west) of D. Trehearn's shop was the Birmingham Arms pub. J.W. Jones' book Rhyl The Town And Its People confirms that the pub was indeed located where P.A. Thomas & Son is shown above.

Peter says:
"D. (David) Trehearn was an uncle of my grandfather P.T. (Phil) Trehearn. David was a chapel organist and first publisher of many Welsh songs, a buyer and seller of Rhyl properties, and a commissioner - a kind of councillor before councils were invented."


Some of my old blog posts have become corrupted and one has been lost. It contained three convent school photos from Diana Davies (was Diana Nicholas) who lives in Canada. 
Fortunately the missing pictures are included in slideshows on my YouTube channel. If you wish to see the slideshows please click on the links below. 

St Mary's Convent School, Rhyl:

Convent School, Rhyl - more pix


MON 20th FEB 2017 UPDATE: Re David Trehearn, here is the inside back cover of his publication The Album Of Rhyl Views. The date is circa 1880 by which time the business was called Trehearn & Ainsworth (still at same address).
For ‘leaving Photographers’ read ‘leading Photographers’:

David Trehearn

Interesting to note the existence of Trehearn’s Fine Art & Fancy Depot at 61 High Street presumably owned by David as well. The business would have been on part of the site where Poundland is now - unless the street has been renumbered since then!


Sunday, 19 April 2015


Above is a nice old image of the prom, but how old is it? 
The question: Would the nearest date be 1890, 1900 or 1910?

Below is a postcard of a Rhyl scene, circa 1940.
The question: What is the name of the avenue/road/street?


You need to get both answers right to score a win.

You have until the end of Saturday 25th April 2015 to send your entry.
Second tries not accepted!
The result will be published on Sunday 26th April 2015 around Midday.

Colin Jones / email:



Last Sunday I posted a larger version of the above photograph. The question: Where was I standing?
The answer: Y Lawnt also known as The Lawn (either name was acceptable).
I was standing in Y Lawnt looking across Russell Road towards Russell Court.
Also, I posted a larger version of the following  photo. The question: What is the name of the business underneath?

The answer: Jones & Redfearn.
Their office (estate agents) is at the town end of Russell Road:

Jones & Redfearn is one of those evocative Rhyl business names that sound like a comedy or ventriloquist act - such as Slater and Wheeler, and Rhydwen Jones & Davies.

You had to get both answers right to score a win, and the winners are: The Great Gareth, Jane Shuttle, Richard & Ceri Swinney, and Dorothy Jones.


Recently in this blog several old posts were updated. To see them, type 2015 UPDATE in the search box at top left of the page.

If you can’t see a search box it might be because you haven’t clicked away the Google banner about cookies.


Thursday, 16 April 2015


Here is a photograph of Eglwys Bresbyteraidd Cymru, Clwyd Street, Rhyl, taken this month by Yours Truly.

The following interior photos were taken last October by Dave Williams.
Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

Princes Street Chapel

ABOVE: The pews are of pitch pine and of the same length.
BELOW: World  War 1 memorial plaque.

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War

Quite a few Rhylites never will have seen pictures of the interior before. Interesting batch, thanks Dave!

Colin Jones / email:


Monday, 13 April 2015


This card is a reproduction of a poster. The card was published, probably in the 1980s, by Clwyd County Council. Last year while this blog was hibernating, there was a proposal to bring a hovercraft service back to Rhyl.

In 1962 during the hovercoach trials I was 16 years old and remember seeing crowds on the prom watching over the sea wall. I don’t remember actually seeing the craft myself – would have been in too much of a hurry to get round the arcades and down to the fun fair.

At 16, it is uncool to stand in a crowd gawping at something. Right?

The trials lasted only a few weeks, and the hovercoach ran only between Rhyl and the Wirral. Now, more than half a century later, given Rhyl's reduced status in the tourism industry, it seems doubtful that such a short route would be viable.

In Victorian times, steam ships operated between Liverpool, Mostyn, Rhyl and Llandudno; they were owned by private companies that survived on their own profits. These days transport companies expect huge subsidies from public bodies and would want a lot of money up front.

Not surprisingly, talks about the current proposal have stalled on the funding issue.

Meanwhile, there is a website that would tell you more about the 1962 trials than you ever wanted to know:

And there is a relevant British Pathé newsreel item on YouTube:


Sunday, 12 April 2015


The above photograph was taken on 1st April this year by Yours Truly.
The question: Where was I standing?

The photo below was taken on 1st February this year by Yours Truly.
The question: What is the name of the town centre business underneath?


You need to get both answers right to score a win.

You have until the end of Saturday 18th April 2015 to send your entry.
Second tries not accepted!
The result will be published on Sunday 19th April 2015 around Midday.

Colin Jones / email:



Esplanade Restaurant

Last Sunday I posted a larger version of the above picture. [It is a snapshot by the late Glyn Rees.]

Near the roof of the white building, is the word ‘Restaurant’. The first part of the name is round the corner and is broken.
The question: What was the restaurant’s name (a nine-letter word)?

The answer: Esplanade.
The ADE part was visible until recently when the building was demolished to make way for a forthcoming hotel.
The Esplanade Restaurant was one of several upstairs cafés that offered a panoramic view of the seafront.

The winners: Dorothy Jones, Richard & Ceri Swinney, Dilys Bagnall, Sue Handley and Jane Shuttle.
Jane has edged into an overall lead with 7 wins.


