Thursday, 30 June 2016


It is a while since we had a portrait of a Rhyl May Queen. Here is Gladys May Polkinghorne who was our May Queen in 1912 when King George V was monarch.

George V was of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha which during World War 1 changed name to House of Windsor to play down its German connections. The House of Windsor has continued to today, but I digress.

Getting back to Gladys May Polkinghorne, I remember seeing the name J.D. (Jay) Polkinghorne in the annual Rhyl tourist guides as the author or editor. I believe he was a journalist running the publicity side of things for Rhyl Urban District Council way back when.

Early May Queens were helped by knowing influential people and having in the family enough money to cover the cost of the regalia. It was not a poor girl's game.

To see all posts about MAY DAY & ROSE DAY please click here:

Please send any similar pictures and/or information to me at:



I note with sadness that John Povah, well known to the fishing and Lifeboat fraternity, died last Sunday in Rhyl, aged 80.
     I first met John in the year 1999 while I was planning to form a voluntary group named Rhyl Seafront Association. I went to his home and saw archives of photos he had taken himself over many years in the Foryd Harbour area.
     John was an interesting and amusing character and his reactions were sometimes unexpected.
     Years ago I asked him whether he thought that the forthcoming wind turbines would spoil the sea view. The old fisherman replied, “Who wants to see the sea? It’s bloody boring!”

More in the Daily Post:


Sunday, 26 June 2016


Since last week’s referendum I have received messages from readers connected with companies that were set up locally because Wales is part of the European Union. They are feeling apprehensive.

Across Wales tens of thousands of workers must be feeling the same way. Potentially hundreds of thousands of Welsh jobs could be affected if the UK withdraws from the EU, but we are not at that stage yet.

We are a long way from being Out of the European Union and may never get to Out. There will be years of negotiation between the UK and the EU, possibly further deals on the table and maybe another referendum.

Meanwhile  just in case  talks are going on in Northern Ireland to see if the six counties could and would break from the UK and join the Republic of Ireland which has its own seat in Europe.

Scotland is squaring up for a second referendum on Independence which, if successful, could lead to Scotland getting its own seat in Europe if the UK is not there to veto it.

It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that at some point in the distant future the UK could be reduced to just being England with – as usual – Wales fluttering at its side like a bird with a broken wing.

TUE 28th JUN 2016 UPDATE: In Wales the referendum result has shocked the apathy out of people who had wished us to remain in the EU but failed to vote.
Plaid Cymru has kept the issue of Independence for Wales on the back burner but now is bringing it forward as a possible route towards Wales achieving its own seat in Europe.
I think that is a worthy objective and will be joining that effort even though it is a long, long road and I am too old to see the end of it. I have applied for membership of Plaid.



Above is a picture of a woman who was well known in Rhyl during the 1950s & 1960s. Her signature has been masked by black dots.
The question: What is her name?
The correct answer would score 1 win.

Below is a photo taken this year, with place names masked by black dots.

The question: What are the two missing place names?
The correct answer would score 1 win.

You have until the end of Saturday 2nd July 2016 to send your entry. The result will appear on this blog next day around noon.

Colin Jones / email:



Last Sunday I posted this picture from Rhuddlan Borough Council days showing a land train at Marine Lake. In the land train's name, your crafty blogger covered one word with black dots. 
The question: What is the missing word?
The answer: Rocket.
Here is the Rhyl Rocket picture in full. Note the lake site's temporary name The Marine Leisure Park:

Also posted was the following vintage photo by Rhyl photographer Rae Pickard, showing a corner of Marine Lake. The question: What corner is it - North East, North West, South East or South West?
The answer: South West.

You needed both correct answers for 1 win, and the only winner is Sue Handley. Well done, Sue!

Below is a Rae Pickard business card. The address is 63 High Street which must have been demolished to make way for Marks & Spencer; the address of Marks' successor Poundland is 61-71 High Street:

Here is a reminder that in the early days of the lake a business was based there. It is an advert circa 1905 for W. Hudson boat builder:


Friday, 24 June 2016


As a committed European I feel disappointed that yesterday a majority of the electorate voted to leave the European Union.

The EU is the most interesting political and social experiment of our time. It is an icon of peace and prosperity in what had been historically a troubled continent.

David Cameron PM called the referendum so as to settle arguments within the Tory Party. Probably he never thought it could backfire like this.

In what was generally an unnecessary referendum, Wales has gone and shot itself in the foot by voting to leave.

The Welsh Government does not wish us to leave, and nor does the Westminster Government or a majority of MPs.

Northern Ireland and Scotland do not wish to leave. The consequences of trying to drag those two regions out of the EU could be fatal for the UK.

The aftermath of this result will take a lot of sorting out.


Wednesday, 22 June 2016


Catholic Primary School

Roger Jones of Dyserth, an ex-Rhylite from Arfon Grove and South Avenue, has sent these photographs of 1961-62 sports teams at the Catholic primary school Ysgol Mair in St. Margaret's Drive, Rhyl.

In the soccer team above, the footballers are . . . 
Floor: Graham Black (left) and David Nevitt.
Front row (Left to Right): Michael Bewick, Timothy Kingston, Stephen Manfredi, Roger Jones himself and Don’t know.
Back row (L to R): Don’t know, Don’t know, Kevin Walton, Don’t know, Don’t know and (Robert Dennis?)

The adult common to both photographs is the headmaster Fred Jemmett. The other adult is Harry Richards (Sports Master).

Click on any photo to see a bigger version.

Catholic Primary School

The cricketers are . . .
Front row (Left to Right): John Bebbington, Graham Black, Timothy Kingston, Roger Jones in person, Stephen Manfredi and (Robert Dennis?)
Back Row (L-R): John Furneaux, Martin Dowling, Michael Bewick, (Peter Marshall?), Malcolm Dunn and Philip Furneaux.

[Come on, Ysgol Mair girls, let's be having your pix! - Ed.]

For good measure Roger Jones also sent the old black-and-white image below left, showing Alpha Villa in Elwy Street. He says,
"In the 1911 census the house is occupied by Joseph Denton Davies, brother of Thomas Davies, a partner in Rhydwen Jones & Davies the furnishers. My paternal grandparents, originally from Ruthin, lived there from late 1930s until the house passed out of family possession in 1973 following the death of their daughter, my Aunt."

The house is next door to your left of the dentists, and is now plain No.9 Elwy Street as in the colour photo taken a couple of days ago by Yours Truly. "I can well remember visiting Charles Hubbard the dentist next door," says Roger.

Colin Jones / email:

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


Sunday, 19 June 2016


Above is a  picture from Rhuddlan Borough Council days, showing a land train at Marine Lake. On the side and front of the land train is its name; your crafty blogger has covered one word with black dots. 

The question: What is the missing word?

Below is a vintage photo by Rhyl photographer Rae Pickard, showing a corner of Marine Lake.

The question: What corner is it - North East, North West, South East or South West?

This week you need correct answers to both questions to score 1 win.

You have until the end of Saturday 25th 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 Rhyl streets photographed this year. Each has a place name blanked out.

The question: What are the missing names?
The answer: Bryntirion Avenue (TOP) and Victoria Avenue.
The Bryntirion pic is by Yours Truly; the Victoria is by Fred Burns.

Also I posted a couple of old photos NOT taken in Rhyl. The question: Where were they taken?

The answer: Llandudno and Dyserth.
Here are the images in full:

Above is the Llandudno picture: Open-top tram No.22 on the Llandudno and Colwyn Bay Electric Railway which operated between Llandudno and Rhos-on-Sea from 1907 and extended to Colwyn Bay in 1908. The service closed in 1956.
(There was a plan for a Rhyl to Prestatyn tramway that never materialised. You could fill a book with the things Rhyl nearly had.)

Below is the Dyserth picture with its caption restored. I am almost certain this would be pre-WW2: 

Scoring 1 win for the pair of Rhyl streets and/or 1 win for the Llandudno & Dyserth pictures:
Dilys Bagnall 2, The Great Gareth 2, Jane Shuttle 2, Sue Handley 1.
(Sue sent in her answer while holidaying on the Isle of Bute. I call that dedication!)

A post on Thursday 19th May 2016 titled 'Return To Val's' included an advertising card for Grosvenor Saddlery Works and I wondered where that was. The following advert from circa 1905 provides the answer: It was at 7 Kinmel Street and the business belonged to R.E. Owens:

SAT 15th JUL 2017 UPDATE: Speaking of Llandudno and tram, here is a composition by G.S. 'Sid' Cooper, transport artist (b.1935, d.1998).


Thursday, 16 June 2016


Multiviews are postcards featuring more than one picture - ideal to send home when on holiday. The example above was produced with a large amount of artistic licence and has artificial moons all over the place. It was posted in 1956.

Click on any card to see a bigger version.

