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.