Thursday, 27 August 2015


book booklet

Published this year and definitely worth a fiver is the slim paperback titled ‘A Victorian Tour of North Wales: Rhyl to Llandudno’.

The author Andrew Gill says, “This booklet reproduces relevant parts of Black’s Guide, published in 1897, and thirty five photographs, most of which were taken between 1880 and 1920, owned by the Keasbury-Gordon Photograph Archive.”

The text describes Rhyl as the Margate of North Wales and refers to our broad sands and safe bathing and remarkably favourable winter climate. The description of Rhyl includes a reference to the unbeautiful Pavilion. That would have been the Grand Pavilion concert hall at the shore end of the pier.

The book refers to Rhyl having an Operetta House which I take to be Lyric Hall in Market Street. Lyric Hall became Central Hall where Mr. Cheetham had his Silvograph Cinema. The building is the row of shops between Wilkinsons and The Lorne. The 'Hall' part was upstairs.

The Rhyl chapter is not very long and there are only four old photos – fascinating nevertheless. From there we go to Rhuddlan, Dyserth, St. Asaph and other places in the Vale of Clwyd.

Next town to get a substantial share of the book is Colwyn Bay. The front cover photo of a fisherman and his friend was taken in Colwyn Bay.

Llandudno gets the biggest chapter and then there is a Victorian guide to the Welsh alphabet and a glossary of some Welsh terms. What’s more, the author has produced a companion volume titled ‘A Victorian Tour Of North Wales: Conwy to Caernarfon via Anglesey’.


Mr. Gill has similar publications about other parts of UK. See this list: