Tuesday, 10 November 2015


Recently through the good offices of my pal Diane Heirene I visited Val Adams of Epworth Road to look through albums of pictures collected by her late husband Peter.

Peter Adams was a Londoner and a big fan of Rhyl and the town’s history. Here are just a few examples of what I found among his pix:

Above: George Hotel on corner of Queen Street and Sussex Street. I would date this image as circa 1905 and it may well commemorate a renovation; The George existed further back in time.

[The publican's name if given as F.P. Arthur. I wonder if that could be the Frank Arthur whose newsagents shop carried the name for many decades and eventually became High Street News.]

The George can be seen in the background of the following shot of a cart belonging to Williams & Co. bakers and grocers of No.2 Queen Street. Funny how horses always look elegant even when standing at ease.

horse cart

Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

On your right in the horse-and-cart picture is the furniture store Rhydwen Jones & Davies whose main branch was in Llandudno; also the company had a store in Colwyn Bay.

A later period piece is this shot of a delivery van belonging to Roberts Queen Street bakery - same premises as above? The van looks decked out for a May Day parade:

May Day

Now for for a Royal discovery. Cinema Royal, opened in 1920, was Rhyl's first purpose-built cinema (as distinct from existing buildings converted to cinema use). Pictures of Cinema Royal are not plentiful - I have never seen this one before:

High Street

Here is a detail from the above:

We are looking at the corner of High Street and East Parade some time after 1939 when the cinema closed, and before 1954 when the building was demolished to make way for Woolworths (now B&M).

At that time Cinema Royal was owned by Rhyl Entertainments Ltd; hence the posters for two of their other businesses: Queens Theatre and Plaza Cinema. Interesting to see traces of an old sign for a previous incarnation of F.W. Woolworth & Co.

The late Peter Adams who collected these photos was a volunteer on Rhyl Lifeboat. Paul Frost MBE, who is the present Deputy 2nd Coxswain and Lifeboat Press Officer says, "Peter was my mentor when I started with the lifeboat in 1968, and I owe all my skills to Peter with regard to the RNLI. We went shrimping together for many years."

Peter lives on through his albums. It was a very interesting afternoon's visit. My thanks to his widow Val for her hospitality. After I left she found a couple of albums I had not seen, so I would hope to make a return visit in due course.

These references are added here for indexing purposes: Nectar tea, Queen Street cycle shop, Golden Crust bread, bread for energy, Ashalls fashion corner.

Colin Jones / email: rhyl.colin.jones@live.co.uk