The first card above with sad-looking dog, was posted in 1954.The red card looks to be circa 1960s. The one below, which includes Gwrych Castle, was posted in 1962:

Gwrych Castle, Rhuddlan Castle and Bridge, St. Asaph Cathedral, Bodelwyddan Marble Church and Dyserth Falls were and still are marketable attractions in the promoting of Rhyl.

The colourful multiview below can be accurately dated:

The prom scene top right includes the single-storey Coliseum where the show is 'Minstrels On Ice'. Bill Ellis, who collects Rhyl theatre programmes, says this was a Jack Billing production in 1968. Bill doesn't know how they managed to stage an ice show there and neither do I. If asked I would have said it was impossible.

Here is a card with views of six places on the North Wales Coast. See if you can put names to the places. This is not a quiz question - just something to try for your own amusement!


Monday, 13 June 2016


Statistics watchers may like to know that last weekend the all-time number of pageviews of this blog passed the 350,000 mark. The stats this evening at 10 p.m. looked like this:

There are regular readers in many parts of the world. Last month's top ten countries were as follows:

My thanks to the many contributors who have made Rhyl Life an item of international interest.

New readers please note that the site has been selected for preservation by National Library of Wales for use by researchers in the future, so do get in touch if you can offer photos or other material relating to Rhyl past or present.

Colin Jones / email:


Sunday, 12 June 2016


Above are two Rhyl streets photographed this year. Each has a place name blanked out.
The question: What are the missing names?
The two correct answers would score 1 win.

Below are old photos that were NOT taken in Rhyl.
The question: Where were they taken?
The two correct answers would score 1 win.

You have until the end of Saturday 18th June 2016 to send your entry. The result will appear on this blog next day around noon.

Colin Jones / email:



Last week's questions were based on 1960s snapshots of Ocean Beach Fun Fair, Rhyl. In the above there is a white rollercoaster-type structure with its name obliterated. The question: What is the missing name?
The answer: Cyclone.

The Cyclone was manufactured by Pinfari of Italy, as was the rollercoaster that arrived later named the Jetstream.

Also posted were two shots of a ride that was often accompanied by music. The question: What is the name of the ride? [A word or phrase beginning with G or B.]

The answer: Gallopers or Bobby Horses.
As well as going round they bobbed up and down.

In the following scene I superimposed a big black dot. The question: What is the name of the first ride below the dot?

The answer: Rotor.
The late Eric Hughes, Manager of the fairground, says in his book 'Rhyl at the Fun Fair', "In the Rotor, customers entered a large drum through a door on a low level platform. The floor was raised, the drum rotated at high speed, then the floor was lowered leaving passengers sticking to the wall. As the speed of the drum decreased the passengers slid down to the floor. There were two viewing platforms above the drum, more people paid to view than to ride. Brave hearts could ride free of charge after viewing."

Scoring 1 win for getting two out of three correct answers: The Great Gareth 1, Jane Shuttle 1.

SAT 27th MAY 2017 UPDATE: The following is not the Rotor at Ocean Beach but a similar contraption elsewhere, called the Gravitron.

Rotor Rhyl fun fair


Here is something you don't see every day - a 1948 share certificate in The Rhyl Conservative Club Ltd (formerly Rhyl Constitutional Club Ltd).
Click on the image to see a bigger version.

Mr F. Baker of Highfield Park, Rhyl, is buying 5 shares at one shilling each. The Secretary's signature looks like Tudor Owen, and one of the directors' signatures is R. Edwards.


Wednesday, 8 June 2016


This blog has many Rhyl Convent School fans among its readers, and they may be pleased to see the following card posted in 1903 to May Conolly of Deganwy from a convent girl named Margaret:


Margaret says, "Dear May. Thank you for your nice P.P.C. (Picture post card - Ed.) I think this is a very good view of the Convent & Drive. We saw Mother yesterday (Saturday) & had great fun. Tessa & Cissie got some big sun hats & trimmed them with muslin (Lightweight cotton cloth in a plain weave - Ed.) I must close now. I remain yr ever loving Margaret."

What a charming find!


Rhyl Life has a lot about local soccer but not much about rugby, observes one reader. Truth is, I haven't got much rugby stuff on file. How about this 1911 photograph of Rhyl Rugby Team? A fine body of men!

Please email your Rhyl sports and Rhyl schools photos to:
Colin Jones / email:


Sunday, 5 June 2016


This week's questions are based on 1960s snapshots of Ocean Beach Fun Fair, Rhyl. In the above there is a white rollercoaster-type structure. Your crafty blogger has obliterated the name.
The question: What is the missing name?

