Sunday, 29 May 2016


EU referendum Brexit

Yesterday, being a postal voter, I received an EU referendum ballot paper and voted in favour of remaining in Europe. The arguments in favour of leaving are not convincing.

What is the use of knowing that EU membership costs us £350 million a week if you don’t know how much profit we make from selling goods and services there?

If we left we could still sell to EU but as a non-member country we might have to pay a levy/surcharge which would make our goods and services more expensive and less attractive.

Consider the effect on jobs.

As for immigration, where is the evidence that it harms an economy? In recent years Germany has taken the most migrant workers (& refugees) and yet the German economy is booming.

Migration is not a one-way street.

Hundreds of thousands of British people are living, working and visiting regularly in continental countries. If we left, their status might be changed for the worse.

Polling Day is Thursday 23rd June.



The photo above was taken a few days ago in Rhyl while I was testing an iPad camera. (How good is it? Not bad!) 
The question: If you were to walk down this alley what would be the first road/street you would come to?

Below is an edited version of a Rhyl school concert programme.
The question: What is the name of the school?

You have until the end of Saturday 4th June 2016 to send your entry. The result will appear on this blog next day around noon.

Colin Jones / email:




Last Sunday I posted the above; the card's postmark seems to be 1913. The picture shows a Rhyl scene after snow. The question: In what road/street was the photographer standing?

The answer: Wellington Road.
Prominent on your right is what was then called North Wales Hotel, later North Wales Inn, and now just The North. The pillar box on your left is on corner of Water Street where the post office was built eventually. 
[Pic from the collection of the late Peter Adams.]

Also posted was the photo below taken in April this year of a Rhyl scene with a place name blanked out. The question: What is the connection between the missing place name and a railway?

The answer: Llys Yr Wyddfa = Snowdon Court = Snowdon Mountain Railway.
[Photo by Fred Burns.]

Scoring 1 win for Wellington Road and 1 win for Snowdon: Sue Handley 2, The Great Gareth 2, Jane Shuttle 2.


The photo below of a notice in the former Rhyl & District Labour & Social Club, Bodfor Street, was sent in by Dave Williams who says it was on a wall facing you when you went through the foyer:

I wonder how many patrons paused to read it on their way to the bar.
Thanks, Dave!

The following references are added here for indexing purposes: 
Rhyl Labour Club, Joseph Tym, George Evans, W H Grice, T Norman Jones, E Harrison, A S Jones, Roger Thomas, D H Durkin, W D Ellis, Jack Teague, Frank Hughes, A C Tong, Glyn Owen, R E Davies, F H Arthur architect, T Anwyl builders.


Wednesday, 25 May 2016


This season Rhyl’s seafront is compromised once again by three large development sites where little or nothing seems to be happening. The photos in this post were taken on Monday 23rd May 2016 by Yours Truly.

At the former Ocean Beach Fun Fair in West Parade the familiar dark blue fence has given way to wire netting and a little bit of grassing. A cabbie tells me that seats appeared on there for a while and then disappeared. The fun fair closed down in 2007 – nine years ago:

The former Grange Hotel in East Parade has been demolished but nothing else seems to be going on. The fire that damaged the hotel beyond repair was in 2008:

In the space where the Honey Club used to be in West Parade there is still nothing to dance about. The club closed down in 2010 or earlier:

The above sites are of special concern because of their high visibility during summer season but we have other ‘stagnant spaces’ such as this one at 57 Russell Road - not far from St. Thomas' Church:

This was the location of Northgate School, a private day school for 4-11 year old boys and girls. I think it became a play school or day care centre for a while before demolition. For many years the site has been unused.


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.


Sunday, 22 May 2016


Above is a card; the postmark seems to be 1913. The picture shows a Rhyl scene after snow.
The question: In what road/street was the photographer standing?
The correct answer would score 1 win.

Below is a photo taken in April this year of a Rhyl scene with a place name blanked out.
The question: What is the connection between the missing place name and a railway?
The correct answer would score 1 win.

You have until the end of Saturday 28th May 2016 to send your entry. The result will appear on this blog next day around noon.

Colin Jones / email:



Crossleys the cleaners

Last Sunday I posted this undated photograph. The question: Where in Rhyl is the bus? 

The answer: High Street.
The tall building in the far background is the Woolworth/B&M building. The unit occupied by Crossleys the cleaners was until recently a shoe shop named Soled Out which currently is changing into a mixed goods shop with no name so far:

Also I posted a picture of an Edwardian scene on the sands. At centre-right is a white tent-shaped structure. The question: What is it?
The answer: Camera Obscura.
Here is the undoctored original with the name restored:

The structure had a rotating angled mirror on the roof, projecting an image of the landscape onto a horizontal surface inside - fascinating bit of hi-tech at the time!
Nudging into view far right is the minstrel pitch.
The pic is from the collection of the late Peter Adams.

Scoring 1 win for High Street and/or 1 win for Camera Obscura: Dilys Bagnall 2, The Great Gareth 2, Jane Shuttle 2, Sue Handley 1.


Friday, 20 May 2016


Part of Rhyl life is Rhyl death. Recently I had to arrange my own funeral and hoped to be buried in a Denbighshire woodland cemetery, pay off my funeral director, and then forget about it.

But Denbighshire County Council does not allow the purchase of plots in advance. Therefore I could not be guaranteed a place at the cemetery of my choice, and nor could I 'pay and forget' because I have to keep an eye on the council's price for a plot and make top-up payments to my funeral plan accordingly.

The council's policy of not allowing the purchase of plots in advance has made a complete mess of my arrangements and introduced elements of worry into what is already a delicate and difficult matter. My enquiries about the situation continue.

Meanwhile, a High Street worker tells me that her father is buried in a Denbighshire graveyard and her mother – still in good health – expressed a wish to have the plot next to him. The family were told they could not buy it in advance and therefore the mother’s choice of a final resting place was thwarted. What a disgrace!

Denbighshire council is an authority with a dubious sense of what is important to the public.

MON 23rd MAY 2016 UPDATEI have had a telephone call from the relevant Head of Department at Denbighshire County Council. He says that the policy was introduced in 1976 (which is a couple of decades before the present Denbighshire was formed). He does not know why the policy was introduced and has no plans to review it.


FRI 9th FEB 2018 UPDATE: On the subject of our mortality, here is a 1950 bill from H. Batten-Jones, Cemetery Monumental Works of (No. 56) Brighton Road, Rhyl, to Mr. A. Ogden of Prestatyn:

On the letterhead, note the distinctive flat-roofed H. Batten-Jones building, an enlarged version of which is now occupied by Tong's Funeralcare:

This photo was taken today by Yours Truly.


Thursday, 19 May 2016


Last week in the company of my pal Diane Heirene I made a return visit to Val Adams, widow of Peter Adams who collected old Rhyl pictures. Some that I borrowed are in this post; others will pop up later as quiz questions.

This pic was taken in the wake of a big fire that damaged a large part of Market Street in 1903. The photographer had his back to High Street looking towards Queen Street where a large number of people are peering over a barrier at the wreckage.

Further away in the photo is Rhyl Town Hall and its separate Market Hall. Just visible through the gap between these two buildings is a Water Street business named (W.N.?) Martin.

Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

Below is a advertising card of Grosvenor Saddlery Works, Rhyl. I wonder where that was. 
The lower item is a 1930s snap of a shop, C.W. Evans, greengrocer, florist and fruiterer, which may have been in the Grange Road area:


Above: a mix of local councillors and Rhyl Football Club personnel at a double cup event presumed to be circa 1950. In the back row, 2nd from left is Councillor Glyn Vaughan, and that may be Don Spendlove further along in a fetching three-piece striped suit.

Unmistakeable in foreground, centre-right is footballer Tom McKillop holding one end of a trophy at the other end of which is Councillor P.T. (Phil) Trehearn. Is that Bill Russell the team manager furthest right?
Do send me your corrections, errors and omissions.


Above: An undated and rather charming shot of Elwy Street in the snow. Would make a nice Christmas card!

Copyright in this picture of Rhyl Lifeboat belongs to Philip Micheu. The late Peter Adams, collector of all these items, is standing in the foreground (furthest left).
Paul Frost MBE, Deputy 2nd Coxswain & Press Officer, Rhyl RNLI says, "This picture is in our boathouse mounted in a frame on card. Next to Peter are George Povah, Coxswain William (Billy) Hunt, 2nd Coxswain Gerald Hughes who still comes to the boathouse, and Stan Drummond. In the background is Dennis Jones with Bruce Herbert BEM in front of him."

"The boat had just returned from a long service. Don’t know the date but it is early 1960’s. The lifeboat is the 'Anthony Robert Marshall'. Only Bruce and Gerald are still with us, the rest are deceased."

Copyright in the following photo of Peter Adams the collector at a later date, belongs to Rhyl Journal:

Paul Frost says, “Peter is shown inside the canopy of the ‘Har-Lil’ Oakley-class lifeboat, on station 1969 to 1990. Pete is sat in the mechanic’s seat in front of the long range medium-frequency radio. I sat on the other side as radio operator and assistant mechanic. The photo was taken from the coxswain’s position looking towards the front of the boat, probably in the mid 1970s.”

Thanks Paul, and this seems an ideal moment to urge Rhyl Life readers to give generously to the lifeboat whenever the opportunity arises. These men risk their own lives to save others.

FRI 4th AUG 2017 UPDATE: I note here with sadness that the above-mentioned Diane Heirene passed away in July 2017 at about 70 years of age. The house in which she lived in Wellington Terrace, Rhyl, was her only address; she was born there and never lived anywhere else.

Diane was a gentle, bookish person who never managed to conquer her addiction to cigarettes. I’ll miss her phone calls about Rhyl history and miss seeing her walking along Wellington Road to and from a voluntary job at the Mind charity shop in Bodfor Street.

Ta-ra Diane, thanks for your friendship x


Diane Heirene

SUN 6th AUG 2017 UPDATE: Bill Ellis knew Diane Heirene since childhood and he has supplied the above pic taken from a 2002 edition of Daily Post. Diane is furthest right.
The occasion was an industrial dispute at the clothing factory where she worked, Fineline Cymru in Cefndy Road, Rhyl.
If you can name any of the other Fineline girls, please get in touch.

Colin Jones / email:


Sunday, 15 May 2016


Above is an undated photograph, clearly not very old.
The question: Where in Rhyl is the bus? 
The correct answer would score 1 win.

Below is a postcard of an Edwardian scene on the sands. At centre-right of the picture is a white tent-shaped structure.
The question: What is it?
(and don't say, "It's a white tent-shaped structure!")
The correct answer would score 1 win.

You have until the end of Saturday 21st May 2016 to send your entry. The result will appear on this blog next day around noon.

Colin Jones / email:



Last Sunday I posted these images of four persons of Rhyl interest and asked who they were:

Above is Don Splendlove, Rhyl Football Club's incomparable goal scorer of the late 1940s and 1950s. Mr. Spendlove was also a plumber:

The Spendlove items were supplied by Dave Williams. Thanks, Dave!

Below is G. Mervyn Williams who was a teacher at Christ Church School, Vaughan Street in the 1950s. Mr. Williams left in 1957 to be headmaster of the C. of E. School in Garston, Lancs.

Christ Church School

Above is Linda Trehearn in her 'flipping burgers' days at the snack bar in the family's arcade, Vern's Amusements in West Parade. Last I heard of Linda she was working in a care home in Rhyl.

Below is Mohammed Mehmet who has been the Chief Executive of Denbighshire County Council for the last 7 years. Recently I saw him on TV in his role of Chief Returning Officer announcing an election result in English and Welsh

Chief Executive

Scoring 1 win for each correct name: The Great Gareth 2, Jane Shuttle 2, Dilys Bagnall 1, Sue Handley 2.


Earlier this month there was an election of Police & Crime Commissioner for North Wales. The winner was the Plaid Cymru candidate Owain Arfon Jones who is an ex-police inspector and a Wrexham councillor.

Click here to read about Mr. Jones' plans and priorities in Daily Post:


Wednesday, 11 May 2016


The town of Denbigh, 10 miles or about 16km to the south of Rhyl, must be one of the oldest settlements around here - it dates back to the 1200s. Denbigh Castle is not the most photogenic monument but this undated aerial view is worth a look . . .

aerial view

. . . and so is this 1950s view from the Southeast:

Here is an old picture of High Street (looking towards the public library and Vale Street). This is followed by a 1930s postcard of Crown Square looking towards the town hall - in foreground is the 'Winged Peace' war memorial, just one of Denbigh's interesting statues:

War Memorial

Click on any image to see a bigger version.

Denbigh had a fine railway station building (near what became Kwik Save) with busy lines to Rhyl, Chester, Mold and Ruthin. The station closed in the early 1960s.

Transport fans go here:

Howell's School in Peake's Lane, was a private school for girls. Below in the lower photo Howell's girls in the 1920s are doing the sort of jive that Rhyl convent girls used to do:

Howell's School died in 2013 but the corpse is twitching - apparently a new buyer has been found and the establishment renamed Myddelton College. Further info here:

Mental Asylum

The above photo shows North Wales Hospital (known as Denbigh Mental or "the asylum") which was built in the 1840s and operated until the 1990s. Not long ago the building was bought by Denbighshire County Council by Compulsory Purchase Order against private owners who had failed to keep the site in a good state of repair.

The following references are added here for indexing purposes:
T A Roberts grocer, Dicks shop, Crown Hotel, Worthington brewery, Star Supply Shop, Hepworth tailor.


Here in Rhyl I am disconcerted by the recent closure of the Cookbook Cafe, a place with a range of herbal teas and homemade cakes, attached to Rhyl Library I mean One Stop Shop.

Thanks to Lynn Roberts for alerting me to this catastrophe. The cafe was a special place.

Colin Jones / email:


Sunday, 8 May 2016


Below are images of four persons of Rhyl interest. Who are they?
You would score 1 win for each correct name.

You have until the end of Saturday 14th May 2016 to send your entry. The result will appear on this blog next day around noon.

Colin Jones / email:



Last Sunday I posted this photo which was taken recently and has a place name blanked out. The question: What is the missing name?

The answer: Molineaux Road.
Looking towards Rhyl Coast Road.


Also I posted the advert below which is from Edwardian times and refers to Free Trade Hall in Rhyl. The building still exists. The question: Where in High Street is the building?

The answer: No.90.
The shell of building as shown in the following photo has not changed greatly (the distinctive row of round-topped windows has been there since the beginning). I took this photo last month and noticed yesterday that Dragons Mini Mart, the convenience store next to Reeds Rains estate agents, has become a wedding dress shop.

Free Trade Hall

Scoring 1 win for Molineaux Road and 1 win for Free Trade Hall:
Sue Handley 2, Dilys Bagnall 2, Jane Shuttle 2, Richard & Ceri Swinney 2 and The Great Gareth 2.


Re: the advert: At the same time as Lunt & Griffiths the drapers were at Free Trade Hall in Rhyl there was a company Lunt & Roberts the drapers at Free Trade Hall in Mold. 


Thursday, 5 May 2016


Vale of Clwyd

Congratulations to Mair Rowlands of Plaid Cymru for scoring more than 2,000 votes in the Welsh Assembly Election at first time of trying in Vale of Clwyd constituency which includes Rhyl. [Plaid did rather well in general and is now the second largest party in the assembly.] Da iawn Mair, I am sure we'll hear more of you in the future!

Ann Jones (Labour) held on to the Vale of Clwyd seat. Conservatives must feel disappointed to have failed to take it from her by only a few hundred votes and failed to take some more targeted seats.

A reason may be as follows: Plaid Cymru, Labour, Lib Dem and Greens are generally pro-Europe, and UKIP is anti-Europe. So voters know where they are with these parties but not with the Tories who are arguing with each other and split on the issue.

Split parties don’t win elections.


Wednesday, 4 May 2016


Daily Post has published The North Wales Bucket List: 30 things to do in the region before you die. The sole Rhyl idea is to sample the fish ‘n’ chips at Les & Rita’s (Wellington Road) which I do happily from time to time.

fish n chips

Real buttered toast at Sidoli’s and/or a bag of chips from Les & Rita’s is a feelgood cure for the blues, believe me.

To see the whole Daily Post list please click here:


These days television commercial breaks seem so agonizingly long that I forget what the programme is, but in the future the TV adverts may be of interest to somebody.

Here are some printed adverts from circa 1900 of definite Rhyl interest provided by Dave Williams - thanks Dave!

Click on any item to see a bigger version and read small print.

And these 1920s items are from another source: 

The following references are added here for indexing purposes: John Owen baker grocer Rhyl Llanrwst, Pen y Don boarding house Strevett, John H Ellis Glenlivet whiskey whisky Red Dragon, David Pritchard upholsterer french polisher Edward Henry Street, Bov Rhyl concert party, John Brookes.


Colin Jones / email:

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