Thursday, 21 January 2016


This picture of High Street, Rhyl, was taken probably in the 1990s and already it conjures up feelings of nostalgia. The round sheltered benches - such as the one on the left - were handy places during rain showers and ideal for pausing in while sorting shopping bags.

Workers would take a break there and have a chat and a ciggy; visitors with time to stop and stare enjoyed sitting in them, The shelters were unique locally and they gave Rhyl the special feeling of a being a resort rather than just an ordinary town.

Rhuddlan Borough Council had placed the benches but in the spring of 2004 the successor authority, Denbighshire County Council, ripped them out. Denbighshire painted the remaining benches black - perhaps under the impression that was a suitable colour for a seaside town.

Eventually Denbighshire installed coffin-shaped slabs for us to sit on, unsheltered of course - and black of course. The coffins quickly became dented on the top and held pools of water long after a shower. Soon but not soon enough these rubbishy items were done away with.

What have we got now? The best that could be said for the new benches is that they are not black:

After all the talk about how to "re-socialise" High Street the county authority has introduced benches with evil metal dividers in case we try to cuddle up. They are about as inviting as those spiteful narrow seats in the bus station.



I have been asked by Ms. Sue Edwards (currently residing in Canada) where in High Street Compton House was. The answer is number 57. Compton House is the old name for the building now occupied by Holland & Barrett health foods shop:

Originally it was same colour and texture as Betfred to your left - but with smaller bricks. One of Compton House's earlier incarnations was as a ladies’ hat shop I mean milliners. The following advert is circa 1905:

These references are added here for indexing purposes: Rhyl W H Smith, Evans ladies clothes, M J Edwards milliner.