Here are two shots of a ride that was often accompanied by music.
The question: What is the name of the ride?
You are looking for a word or phrase beginning with G or B.

In the following scene I have superimposed a big black dot.
The question: What is the name of the first ride below the dot?

So, three questions. Two correct answers would score 1 win; all three correct answers would score 2 wins.

You have until the end of Saturday 11th 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 photo taken a few days beforehand in Rhyl. The question: If you were to walk down this alley what would be the first road/street you would come to?
The answer: Sussex Street.
The photo was taken from Town Hall Square. Christ Church is on your left and Lloyd's Bank on your right.

Also posted was an edited version of the following 1978 school concert programme. The question: What is the name of the school?
The answer: Ysgol Llywelyn.
Here is the item with the banner restored:

Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

The item was sent in by Dave Williams. Here is the back page of four, giving details of the concert's  Act III 'The Story Of The Nativity' starring Third Year pupils:

The names are added here for indexing purposes:
Lynda Scott, Mark Hughes, Rachel Keates, Colin Batterbee, Matthew Espley, Kelvin Hall, Wayne Williams, David Diskin, Robert Greaves, Peter Robins, Timothy Jones,Jason Vogelsberger, Craig McGregor, David Robinson, Simon Wallis, Colin Roberts, Heidi Christian, Victoria Williams (Dave's daughter Vicky!), Karin Thompson, Julie Flanagan, Emma Wilkinson, Lesley Town, Nicola Ralph, Sarah Walker, Carl Jones, Matthew Barry, Lee Evans, Gareth Gregson, Paul Lewis, Martin Jones,Thomas Robertson, Georgina Bannister, Pebelope Bannister, Jonathan Puleston-Jones, Hayley Stones, Peter Anderson, Sarah Higgs, Tanya Williams, Darren Roberts, Nicola Field, Alan Williams, Stephen Frodsham, Jason Welsman, Samantha Larder, Julie Owens, Sarah Bower, Tracey Cartlidge, Alison Jones, Angela Davies, Dawn Hollingworth, Sally Littlehales, Julie Drummey, Michael Greenhalgh, Carl Hughes, Darren Byrne, Philip Smith, David Ford, Mark Dolan, Leslie Church, Barry Picton, Ian Horton, Andrew Cope, Ian Tait, Ingrid Mason, Amanda Thomas, Karen Hyland, Melanie Jones, Stephen Hinds, Lisa Kinsella, Lisa Stringer, Marie Shackleton.

Scoring 1 win for Sussex Street and 1 win for Ysgol Llywelyn: Sue Handley 2, The Great Gareth 2, Jane Shuttle 2.

By the way, did you know there's a Rhyl Primary School in London?


Wednesday, 1 June 2016


Despite brainwashing by TV, radio and newspapers, I do not accept that celebrities are important in the great sweep of universal time - especially not members of royal families or football managers.

Soccer programmes are items of interest though, even to an unbeliever such as I, because of the adverts. Recently the following programme from pre-decimal days came my way: 

H. A. Steer

F.A. Cup (First Round) Rhyl v. Oldham Athletic, Saturday Nov 5th, 1960. 

Rhyl's regular players at the time were Vince McBride (goalkeeper), Phil Spruce (right back), Bill Johnson (left back), Harry Chadwick (right half), George Ashfield (centre half), Jimmy Anderson (left half), Ken Reynolds (wing half), Brian Loughnane (outside right), Norman Bullock (inside forward), Don Spendlove (centre forward), Peter Higham (centre forward in this particular game), Harry Kirtley (inside left), Idris Pryce (outside left). Manager: Mr. P.S. Turner.

Who won the match? Doan ask, let's just do the adverts. Here are some:

Click on any advert to see a bigger version.



The following references are added here for indexing purposes:
Rhyl Football Club, Greenall Whitley brewery, H A Steer, Glyn H Roberts, Bernards, Vac Shop Monty Roberts, Lightbown, Taxis Crescent Road, C S Finnigan, Westcliffe Garage, Windsor Hotel, Bass brewery, Vale Radio, W Thomas haulage, Roger W Jones, Lakes General Stores, Horesh tailor, Albert Hotel, Ind Coope brewery, Turners Do It Yourself, Brookes Brothers, Vickers & Son. 


Incidentally, I have been asked about the wooden floorboards in Queens Market. Were they the dance floor in the former Queens Ballroom? Nope. The dance floor was made of maple wood which was taken up and sold when the ballroom became a market. What you see now was underneath.