Wednesday, 28 September 2016


Not long ago my pal Jill emigrated from Rhyl to St. Asaph. To mark the event here are a few more pix. The first is a shot of my alma mater Ysgol Ramadeg Llanelwy / St.  Asaph Grammar School on the Upper Denbigh Road, circa 1920 (now Ysgol Glan Clwyd):

No, indeed I would not support the return of grammar schools – not that there is even a remote chance of that happening in Wales.

Further up the Upper Denbigh Road, set back in several acres of grounds is Bryn Asaph built in 1830, a six-bedroom property used at times as a convalescent home. This card was posted in 1976:

Cards of St. Asaph Cathedral are not rare but the following is collectible because the inset shows Bishop Alfred George Edwards (1848-1937) a Bishop of St. Asaph who became the first Archbishop of Wales:

That monument like a little tower on your left is a memorial of the translation of The Bible into Welsh by an earlier Bishop of St. Asaph, William Morgan, who translated it from Greek and Hebrew.

Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

Here is a magic lantern slide of Cathedral nave looking East circa 1900:

The High Street looked like this around 1930 . . .

Llanelwy, Stryd Fawr

. . . and like this in early 1960s:

Llanelwy, Stryd Fawr

Here is a battered old pic of Y Llew Goch / The Red Lion in Gemig Street which long ago ceased to be a pub:

The Old Deanery in Dean's Walk was never just a pub. Around 1910 when the following was taken, it was a rather swish hotel with waiters in penguin suits etc. These days it is a care home:

Merseyside Youth Hostel

Pictured above is Bodlonfa Hall in Rhuallt, which used to be operated by Merseyside Youth Hostels Ltd. The card is postmarked 1953. Bodlonfa Hall is now a B&B.

Below is Brynbella in Tremeirchion, a 1790s villa with lovely gardens. The name Brynbella is an odd fusion of Welsh and Italian words. The pic is from a Sotheby's auction in 1994:

To see all posts about St. Asaph, including recent updates about Cefn and Llanerch, please click here:

Sunday, 25 September 2016


This week we have the uppermost part of two commercial buildings in Rhyl, photographed a few days ago by Yours Truly. In each case
The question is: What is the name of the business underneath?


You need correct answers to A and B to score 1 win.

You have until the end of Saturday 1st October 2016 to send your entry. The result will appear on this blog next day around noon.

Colin Jones / email:



Last Sunday I posted a photo, probably 1950s, of a place in Queen Street. The question: What is the name of the place?

The answer: OAP Friendship Club.
Here is the photo with missing words restored:

The club was founded in 1952 by Councillor/Alderman P.T. (Phil) Trehearn in upstairs premises at 72 Queen Street and operated for well over forty years. Last time I looked it was Flames Steakhouse & Bar.


Second question was about a card posted in 1979. The name of a house had been hidden by black dots. The question: What is the missing name?
The answer: Bryn Estyn.
Here is the image with missing words restored:

Bryn Estyn, 85 Russell Road, these days is a privately owned care home managed by Karin Witherspoon.


Scoring 1 win for Friendship Club and/or 1 win for Bryn Estyn:
Sue Handley 2, Jane Shuttle 2, The Great Gareth 2, Richard & Ceri Swinney 1, and Dilys Bagnall 2.


Dilys has supplied snaps taken circa 1950 showing General Post Office (GPO) workers in Rhyl. The first shows them assembled outside the main post office in High Street, opposite where Boots chemist is now:

Dilys' father Arthur Hughes is seated at the end on your left. Standing far left is Alf Murray.

Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

The following was taken outside the sorting office which was at the rear of the post office. Arthur Hughes is on your left:

Many families in Rhyl and district have GPO connections so these photos may help with family history. Thanks, Dilys.


No longer with us is the sex shop I mean licensed adult centre at 43-47 Queen Street. Our permission-givers obviously thought its location close to the Children's Village was appropriate. I didn't.

In High Street the camping shop Granite Outdoors at No. 64 has folded its tents and gone. The shop had far too many sale promotions and cluttered the pavement with displays but was marginally better than no shop.

A survey says more than 1 in 5 Rhyl shops are empty. See Daily Post:


Saturday, 24 September 2016


Photo: Russia Today TV

I am writing this on the day Jeremy Corbyn MP has been elected as leader of the UK Labour Party for second time by a big margin.

The official position of the Labour Party is that UK is better off in the European Union – and I agree – but can the Party be trusted on this issue?

In early 1970s when Britain was debating whether to join the EU I recall hearing many Labour politicians and trade union leaders denouncing the EU as a conspiracy of big business.

Since then, even though being in Europe has brought us prosperity and better protection of workers' rights, I suspect there still may be a lingering anti-EU undercurrent in Labour.

Wales needs a stronger economy and more private sector jobs. That is more likely to happen inside Europe than out, and that’s why the more trustworthy pro-EU party Plaid Cymru gets my vote.

You could join Plaid online:
or you can email for membership forms.


Thursday, 22 September 2016


Bill Ellis’ collection of material relating to Billie Manders & Quaintesques continues to grow. This was a concert party that entertained at the Pier Amphitheatre, Rhyl, in summer seasons from 1921 to 1963.

