Thursday, 23 July 2015


Last week I accompanied my pal Janine Rees-Denman to Flintshire Record Office at Hawarden (Welsh: Penarlâg) where we deposited files belonging to her late father Glyn Rees who studied Rhyl history.

Pictured below with Janny is Flintshire’s Head Archivist Steven Davies, and on the table are some of Glyn’s files.

Flintshire Record Office, Hawarden

The documents inside the files are mainly photocopies of items from old Rhyl newspapers, every one meticulously inscribed on the back in pencil with the name of newspaper and publication date. 

Many files relate to entertainment: local theatre shows, exhibitions, public competitions such as beauty contests, and valuable information about early performers such as minstrels and pierrots.

There is a file about accidents at sea, and another about accidental deaths and crimes. One file is dedicated to the notorious serial offender in Victorian times in Rhyl, John Jones known as Jac y Bala or Jack y Bala.

Other files reflect the development of Rhyl in all sorts of ways. Plus there is a special set of files about a house named Dyffryn Aled in Llansannan and the Meyrick family who lived there. 

We had a lovely afternoon in Hawarden village – a place dripping with history – and it’s nice to know that Glyn’s collection rests where the public can see and enjoy it.

My best wishes to Janny, and to her husband Gareth who is not too well

at present, and to her sister Lynne In Scotland.


To the world I can report that, in Hawarden near Flintshire Record Office, the Gladstone Memorial Fountain still stands:

Even the village post office has a touch of history with its red phone box shown in this 2011 shot attributed to a photographer known mysteriously as Rept0n1x:

Here are a couple of Hawarden golden oldies to round off this post: a card of the village postmarked 1905, and a cigarette card of the castle from before we understood that having a smoking habit was a bad idea.

Click on any image to see a bigger version.
cigarette card

Colin Jones / email: