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: