Monday, 31 August 2015

RHYL MADNESS


This being in media terms the “silly season” it is time for a little more Rhyliana and Rhylery. How about a winking cat emblazoned with lucky white heather from Rhyl?


 Doan like cats? How about dogs as in this cruet set, a present from Rhyl?


Here is an oddity: a game card from a board game named ‘From Here To There’. The description Rhyl Flintshire dates it as before 1974:

From Here To There

Paperweights seem a good idea until one falls on your toes. This Victorian glass one harks back to a time when parts of the prom were lawned:

Esplanade

(Go back even further and you would discover a much more rural Rhyl. In High Street there were some houses with gardens in front.)

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This china shoe is just over six inches long and bears the Rhyl town crest. There is reason to believe that the shoe may have been part of a pair, but this is just a sole one, ha ha.


Considerably bigger is this item which was recently for sale on Internet, described as ‘Rhyl Souvenir Genuine Sea Front Wall Piece’. No, I did not buy but it would have made a nice pet rock. 

rock

Rhyl rock!

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

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

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Sunday, 30 August 2015

QUIZ QUESTION # 107


A reader has asked how long this quiz is going to last. Hmmmm. Well, the first series ended at # 80 so the present series should end at # 160 unless I run out of Rhyl before then.

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This week our brain exercise is short and sweet. Here are four images, numbered 1-4. Only two of the four are Rhyl:

1.
 2.
3.
4.


The question: What two numbers are Rhyl?
The correct two numbers would bring you one win.
You have until the end of Saturday 5th September 2015 to send your entry. Second tries not accepted.
The result will be published on Sunday 6th September 2015 around Midday.


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


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QUIZ ANSWER # 106


Last Sunday I posted a partly masked image of one of Rhyl's Victorian buildings that no longer exist.
The question: In the 20th century what was it used as?
The answer: Convent:


Originally the above building in Russell Road was named Bryntirion Hall. At the start of 20th century it became St. Mary’s Convent wherein there was a school. The building was demolished in early 1970s. The housing estate St.Mary's Court stands there now.

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Also I posted a card commemorating the opening of a Rhyl business.
The question: What do the G----- and L----- stand for?
The answer: Grange Laundry:

My pal Bill Ellis says: “I worked at The Grange Laundry in the early 1960s straight after leaving school. It was owned by a Mr. Hindley who lived in Pendyffryn Road.
"I worked on the washing machines, which were operated by pulleys, and later as one of the laundry’s van drivers. I well remember the foreman Tommy Boiler (Tommy Roberts). On your left of the building was a shortcut to Vale Road and on right was The Cut.
"The business has long gone but the building still exists opposite Hafan Deg/War Memorial Court in Grange Road as a shop named One Stop and a home help agency named Dyffryn Care.”

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Also I posted this photo dated 1974 of the bus station. In the background on your left is a cinema. 
The question: What is the name of the cinema?
The answer: Astra.


It had been Odeon and would become Apollo, but in 1974 it was Astra. Your crafty blogger removed evidence from top left corner:


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Finally I posted the following in which a place name was blanked out.
The question: What is the missing name?
The answer: Maes y Gog.

Above is the restored picture.
The English equivalent of the name Maes y Gog seems to be Cuckoo Field. Open countryside is close to where the photo was taken, and New Pines Holiday Homes Park.
A right turn would bring you face to face with an Anwyl construction site named Parc Aberkinsey.
Rhyl continues to expand . . .

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With two out of four correct answers for 1 win, or more than two correct answers for 2 wins:
Jane Shuttle 2, Geoff Hughes 2, Sue Handley 2, Richard & Ceri Swinney 2, The Great Gareth 1, Dilys Bagnall 1.

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Saturday, 29 August 2015

NEED FOR CHANGE


Above is a Daily Post photograph of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan.

Last time I was laid up there I saw some staff behaving in crazy ways as if they were not answerable to anybody. Some lower grade staff seemed to be there because the hospital is a big employer rather than because of their personal commitment to the health service.

This year there has been a public row over the threatened temporary withdrawal of some maternity services at Glan Clwyd, and there have been cases of medical neglect (including one dreadful case of fatal neglect).

In the last three years the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which is responsible for this and other local hospitals, has increased the number of its managers by 17 per cent and increased the average pay of managers by 9 per cent.

Recently Glan Clwyd’s mental health unit was mired in scandal about abuse of patients. This led to the Betsi Board being put into special measures by Welsh Government which has twice refused to publish minutes of the meeting where that government decision was taken.

What is lacking from top to bottom in NHS Wales is the principle of customer service. If introducing that ethic would mean having some elements of the NHS operated by commercial companies – including the management of hospitals – so be it.

When our electricity supply was run by government-employed workers we had power cuts with monotonous regularity. Now the service is provided by commercial companies the power cuts are rare – because now we are thought of as customers.

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FRI 25th SEP 2015 UPDATE: Daily Post reports that the suspended boss of the Betsi Board is on a nice little earner:
http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/suspended-betsi-health-board-boss-10127704?ptnr_rid=381515&icid=Untitled8

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Thursday, 27 August 2015

RHYL FOR A START

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’.

