Thursday, 8 December 2016


The above image of Elwy Street, Rhyl, under snow appeared in a previous post. I said at the time that it would make a nice Christmas card, so here it is from me to you. Thanks for reading.

An item has come to hand re: Kinmel Park Camp near Bodelwyddan, a card dated Christmas Day 1919 (the year after World War 1 ended) and signed by W.B. Hughes, Chaplain to the Forces:
Click on it to read the small print.

More local militaria is in the pipeline for next year plus more of everything from Rhyl and district. Stay safe until then. Best wishes.

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Frohe Weihnachten und Happy New Year

веселого Рождества и счастливого Нового года

joyeux Noel et bonne année

З Різдвом і Новим Роком

Feliz navidad y próspero año nuevo

Wesołych Świąt i Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku

vrolijk kerstfeest en een gelukkig nieuwjaar


During the course of 2016 quite a few old posts were updated. To see the updates please click here:

Don't forget my YouTube channel featuring Rhyl videos and slideshows. The channel is named RhylTime. Click here to see RhylTime's Top Ten:

Only YouTube items labelled RhylTime are mine.

Colin Jones / email:


Tuesday, 6 December 2016


Picture from The Guardian newspaper

Prior to the 2016 General Election, Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron announced that there would be an IN-OUT public referendum on UK’s membership of the European Union (EU). 

He did so to dissuade Tory voters from deserting his party in favour of the nutty United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).

Given that the referendum was called for party political reasons, and the advantages of EU membership were self-evident, Mr. Cameron did not expect a majority of the electorate to vote Leave. The Government had no plan in place for such an eventuality.

[Mr. Cameron has since dropped out of politics altogether, thereby avoiding awkward questions.]

Prime Ministership passed to Theresa May who, as Home Secretary, had bent over backwards to deport a man to Jordan. The man was acquitted in Jordan because of lack of evidence. Mrs. May had never stopped to consider the strength of the case against him.

The headstrong Mrs. May decided to push ahead with the UK’s withdrawal from the EU even though the referendum was not binding on Government; it was only an opinion poll.

Since then Mrs. May has had to be reminded by the courts that we have a democratic system of Government that requires her to seek Parliamentary approval before she takes even one step towards Leaving.

Later towards the end of November, Scotland and Wales won the right to have a say in the current court case which is about the timing of that first step. I should think so, too  the UK is not all about England.

We in Wales should not give up our European citizenship without a fight. One way to fight is by joining Plaid Cymru. The party takes a pro-EU stance and aims in the long term for Welsh independence within Europe:

Another way to fight is by donating funds to bring legal cases against Leavites who spread lies and hatred during the EU referendum campaign and to bring legal challenges against the Government when necessary.

There are a number of these funds. Seek by surfing and nosing around social media and you should find them.

Next year must see a determined push to keep us in the EU.


Tuesday, 29 November 2016


Photo from Daily Post

(Owain) Arfon Jones, Crime Commissioner of North Wales Police, was elected to his post earlier this year. He was the Plaid Cymru candidate. Nowhere in his various statements before and immediately after the election do I recall his mentioning the subject of drugs.

Recently he has been in the news expressing the opinion that cannabis should be legalised for medical uses. (Nobody is arguing against that as long the NHS is in control.) Even more recently he has called for the legalisation of all drugs to be considered.

A few years ago the same call came from former Chief Constable Richard ‘The Clown’ Brunstrom whose antics brought North Wales Police into disrepute. Perhaps some influential person within North Wales Police is persuading his or her seniors round to this point of view – someone with budgeting responsibilities perhaps.

Legalisation of drugs would certainly save police forces a lot of money (not that the taxpayers would get a refund). Legalisation of everything would save them even more money and allow them more time to loll around in canteens and sit yawning in police cars.

Some young people are being discouraged from getting into illegal drugs because they don’t want to risk trouble with the law. Legalisation would remove that deterrence, increase the number of users and increase the long-term cost of care incurred by NHS and social services.

Police, having failed to enforce drug laws effectively, now wish to pass the buck to other agencies.

Crime Commissioner Jones’ comments may well encourage drug users and dealers and make the situation even more difficult in drug-blighted communities such as Rhyl West.

Plaid and ALL other parties should ensure their candidates are open and honest with the public on highly controversial topics such as abortion, illegal drugs, gay marriage, whatever. If they hold strong views (for or against) we should be told before we cast our vote and not after.


