Thursday, 29 October 2015


One of the most popular subjects in this blog is the former St. Mary’s Convent, Russell Road, best remembered as a school for girls.

Recently five postcards turned up for sale in Belgium, posted from Rhyl by a Convent pupil whose handwriting is lovely except for her signature. Her name may be Jeanne.

She posted the cards in 1906 written in French language to her friend Mme. Suzette van Espen of Bruxelles / Brussells. The following images are derived from copies:

Click on any image to see a bigger version.

The original cards are in sepia tones. They are not in my ownership and may still be for sale.

It says a lot for the reputation of the Convent that a pupil should be sent such a long way to attend the school. Ex-Convent girls tell me it was a happy place to be.


Colin Jones / email:

See my Rhyl videos on YouTube:
Only the videos marked RhylTime are mine! 


Tuesday, 27 October 2015



Paddling is a handy compromise between trudging along the sands and diving into the briny! In Rhyl the edge of the sea is shallow and ideal for paddling. If ever there is a national convention of paddlers it should be held here.

The two cards above are circa 1904, and the one below is postmarked 1915. Even the fake colouring cannot detract from these scenes.

Click on any image to see a bigger version. 

Here are a couple more, in monochrome. The sepia picture seems marginally older than the black-and white; they are both late 1920s:  

sea paddling

Below: A blurry old snapshot  capturing the absurdity and joy of paddling. These are Sunday School girls from who-knows-where. On the back is the inscription "Rhyl, 15th July 1931".

Ah, the simple pleasures of life!


FRI 30th OCT 2015 UPDATE: A late addition to our paddling pix from Val Adams of Epworth Road. As with the first pair of cards above, this may not be a Rhyl scene – the same image could be used in many places with the name of resort changed to suit. Charming, none the less:

TUE 14th FEB 2017 UPDATE: Now for a couple more fine paddling pix. The black-and-white is from a glass negative dated 1910; the sepia-toned is a card postmarked 1915.


Sunday, 25 October 2015


Above are two old images of the same house. The one on your left would be probably late 1920s, the other is a card postmarked 1933.
The question: Where in Rhyl is this house?

Below is a detail from a photograph taken a couple of months ago by Yours Truly.
The question: Where in Rhyl is this corner post?

Here is a picture dated 1977 showing a bus in West Parade. In the background, on corner of Water Street, you can see a record shop.
The question: What is the name of the record shop?

So, three questions. Any two correct answers would score you 1 win. All three correct answers would score you 2 wins.

You have until the end of Saturday 31st Oct 2015 to send your entry.
Second tries not accepted.
The result will be published on Sunday 1st Nov 2015 around Midday.

Colin Jones / email:



Last Sunday I posted these two photos which were taken last month in Rhyl by Yours Truly. Each has a place name blanked out. The question: What are the missing names?

The answer: The upper one Clement Drive, the other Brookes Avenue.

Getting both right for 1 win: Richard & Ceri Swinney, Sue Handley, The Great Gareth, Jane Shuttle.



In terms of public services in Wales, the Welsh Government is now more important than Westminster. Readers may have noticed next year's Welsh Government election campaign seems to have begun already via social media and letters to newspapers.

History shows that when Rhyl was a success and made its own money it was a Conservative-run town. When visitor numbers began to fall and the resort became less profitable, the Tories lost interest and drifted away, handing Rhyl to Labour on a plate.

Labour has been fixated on spending public money instead of attracting private investment. Rhyl Labour Party’s decades of dominance have been a disaster. The town has all but lost its standing as a resort and as a regional shopping centre.

Although not a wholehearted Conservative supporter I believe non-Labour representation at Welsh Government would be better for Sunny Rhyl and for the rest of Vale of Clwyd. No doubt I will have more to say about this matter when the time comes.


Thursday, 22 October 2015


Last month's post titled Rhuddlan Days brought correspondence. "I used to think of Rhuddlan as a village on the edge of Rhyl," says Dewi Roberts, "Now I think of Rhyl as a town on the edge of Rhuddlan." 

Rhuddlan Castle, St. Mary's Church on a high bank on the northwest side of River Clwyd, and Parliament House in High Street, are well documented elsewhere. So is the bridge over the river - which once was the only way to get from Rhyl to Abergele.

Here are five less ancient sights from my own own collection:

Above: High Street. On your left the Vicarage Lane turning. On your right Victoria Buildings on corner of Princes Road; the shop with a conical shape over a bay window is eternally - for me - Marsden's. The building still exists and still catches the eye.

Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

Below:The colour photo shows the Children's Pool at Sun Valley Holiday Camp; the camp was and still is in Marsh Road, Rhuddlan.
The black-and-white shows Pleasant View Camp in Abbey Road, currently known as Pleasant View Park.

Below is another old shot of Pleasant View Camp. The modern building far right is Rhuddlan Primary School now known as Ysgol y Castell:

Below: Pengwern Hall near Rhuddlan, The building is in Sarn Lane, the road that leads to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan. In 1930s it was a private school for girls; these days it is a care home / college for young people with disabilities.

aerial view

Here is the company Corbett-Williams aka Corbett, Williams & Son, Ltd. exhibiting circa 1920 (possibly in Cardiff). The company made agricultural equipment at Rhuddlan's iron works / foundry near River Clwyd:

The following pic shows a Corbett-Williams cast iron badge about 8 inches in diameter used on the ‘New Era’ turnip harvesting machine -

FRI 17th FEB 2017 UPDATE: The following image, captioned 'Munition Workers – Rhuddlan Iron Works 1915' and featuring Capt. Francis Corbett, is from a 2016 book titled The John Williams Story: Phoenix Ironworks Rhuddlan near Rhyl, North Wales.

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

The author of this book is Gwynfor Williams and it is available from Amazon UK:


SUN 6th MAY 2018 UPDATE: Recently up for auction on Internet was this cast iron badge about 10 inches wide of the kind you would find on agricultural machinery -

A.E. Williams is not the Williams of Corbett-Williams and seems to have been a subsidiary of, or agent for, M. Croft & Son of Kendal in Cumbria, makers of agricultural implements.


Monday, 19 October 2015


Seems there has been a disagreement elsewhere on Internet about Foryd Bridge - somebody believes it has always been blue. No, it hasn't. These contrasting images have appeared previously in this blog:

While we are the subject the Foryd, the following have not appeared previously in this blog. The first is undated and catches a figure of a fisherwoman. Underneath it is a watercolour by Shropshire-based artist Ken Field.

Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

And thrown in here for good measure is an HMS Rhyl miniature shield which I thought you might like:



Today, out shopping on foot, I encountered a car in Kings Avenue, parked squarely on the pavement forcing pedestrians to walk on the road.

At corner of Wellington Road and Princes Street my shopping trolley collided with an advertising board put there by a 'community' group.

On my way to Morrisons a cyclist wobbled towards me on Vale Road Bridge, one hand on the handlebars while talking into a mobile phone.

Later in High Street there were vehicles on the pedestrianised area, more advertising boards and more cyclists, and twice I received a faceful of cigarette smoke.

When finances allow, please may we have pavement safety wardens?


Colin Jones / email:

See my Rhyl videos on YouTube:
Only the videos marked RhylTime are mine!


Sunday, 18 October 2015


Above are two photos taken last month in Rhyl by Yours Truly. Each has a place name blanked out.
The question: What are the missing names?

You need both correct answers for 1 win!

You have until the end of Saturday 24th October 2015 to send your entry.
Second tries not accepted.
The result will be published on Sunday 25th October 2015 around Midday.

Colin Jones / email:



Last Sunday I posted this detail from a photo taken this month by Yours Truly. Above the window is a rather unpleasant carved face. The question: Where in Rhyl would you find a row of windows like this?

The answer: Wellington Road and/or High Street.
The premises are on the corner presently occupied by Granite Outdoors which sells camping equipment and tough clothing for hiking and climbing and suchlike:

In Wellington Road there are seven of the windows, 5 over Granite followed by 2 over the charity shop named Breakthrough Foundation.
In High Street there are four: 2 over Granite followed by 2 over the bookmakers Betfred.

The building is remembered as Evans' Cafe - baking downstairs, seating upstairs.It looks fairly modern, but the same building with same windows appears on the following card postmarked 1906:

The carved face seems to depict a chap in ancient mythology whose side horns (ram horns) have been cut off. Such horns were symbols of virility. What cutting them off symbolizes does not bear thinking about.

Also posted was this detail from another photo taken this month by Yours Truly, showing an exterior wall plaque. The question: Where in Rhyl would you find this plaque?