[These names of businesses are added here for indexing purposes: Karma, Billy's Sports Bar, Honey Club.]


Thursday, 9 April 2015


Here are photographs from Val Lovibond's album of Arcville College, Rhyl, dated April 1951. 

Above: Outside the school's front door are, left to right, in the back row: Mrs. Fletcher and Miss Pink; in the front row: Mrs. Lewis, Mrs. Pearson the proprietor, and Mrs. Williams.

Below (upper picture): 11-year olds with Mrs. Williams. In the all-girls line of pupils standing, Val is sixth from the left.
In the mix are Michael Webber, Peter Fardoe, Heather Stamford, Chico Owen and Moira Jones.

Above (lower picture): Mrs. Williams' Maths Class. Note the serious looks.

Below (upper picture): Mrs. Fletcher's Art Class.
Below (lower picture): Mrs. Fletcher's Gymnastic Class with hanging boys.

The Arcville building, 87 Russell Road, is now Dolanog care home as shown below, photographed yesterday by Yours Truly. 

Arcville College

I would like to know how the school got the name Arcville. There is an Arcville Playgroup at Tynewydd Church, but I have never seen the name used anywhere outside Rhyl. 

Colin Jones / email:


Tuesday, 7 April 2015


Here are two more to add to the strength of Marine Lake miniature railway images on this blog. 

Click on a picture to see a bigger version.

What strikes me about the lower image is the foliage. At the end of 1990s during the Marine Lake development, I pointed out to a Denbighshire county council officer that the work was destroying the heritage value of the park. He replied, “It’s not a park, it’s water.”

Colin Jones / email:

See my Rhyl videos on YouTube:
There are hundreds of Rhyl videos on YouTube. Only the ones labelled RhylTime are mine - don't blame me for the others!


Monday, 6 April 2015


For no reason other than I thought you might like them, here are a couple of old railway posters:


Sunday, 5 April 2015


The answer to last week's quiz question was published accidentally three hours before the competition closed. My apologies if any players were caught short!

Now, the photo above was taken in 2008. Near the roof of the white building you will see the word ‘Restaurant’. The first part of the name is round the corner and is broken.

The question: What was the restaurant’s name? If it had more than one name, the one I am looking for is a nine-letter word.

You have until the end of Saturday 11th April 2015 to send your entry.
The result will be published on Sunday 12th April 2015 around Midday.

New players are always welcome. So far in this new series of the quiz nobody has scored more than six wins, so there is everything to play for!

Colin Jones / email:


Saturday, 4 April 2015


Last Sunday I posted the above and said: Here is a Rhyl scene photographed in March 2015 by Yours Truly.

The question: What is the name of the turning in which I was standing?

The answer: Lon Hafren.
(The o has a roof over it but you can’t type that. Lon Hafren is off Ffordd Elan, not far from a little group of businesses including dentists at Oasis Dental Care where I was delighted to find a notice on the door saying Open Wide.)

That’s a win for Jane Shuttle, The Great Gareth, Sue Handley and for Richard & Ceri Swinney.
In addition there were a couple of wrong answers. Doesn’t matter, it’s only a bit of fun. Keep trying!



Sorry to read that Aubrey Phillips passed away on March 11th at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. I first met him in the very early 1960s when he was my school bus driver. Aubrey ran a fleet of rickety coaches from the car park next to his Riverside Café in Rhuddlan.

Aubrey was an impresario who loved to put on shows. His pantomimes were funny and often produced on a shoestring; they had to be seen to be believed. I was in one of them up in Gateshead with veteran comedian Sandy Powell. My life in showbiz is a story waiting to be told.

Aubrey was a good on-stage performer with a clear, booming voice, and he was a great audience. If Aubrey heard something that amused him, he would let out a sudden, single hoot of a laugh, loud enough to echo round any auditorium.

I remember visiting him in the late 1990s when he was running Rhyl's Coliseum Theatre on the prom. It was a warm day and there were drunks sitting outside with their backs against the theatre wall.

Aubrey didn’t shout and curse at them, he took a hosepipe and started washing everything down in a choreographed way like a piece of on-stage business, inching ever nearer to them until they got up and walked away. ‘Never fails,’ he chuckled.

Goodbye Aubrey old chap, we never really had a stage big enough for you.

MON 10th DEC 2018 UPDATE: Memorabilia from Aubrey Phillips' days as lessee of the Gaiety Theatre, Rhyl (formerly Pier Amphitheatre where Billie Manders' Quaintesques held forth for decades):


Dates of posters (top to bottom):
1975; 1976; 1981; 1984.

Among names on the posters:
Philip Bernard, Dave Peters comedian, Vivien Day, Paul Sheppard, The Gaiety Girls, Bill Williams, Colin Beach, Michael Swann and his Music, John Yates, Jim(my) Darbyshire, Joe Holroyd, Aubrey Phillips.
Johnny Dallas.
Syd Jackson and Dick Collins, Michael Fraser, Alex Ward, Debbie Young,Stewart Suthurst, Mark Smee musical director.
Shep's Banjo Boys, Foo Foo Lammar, Steve King as Al Jolson, Jim Bowen of TV's Bullseye.

Some other refs:
The Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe one day pantomime, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs pantomime, Wrestling.