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

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

THE WAY IT WAS


A reader has kindly provided the following set of pictures. This first one should gladden the hearts of silver surfers: Rhyl Pavilion on your left, Floral Hall on right:



The picture captures the Floral Hall not long after it was built and before June 1960 when it was renamed Royal Floral Hall, so the pic would be circa 1959. 

Click on any image to see a bigger version. 

In the next one we can see the familiar pinkish roof of the Sports Cafe aka Sports Garden Cafe, so I have thrown in an old advert for the place:




Ah yes, proprietor C. Tinker, Clwyd Cream Ices - very evocative! 


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In the next one we can see the red roof of the cafe that separated roller skating opposite Water Street from cycling opposite the Queens. On roof the word is spelt the French way, Café:


Ah, the lavatories bottom right with the red phone boxes outside! 

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I like particularly the next one. There are not many pictures in circulation showing passengers waiting to board a pleasure boat like this:



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

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

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Sunday, 23 August 2015

QUIZ QUESTION # 106

1) Above is one of Rhyl's Victorian buildings that no longer exist.
The question: In the 20th century what was it used as?

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2) Below is a card commemorating the opening of a Rhyl business.
The question: What do the G----- and L----- stand for?


Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

3) Above is a photo dated 1974 of the bus station in the good old days with litter all over the place. In the background on your left is a cinema. 
The question: What is the name of the cinema?

4) Below is a photo taken a few days ago by Yours Truly. A place name has been blanked out.

The question: What is the missing name?



Correct answers to two of the four questions get you a win.

Correct answers to three or four questions get you two wins.

You have until the end of Saturday 29th August 2015 to send your entry.
Second tries not accepted.
The result will be published on Sunday 30th August 2015 around Midday.


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


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QUIZ ANSWER # 105


Last Sunday I posted the following photo of a cul-de-sac comprising a couple of dozen flats.
The question: What stood there before the flats were built?


The answer: Young Men's Christian Association or YMCA or The Y.
The place in the photo is Plas y Brenin where I Iive (off Kings Avenue). Here is a reminder of the YMCA.
Click on it to see a bigger version.


The YMCA was about developing a healthy "body, mind, and spirit."  My Mum used to go there dancing.

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Also I posted was the following photo taken by Yours Truly.
The question: In what road or street was I standing?
The answer: Bedford Street.


The Skytower is tall enough to be visible from several streets but the yard in the foreground is a clue, it's a private car park used by drivers that pay a subscription to the land owner.

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Also posted was this one my photos partly masked.
The question: What is the name of the street/road/whatever?
The answer: Howell Drive.


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Scoring one win for correct answers to all three questions are:
The Great Gareth, Richard & Ceri Swinney, Sue Handley, Jane Shuttle, and Geoff Hughes.

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PONT Y DDRAIG

A reader wonders why in this blog there is no picture of the bridge for cyclists and pedestrians at Foryd Harbour, Pont y Ddraig (Dragon Bridge) which opened in 2013.

The bridge attracted the usual public hostility that accompanies anything new but has helped to transform what I described once as “a clapped-out old harbour” into something quite impressive:

Foryd Harbour

Copyright in the image above belongs to Denbighshire County Council, and the image below is an alternative view from an unknown source:

Foryd Harbour

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Via the following link you can see a video of Pont y Ddraig’s opening day on the website of Sustrans, an organisation that promotes sustainable forms of transport:

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Thursday, 20 August 2015

RHYL UNITED


Around the time of World War 1, Rhyl United was the short-lived name of what became Rhyl Football Club. There is no connection with the coach company of same name:


The photographs above show Rhyl United vehicles at departure points near Coliseum Theatre on the prom and at top of Water Street. Copyright in the photos belongs to Brian Botley.

Rhyl United Coachways Ltd was comprised originally of a small group of Rhyl West tour operators working on a cooperative basis. They became a freestanding company in 1944.

At the end of the 1960s the company was sold to the Evans family of Llanrhaeadr near Denbigh who ran Pentre Motors; they continued to use the name Rhyl United.

The following advert is from the 1970s:


In 1984 the name was bought by S. & W.M. Kerfoot-Davies of Voel Coaches Ltd which is now based in Dyserth.

North Wales Garage mentioned in the advert may have been the building below currently owned by Voel Coaches. It is known as Wellington Market; the photo was taken today by Yours Truly:

Rhyl United Coachways coaches
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More information about Rhyl United Coachways Ltd can be found here:

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

ON THE TOWN


Every so often Rhyl Town Council embarks on a Public Relations exercise such as producing the above glossy leaflet which arrived yesterday at Jones Towers.

The town council has been talking about turning the tide and seeing light at the end of the tunnel ever since the present version - a community council - was invented in the mid 1990s. 

Being ‘positive’ is all very well but being realistic would be better.

The town council, mistakenly referred to in the leaflet as a voluntary body, is an elected body for which only a small proportion of electors bother to vote. It has no powers worth mentioning, the key decisions affecting Rhyl are taken at county level and above.

The leaflet is dishonest in that it fails to mention that nearly a dozen unpaid town council members are also well-paid county councillors – including the one pictured on the front cover.

The text makes no mention of party politics. Readers should be aware that the town council is a Labour Party-infested body that has been known to behave in petty and bullying ways when non-Labour people are elected.

As an ex-member of Rhyl Town Council my opinion remains that it is an unnecessary layer of local government that could be scrapped and never would be missed.

Welsh Government regulations allow voters to get rid of a town/community council completely. Readers wishing to know how to do this can obtain the relevant document from:

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

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ART OF THE ACCOUNTANTS

soccer
soccer

Reader Dave Williams has contributed many items to this blog. Pictured above are some of his Rhyl Football Club programmes.

Dave’s soccer memorabilia includes the following set of accounts dated 1949-50, a sheet prepared by Rhyl F.C. and then a corresponding version by Eric Sage & Co., Accountants:

soccer

Click on any image to see a bigger version.

Soccer

These documents provide an unusual insight - thanks Dave!

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And found on Internet by Yours Truly, here is a badge commemorating the team's centenary at Belle Vue in Grange Road:

soccer

You can catch up with Rhyl Football Club on their website:

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[These names are added here for indexing purposes: 25 Stanley Park Avenue Rhyl, Blackburn Rovers, Wales International Squad, St Kentigern Hospice.]

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Monday, 17 August 2015

CORONATION & BOTANICAL GARDENS

Coronation Garden

Last month, just before school hols, my pal Fred Burns the photographer and I took a walk from Vale Road across Coronation Gardens (playing field) and through Botanical Gardens to Grange Road, with Fred taking photos on the way.

The Botanical Gardens have their roots in Victorian times. More recently they figured prominently in composite postcards with Rhyl Pavilion and other attractions; there were frequent buses from the town centre.

Since then the site has had its ups and downs. A recent innovation there

is a community horticultural project run by a voluntary group named Botanical Gardens Enterprises:


In general it is clear that current budget cuts have taken a toll on the gardens but they are worth a visit. They are run by volunteers from Rhyl South West Central Residents’ Association who do a jolly good job with only minimum resources.


To see a slideshow of Fred’s photos on my YouTube channel please click on the following link. YouTube can be a bit of a jumble – only the videos labelled RhylTime are mine:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SaIa6sHFik

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SUN 15th NOV 2015 UPDATE: David Thomas has written to say that the community horticultural project is now on Facebook as Botanical Gardens Enterprises Ltd. Dave also says 
the project has a website:
www.botanicalgardensenterprises.org.uk

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Sunday, 16 August 2015

QUIZ QUESTION # 105


The above photo was taken this month in Rhyl by Yours Truly. It shows a cul-de-sac comprising a couple of dozen flats.
The question: What stood there before the flats were built?

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Here is another photo taken this month by Yours Truly.
The question: In what road or street was I standing?


Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

Here is something new: one my photos partly masked.
The question: What is the name of the street/road/whatever?


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To score one win you need correct answers to all three questions.

You have until the end of Saturday 22nd August 2015 to send your entry.
Second tries not accepted.
The result will be published on Sunday 23rd August 2015 around Midday.


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


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QUIZ ANSWER # 104


Last Sunday I posted the above showing four people who were in Rhyl during the 1940s.
The question: With what association/club/company/group/organisation were they associated?
The answer: Manchester Repertory Company.
The Manchester Rep were in residence at Rhyl Pavilion during World War 2 and afterwards. They were also known as Pavilion Theatre Repertory Club; their Secretary was Joe Holroyd who went on to establish Rhyl's Little Theatre Club.
The four prominent members illustrated above are W. Armitage Owen a World War 1 veteran and playwright from Oldham (top left), Edna Morris (top right), Dorothy Edwards (bottom left), Reginald Barlow (bottom right).

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Also I posted this picture of a man who was a significant figure around here for a quarter of a century.
The question: Who is he?

Baron Rhyl Lord

The answer: Nigel Birch.
He was our Member of Parliament from 1945 until 1970 after which he was created a life peer as Lord Rhyl (also known as Baron Rhyl). The picture is a BBC photo from 1968.

June Turner writes, "Nigel Birch was a Conservative MP. My husband Roy and I met him often at Westminster Hotel, Rhyl, where there were monthly party meetings and guest speakers. Nigel's wife Esmé was always with him and she was from aristocracy but she had no airs and graces. They were both well-educated and most interesting to talk to. They lived in Holywell. He drove a yellow Austin car."

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Also I posted the following photo taken in Rhyl this year. The question: In what street/road/avenue would you find this scene?


The answer: Vale Road.
Left of the entrance to Coronation Gardens you would find these disused toilets. Well, I like this blog to encompass every aspect of life in Rhyl.

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Scoring a win with a correct answer to at least two of the three questions: Geoff Hughes, The Great Gareth, and Richard & Ceri Swinney.
Geoff is a late starter and has won three weeks out of three. Gareth leads with 34 wins, and Richard & Ceri are in clear second place with 31.

For more info about playwright W. Armitage Owen please click here:

More about politician Nigel Birch can be found on Wikipedia:

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