Thursday, 19 November 2015


Few people around today would remember bathing machines. They were changing rooms drawn by horses to the edge of the sea so that bathers could slip in and out of the water discreetly. Above is a card postmarked 1905 and below is a detail from it:

There were far more bathing machines on this west side of the pier, the ladies side, than on the east side where gentlemen romped.

Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

Here are postcards of the basket chairs that came afterwards. If you remember these you are older than you look:

The artificially-coloured basket chairs pic is a view from the pier on a card postmarked 1948 (the underlying image is probably from previous decade). The black-and-white was taken looking the other way with the pier in the background; the card is postmarked 1925.


These donkey scenes circa 1900 may not be Rhyl at all and they may be studio shots. Similar images were on sale in many places with the name of resort changed to suit. However, I am pretty certain that Dolly the donkey, holding court below, was a genuine Rhylite!

When donkey rides came to an end in Rhyl a few years ago I viewed the matter with mixed feelings. Sad to see a tradition go, but the donkeys looked in human terms to have sad faces, and I felt sorry for them. This is Old Softy speaking.

You could read about Rhyl's last donkey operator Kenneth Edward Jones who died in January 2012, in an obituary in The Journal: