Thursday, 18 February 2016


Rhyl's Marine Lake opened in 1895 having been created artificially as an ornamental boating lake. In this blog much has been said already about the site, its fun fair and miniature railway, but the images in this post have not appeared here before.

Above is a card posted 1908. Pictured would be the east shore (nearest to town) where most activity has taken place because of the wider space. In the background are hints of Westbourne Avenue.

Click on any image to see a bigger version.

Below is a card postmarked 1907. At a very early stage swimming had been introduced on the south shore. The water was muddy!

Bathing pontoon

The most enduring aspect of the lake is its miniature steam railway based in the north east corner. The first card below is likely to be circa 1912 and the colourised version would be later:

Marine Lake Fun Fair was Rhyl's first permanent fairground and it drew big crowds between the two world wars:

Here are a couple of my favourites from later times, featuring the Marine Lake train Joan against a backdrop of Ocean Beach Fun Fair: 

And here are the pedal boats called Splash-Cats on a card postmarked 1976 when the new Rhuddlan Borough Council was making a serious attempt to breathe new life into the place:


The trouble with water is that it looks inhospitable on cold dark days. The final shot was taken on Ist January 2016 by Fred Burns with your intrepid blogger in attendance:

For a long time the site has been little more than a mildly-interesting dog toilet, and maintenance by council is expensive, so the challenge must be how to make it more cost effective.

Rhyl people would not be short of ideas if anybody bothered to ask.