Friday, 25 November 2016


As far as I can tell, none of the following nautical images has appeared previously in Rhyl Life.

Perversely we start with an item that may not be Rhyl. Certainly we had plenty of pleasure boats like this 'City of Birmingham', I'm just not sure the pier is Rhyl's. Anyway, the postcard is circa 1900:


Click on any image to see a bigger version.

Above is a card postmarked 1905. The painting is by Warren Williams (1863-1918); far right would be the toll bridge that preceded the present Foryd Bridge.
Mr. Williams produced work elsewhere in North Wales including Conwy, Llandudno and Snowdonia.

These two show in the foreground the remains of the ship 'City of Ottawa' which came aground before World War 1. The colour card is postmarked 1906, the other is from early 1930s:

Prince Leopold

Above is the PS (paddle steamer) Rhosneigr previously named Prince Leopold. The Rhosneigr paddled cheerfully in and out of Rhyl during the 1906-1907-1908 summer seasons until wrecked near Rhos-on-Sea and the Little Orme on 20th July 1908.

Now for a couple of rare shots of Rhyl harbour and estuary from 1920s -

L. S. Lowry made this sketch of the harbour in 1925 -

Here, a night shot of the present Foryd Bridge in its pre-blue days:

Below: an amateur snapshot from the 1960s:

Next is an unposted card. What shall we say for this  1980s?  

A comparatively recent composition by Rhyl photographer Jo Jenner:

Foryd Harbour is where the township of Rhyl began and where the present wave of regeneration started in 2013 with Pont y Ddraig, the new swing bridge for cyclists and pedestrians.
Copyright in the following photo belongs to

Foryd Harbour Rhyl

Regeneration continues at long last across the road from the harbour, on the former Ocean Beach Fun Fair site. Further east our Sun Centre is being replaced by something more up-to-date.
The harbour and promenade must be kept shipshape. The seafront, as far as the outside world is concerned, is Rhyl.

THU 12th OCT 2017 UPDATE: Just arrived here at Jones Towers - an undated shot of boats for pleasure/fishing near the harbour.


Saturday, 19 November 2016


From Mary Gizzi via Dilys Bagnall comes this picture of staff at Grange Laundry, Grange Road, Rhyl. The date is thought to be the 1950s and – if correct  the occasion might have been a gathering to commemorate 50 years of the business (opened in 1905).
Click on the picture to see a bigger version.

In version below, the face under red dot is Peter Lloyd of Kingsley Ave / under yellow dot is Irene Vickers / green is (Beatrice) Frances Egerton who turned 100 in April this year.
Blue is a Mrs. Adams whose husband Fred worked for the company as a van driver / purple is Nona Jones of Williams Street / orange is Tommy Roberts known as 'Tommy Boiler' / pink is Dilys Evans of Brynhyfryd Ave.

The identifications are by Dilys Bagnall and Bill Ellis who both worked at Grange Laundry at a later date.

Dilys says, "I worked for two years on the Hoffman press. I enjoyed it but kept getting bad chests because the heat was like a greenhouse. The manager at that time was Mr. Hindley who was a lovely man. I recall Tommy Roberts (‘Tommy Boiler’) and wife Margaret and daughter Eileen.
The laundry provided a lot of work for local people and the pay was pretty good. I remember Peter Lloyd, Irene Vickers and Gwen Gill from Rhuddlan on the staff when I was there."

Bill says, "I worked at Grange Laundry from 1961 until January 1966 when I left to sell insurance for a living. As an afterthought I can add one more name: the little lady standing behind the bench, all in white with swept back hair is Bertha Hewitt - she was Peter Lloyd's auntie."

Can you, dear readers, provide more IDs?
Colin Jones / email:


Monday, 14 November 2016


Time to focus on gifts and presents. What can I suggest for the Rhylite who has everything? A Rhyl-crested china miniature grandfather clock, teapot, three-handled loving cup or jug? 

How about these suggestions from Dave Williams: on your left a travel charm for your bracelet, and on you right a little badge for your lapel.

How about a pig? Don't see many of these in Rh . . . Oh I don't know, though . . .

Much appreciated might be a Bicycle brooch, Rhyl Golf fridge magnet or an old Pavilion sugar bowl.

And here is a T-shirt for wearing on days out in Llandudno:

T shirt Tee

On the general subject of giving, here is a tankard inscribed, "CYRIL JONES ESQ. ON THE OCCASION OF HIS OPENING THE CLWYD MARKET RHYL JULY 4TH 1972"

Who can tell me who Cyril Jones was and/or where Clwyd Market was? This is not a quiz question - I am looking for the information.
Colin Jones / email:


Statistics watchers may like to know that the total number of pageviews of this blog has now passed the 400,000 mark.

Last month the number of pageviews from United States of America was more than double the number from the UK.

Germany, France and Netherlands are showing a lot of interest, and so are Russia and Australia.

My thanks to everybody who contributed comments, info and pix. Diolch!


Wednesday, 9 November 2016


No, I haven't forgotten about Rhyl. I am in the process of tagging pictures in this blog to make them easier to find on Google Images etc. There are well over 2,000 to be done so progress is slow.

Meanwhile here are a couple more Botanical Gardens cards. The first is postmarked 1930; the other is undated but feels pre-1950:

Click on a picture to see a bigger version.

FRI 20th JAN 2017 UPDATE: This undated card fits in well here. Grange Road in the background and cafe on your right:

SAT 10th MAR 2018: Here is a rounded view of the water lily pond, an artificially coloured card postmarked 1947:

By local artist J.A. Elliott-Jones, a drawing of the Rose Garden. I never promised you one.



This week Donald Trump proved that if you bellow your nonsense loudly enough and brand your opponent a criminal, you can become President of the United States.

The election result has parallels with our EU referendum result in that they reflect an upsurge in anti-establishment feeling and could lead to long periods of instability.

Mr. Trump is said to be an admirer of Vladimir Putin and believes that US and Russia should work closer together. Now this is interesting.

For the seven decades of my lifetime the US has been eyeing Russian natural resources – notably oil and gas – and for strategic reasons has been trying to undermine Russia and vilify its leaders.

[This propaganda war ought to come to an end. Russia is geographically a European country and should be brought in from the cold.]

As for Mr. Trump, he is a businessman with little knowledge of politics. His learning curve starts now.


Tuesday, 1 November 2016


As promised, here is a replacement for old post that went missing. 

The photo above was taken this year on a dull day by Yours Truly. It shows the position of Barclays Bank at 68-70 High Street, Rhyl. 

In days of yore at No.68 (the part next to High Street News) was Sidney G. Talbot's shop which stocked Butterick dress patterns for ladies who wished to make their own clothes.

Illustrated below, from my own collection of Rhyliana and Rhylery, is the Butterick range from August 1940, during World War 2:


Click on any image to see a bigger version.


Ex-Rhylite Ann Hayes of Ruthin says of Talbot's, "I remember going there with my Mum in the 1950s. Her good friend 'Aunty' Rita worked there and I've a vivid memory of Rita standing behind the counter in a long darkish shop. I wonder if there are any photos of the interior out there. Would be wonderful to see them."
     "Rita and her husband Dixie Williams lived on Vale Road just at the junction with Brynhyfryd Avenue. Dixie worked for MANWEB as a meter reader. In late 1950s/early '60s he died of a heart attack following an accident at work.
     "They had no children so they were very kind to my sisters and I when we were little girls and always had sweets ready for us when we visited their home. I'd love to know if anyone remembers them."

Rita and Dixie Williams

Ann Hayes adds, "Sewing is the new baking and is becoming more and more popular - hence the proliferation of sewing magazines in the crafts section of W.H. Smiths. I'm sure if Talbot's were still there it would have an influx of customers of the younger generation! "

FRI 5th MAY 2017 UPDATE: Just arrived here at Jones Towers  – an undated (late 1920s/early '30s) image of the shop's exterior.


Friday, 28 October 2016


Nissan image from Reuters

This week the car manufacturer Nissan announced that it is expanding its business in the UK. I take this to be a sign that the UK intends to withdraw from the European Union (EU) and join instead the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

I have referred previously to this option. EFTA members (presently only Iceland, Liechtenstein, most of Norway and most of Switzerland) can trade with EU without any restrictions or surcharges.

EFTA members do not have to adopt EU laws, but they do have to abide by the EU’s basic principles of free movement of goods, services, money and people.

If the UK joined EFTA, the majority of Brits who voted to leave the EU would get what they voted for, and Colonel Blimps who harrumph about “lost British sovereignty” would get it back, and people who voted to leave EU on racist grounds would get a well-deserved poke in the eye.

Joining EFTA would put us back to where we were in 1973 when, as I recall, we left EFTA to join the EU.



This week's by-election was won by Labour. So now both of Rhyl West's county councillors are Labour Party people who do not live in the ward.

The turnout was 12 per cent. In other words, 88 out of every 100 residents who could have voted did not bother to do so.


Thursday, 27 October 2016


Wellington Road card postmarked 1908

Future posts will not be so frequent. To be sure that you catch them all (including occasional quiz questions) please follow by email. Just type your email address in box at top left of this page.

Pip! Pip!

Colin Jones / email:



There have been two series of the quiz, each ran for 80 weeks. Most weeks the ‘question’ was more than one question!

For quizmaster and players it was a fun way of absorbing information. Although the number of entrants was small, the blog’s statistics showed that a very large number of people were watching the questions and answers.

The quiz was never a level playing field – readers found out about it at differing stages. As a whole it was a stiff test of anybody’s knowledge of Rhyl past and present.

The results are all in and I have no hesitation in declaring Gareth Morris as King of the Rhyl Life Quiz:

The above photos of Gareth appeared in this blog in April 2010. I dubbed him The Great Gareth because of his high scoring rate. He was joint-winner of the first series and is clear winner of the second series.

Next are ‘the Jackson girls’. On the left in this photo – in second place – Jane Shuttle who was joint-winner of the first series and runner-up in the second. That makes her Queen of the Rhyl Life Quiz!

In third place, on your right above, is Jane’s sister Sue Handley. There has been no collusion here. Sue would have loved to beat Jane at this game!

I call Jane and Sue ‘the Jackson girls’ because their father was Douglas Jackson who worked in Pilkingtons and for a short time was landlord of Ellis's in Water Street.

In fourth place were Richard & Ceri Swinney. Richy might say “not bad for a Worcestershire man”. Interesting to note that none of the top scorers started life in Rhyl, except the following:

In fifth place Dilys Bagnall who was born at “10 Williams Street, Rhyl. Lived next door to John and Muriel Bamber who had a coal round.”


In the second series Dorothy Jones and Geoff Hughes did not play continuously but both displayed above-average ability and should be mentioned in dispatches.

Many thanks to all who took part.


Sunday, 23 October 2016


Quiz Question # 160 was the last in this second series of the quiz. It comprised the following eight questions:

1. Below is a photo taken not many years ago. The building's name has been obscured by black dots.
The question: What is the missing name?

2. Below is a group of Edwardian gentlemen and a lady outside a Rhyl building.
The question: What is the name of the building?

3. Below is a shot taken in January this year. On nearest side is The Bike Hub, on far side is The Harbour Hub Cafe.
The question: What is the building inbetween used for?

4. Below is a photo of unknown date taken in the London Transport area.
The question: What has it got to do with Rhyl?


Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

5. Above is a part of a photo of unknown date, obviously not recent.
The question: Where in Rhyl was it taken?

6. Above is a shot taken this year with a place name blanked out.
The question: What is the missing name?

7. Above is an image of a Crosville bus loading in High Street.
The question: Would the nearest date be 1930, 1940, 1950 or 1960?

8. The above is part of a photograph taken this year.
The question: Where in Rhyl would you see this construction?


1.  The Abbey Vaults (in Abbey Street). Photo supplied by Dave Williams. Thanks Dave!

2.  The original Rhyl Pavilion. Photo was taken in 1908 on opening day. Here is the full picture; the gent in the light-coloured trilby hat would be Lord Mostyn, L.N.V. Lloyd-Mostyn the 3rd Baron Mostyn (1856-1929):

3.  Harbour Master. Behind the black dots are signs saying Harbwr Feistr/Harbour Master. Photo taken in January 2016 by Fred Burns.

4.  The white coach belonged to Brookes Bros of Rhyl. It is a Leyland Lioness with registration number DM6228.

5.  Grange Court (near Rhyl High School).

6.  The Conservatory, Botanical Gardens. Here is the picture complete with its caption:

7.  1950. The image of a bus loading in High Street is an amateur shot dated 1950.
8.  Westbourne Avenue. Here's a wider view of the construction:

Scoring 1 win for each correct answer plus 2 wins for getting all 8 right:
Jane Shuttle 10, The Great Gareth 10, Dilys Bagnall 5, Richard & Ceri Swinney 10, Sue Handley 4.