Among Bill’s memorabilia is a book presented to Mr. Manders in 1942 by The Rhyl Hebrew Congregation in appreciation of letting them use the Amphitheatre for Yom Kippur Services. Here is the title of the book and the presentation page:


The President is H. Huglin; the Honorary Secretary is J.H. Lysman.

From my own resources comes the following blurry photo taken in 1951 showing a meeting room of the Congregation, location unknown. The pic is followed by a detail showing some names:

Click on an image to see a clearer version.

The names are Solomon Rifkin, Gabriel Alis, Marie Alis, M. Cohen, Gedaliah Fox, Aaron Adolph, Morris Sugarman, Ada Sugarman, Lewis Lipman, Hannah Leah Lipman, William Jachcel, Regine Jachcel.

Mr. Manders' wife had the maiden name Fox - so it could be that they were Jewish - a thought that had never occurred previously to me or Bill Ellis.

Apart from references to J.H. Lipman The Wire King and Sir Anthony Meyer MP there has been no mention of Rhyl's Jewish connections. Further information would be welcome.

Info about other ethnic groups in Rhyl would be welcome too.

Colin Jones / email:

MON 13th FEB 2018 UPDATE: The room was on the first floor above what was then Lloyd's Bank, next door to the left of the old Carmel Welsh Chapel (now pawnbrokers).

This information comes from ex-Rhylite Geoffrey Fox, grandson of Gedaliah Fox and son of Reuben Fox who ran a fancy goods shop in the ornate building on the corner of Water Street and Crescent Road. The family was not related to Mrs. Manders.

Of the black-and-white photo Geoffrey says, "I know that room very well. My Dad and Uncle Harry Fox used to look after the synagogue. On that board the lettering was gold, the curtains were velvet red and the seats were light wood grain with a rich colour carpet. The window was also highly decorated.

"We had the room next door too - for functions. The Tora scrolls (Bible) were kept behind the curtains on the left and the two of them were bought by my family and dedicated to the memory of my grand parents and uncle. I know all the other families on the board. "

Geoffrey mentions the Rifkin / Rivken family had a scrap metal business. The Sugarmans, originally from Dublin, had the Army & Navy Stores in Queen Street. Family member Sara Sugarman is an actress and film maker, see Wikipedia:

Geoffrey concludes, "I grew up in Rhyl got married and moved to Israel worked as an Aeronautical Engineer for IAI (Israel Aircraft Industries). Worked in a number of places in Europe and US on aircraft projects and now live in San Diego."

Thanks for writing, Geoff.
Best wishes from Sunny Rhyl to Sunny California!


Monday, 19 September 2016


A few years ago Rhyl West residents saw large numbers of problematic people being dumped into the ward by resettlement agencies.

The uninvited guests included habitual criminals, addicts of alcohol and illegal drugs, antisocial types, dysfunctional families and so on.

The cost of Social Services went sky high and so did the crime rate.

Some old holiday accommodation in Abbey Street/ Aquarium Street area has been demolished and tenants dispersed – some as far as Denbigh. This should reduce the density of problems in Rhyl West.

Lately the ward seems a more relaxed place, not so low-life, and not so dangerous, but some fundamental difficulties remain. There is still a lot of poverty and deprivation.

One man who knows about the difficulties is Mark Webster who lives in Rhyl West and served as a ward councillor until his wife Coral became ill. (She has since passed away.)

Mark is concerned about disabled people having to switch to new benefits and have their conditions re-assessed by private companies that have no medical expertise.

He is unhappy about the prospect of our losing access to the European Regional Development Fund. Money is needed to help new businesses get started.

On the other hand, he feels optimistic about the forthcoming Marina Quay (ex-Ocean Beach) and other local indicators of better times ahead.

Mark Webster (pictured below) is casting around for a role to play. It would be no surprise to see him back in public life in due course.


Daily Post has published a list of food places top-rated for hygiene. There are lots of top-rated places in Denbighshire, many in Rhyl:

Sunday, 18 September 2016


Above is a photo, probably 1950s, of a place in Queen Street, Rhyl.
The question: What is the name of the place?
You are looking for three words.
The correct answer would score 1 win.

Below is a card posted in 1979. The name of a house has been hidden by black dots.
The question: What is the missing name?

You are looking for two words.
The correct answer would score 1 win.

You have until the end of Saturday 24th September 2016 to send your entry. The result will appear on this blog next day around noon.

Colin Jones / email:



Last Sunday Question 1 was: 
What is the name of this Rhyl street?

Answer: Eastville Avenue.
The shot is taken from the middle of the road (not recommended) at east end of Eastville Ave, looking towards the bend that leads to Oakville Ave.


Question 2 was: Which statements are true/false?

A: The Britannia Hotel was in High Street.

One of my early essays said there was a Britannia Hotel on the site of the present Co-op way back before Regal Cinema. In fact it was Britannia Inn (later renamed Britannia Forge) which I believe became a garage.

B: The pier was open to the public for a hundred years.