The answer: Millbank Road (Mill Bank Road if you prefer).
The plaque, bearing the inscription Church View Terrace, is above the front door of No. 50, in centre of the picture below:

If you stand with your back to No. 50 you see St. Thomas' Church. Below is a photo by Yours Truly of that very view; the street in the foreground is Norman Drive:

Scoring a win for getting both answers right are: Richard & Ceri Swinney, Sue Handley, Jane Shuttle and The Great Gareth.
So far in this series Gareth holds the lead with 48, Jane Shuttle has 44 and Richard & Ceri Swinney have 40. Several others players are doing very well.


Thursday, 15 October 2015


Gareth Morris has sent in the mid-1960s adverts shown in this post. Thanks, Gareth! 

Starting in Bodfor Street, above the premises now occupied by Domino's the pizza place, was Ansdell Business Training College (Mollie Ansdell Brown) teaching shorthand and other office skills . . . 

shorthand typing

. . . and on ground floor beneath Ansdell's was the car showroom Grosvenor Motors, part of Automobile Palace Group of Llandudno:

R. L. Davies

Click on any item to see a bigger version.

The Strand Salon, High Street (above right) was established by Councillor R. L. Davies who a couple of decades earlier had donated the clock tower that stands currently at top of street.
Now at the Strand Salon address is Bodycare trading in health and beauty products:

Greggs, Bodycare, Age Cymru

Pilkingtons glass

The children's clothes & school uniforms shop B .& G. Stores, Queen Street (above left) brings memories.
The street has been renumbered since the mid-1960s. If the shop were there today it would be part of Home Elegance furniture store - the part beneath the fascia:

Home Elegance

[Interesting to see alongside the B. &. G. advert a reminder of the Chance-Pilkington glass factory I mean optical works in St. Asaph, a big employer at the time.]


The premises of G. Wyn Jones the chemist in Wellington Road, are now split into two: Crazy Cards on your left, Oldhams Bakery on right, in a run of shops opposite the former Post Office on corner of Water Street.
Full Monty Cafe, Crazy Cards, Oldhams Bakery, Barnett's

The colour photos in this post were taken a few days ago by Yours Truly.

Colin Jones / email:

These references are added here for indexing purposes:
Greggs, Age Cymru,
St Asaph Grammar, Rhyl Grammar, Fairholme St Asaph, Ysgol Glan Clwyd in Rhyl at the time, Glyndwr School, Clawdd Offa Prestatyn, Ysgol Llywelyn, Christ Church School, Ysgol Dewi Sant in Morfa Hall Rhyl at the time, Ysgol Mair, Ysgol Emmanuel,
Tudor Buildings, Fuller Monty Cafe, Barnetts domestic appliance shop.


Tuesday, 13 October 2015


The advert above is from Issue No.2 of the newsletter Catholic Life sold at St. Mary's Church (Our Lady Of The Assumption), Wellington Road, Rhyl, in December 1957 when Canon Collins was Parish Priest assisted by Father Breen and Father Brennan, 

The following ad for J.B. Worrall, Bodfor Street, is from same newsletter:

Presumably Mr. Worrall was a member of the congregation. His shop was next to the Bee, where Station News is now:

The following advert for Jay's Cafe, Market Street, is from a souvenir booklet of the Royal Floral Hall early 1970s.

Click on any item to see a bigger version.

Jay's Cafe is still marching on but not: "until 11 p.m."


[Generally, these days catering places in Rhyl close early. My pal Jill and I have found even 4 p.m. is too late to get a cuppa in some of 'em!]


From the same Floral Hall booklet comes this advert for Mival's Garden Centre, Rhuddlan Rd, and their shop at town end of Wellington Rd:

Their Rhuddlan Road site has gone. The Wellington Rd premises are still owned by the Mival family and currently occupied by Sassy (clothes and accessories):

From same Floral Hall booklet , and still on subject of horticulture, here is an advert for William Roberts Ltd whose Rhyl shop was in High Street with a branch in Prestatyn:

On the William Roberts corner now is The Games Exchange selling computer games, DVDs and CDs.

Oops, sorry Officer I didn't see you coming!

William Roberts Ltd

The colour photos in this post were taken last month by Yours Truly.

Colin Jones / email:


MON 11th JAN 2016 UPDATE: David Thomas reports that earlier this month the shop Sassy closed down and moved out.

THU 11th JAN 2018 UPDATE: Regarding William Roberts (Rhyl) Limited, a photo of the company's registration form dated 1925.
Click on it to see more clearly.