Dates given usually are 1867-1966 during which the pier had several long closures for repairs. It was closed as unsafe for a 13-year stretch between 1913 and 1930.

C: The Skytower came to us from Glasgow.

The Skytower came from Glasgow Garden Festival. Somewhere I said Edinburgh; the slip was spotted by Pete Bethell.
[On Internet correcting errors is no problem. Be nice if we could undo our life mistakes as easily.]

Scoring 1 win for Eastville and/or 1 win for FALSE-FALSE-TRUE:
Dilys Bagnall 2, The Great Gareth 2, Jane Shuttle 1, Sue Handley 1.


Further to the above comments about the pier, the postcard below shows a banner declaring PIER NOW OPEN.

Click on the picture to see a bigger version.

Victoria Pier

The card is undated. Pay booths at the shore end indicate that the pier was still under private ownership at the time.

The banner may refer to re-opening after the pier had collapsed in the middle following a storm in 1909.
It wasn't the luckiest pier in the world.


Saturday, 17 September 2016


Cannabis Rhyl

A reader has asked if I know the whereabouts of Jeffrey Ditchfield who began trying to run a cannabis cafĂ© known as the Beggar’s Belief in 2002 in Water Street, Rhyl.

Mr. Ditchfield seemed to me to be using disabled people as a starting point towards supplying cannabis for recreational purposes. We wrestled in the letters columns of local newspapers like Holmes and Moriarty.

Although I never disliked him personally I hated the drugs image he was helping to give the town. Use of illegal drugs for medicinal purposes is a matter for the Government and NHS not cowboy operators.

Mr. Ditchfield was treated as a celebrity in some quarters. The Visitor newspaper went as far as asking him to name his favourite things and Rhyl Town Council gave him an award for his hanging baskets.

It took four long years for North Wales Police to put a stop to his illegal activities in Rhyl, and the force was virtually shamed into it by a TV documentary that revealed more about him.

[Local criminal Johnny Gizzi (John Damon Gizzi) had been a household name as a drug dealer for considerably longer before they got round to convicting him of his first drug offence.]

Do I know where Mr. Ditchfield is now? Nope.

What I do know is that sometime after he lost his final court case in 2006 he sold his Water Street premises to officers of Welsh Government and thereby pocketed a pile of our money.

No doubt he felt much obliged.


Thursday, 15 September 2016


Although the name Bradfield House does not spring readily to mind when considering Rhyl hotels, boarding houses and guest houses, it must have been a serious player to have put its name on this multiview card.

At the time of the card – 1950s I suppose – Bradfield House was offering full board at £2.20 per week. It offered winter residence at cheaper rates. There was garage space for 50 cars.

The card is a reminder that the part of promenade opposite Abbey Street was once called Abbey Gardens, and the original paddling pool to your left of the old Pavilion was the Children's Lake.

Seeing Rhuddlan Castle covered with ivy reminds me that my father, who lived close to the castle at the time, was one of the workforce engaged to remove the ivy. He said it was teeming with insects including kinds that he never saw before or after. My mother agreed.

Bradfield House has long disappeared. The address 48 West Parade is now - guess what - a block of flats. It is between Abbey Street and the present barren waste at the top of John Street.


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.


Wednesday, 14 September 2016


book publication

The above publication has been around for more than 40 years and at last has joined this blog’s Book List. It is 'Shipwrecks of North Wales' by Ivor Wynne Jones. Pictured is the first edition published in 1973 (there are more recent editions).

The main body of the book is split into geographical or nautical areas: Cardigan Bay, Caernarfon Bay South, Caernarfon Bay North, Holyhead, and eastwards in stages to Liverpool Bay which includes Rhyl.

Our famous sunken submarine the Resurgam gets a mention and there is an account of the hovercraft being rescued by Rhyl Lifeboat Anthony Robert Marshall. From a map in the book, this detail covers wreck locations nearest to Rhyl: 

[The following names of vessels are added here for indexing purposes: St Olaf, Dido C, Richard, Eagle, Four Brothers, Ocean Queen, Conways Pride, Polly, Mary Ann, Fawn, Oriental, Thomas, Mary, Jane Mary, Temperance, Lady Stuart, William Henry, Raven, William, Jane, Glynne, Friends, Caroline, Cherokee, Lord Blayney, John Welsh.] 

'Shipwrecks Of North Wales' is illustrated with many maps and photos, a bibliography, lists of ships and an index. It is a thorough piece of work and very readable.

Ivor Wynne Jones is author of several books including others about North Wales. Click anywhere on the following link to see them on Amazon:


Monday, 12 September 2016


Programme for Opposition 2016-2021

In the current term of the Welsh Assembly, Plaid Cymru is the second biggest party to Labour and therefore the official Opposition.

Today Plaid published Programme for Opposition 2016-2021 a 23-page document setting out Plaid’s ideals, objectives and policies.

Long term aims include building a national community based on equality and social justice, and achieving independence for Wales within Europe.

The document spells out Plaid’s thoughts on Health & social care, Education, Economy & finance, Transport, Local government, Housing, energy & environment, Agriculture, Heritage culture & sport, Welsh language, and the EU & international relations.

Sunday, 11 September 2016


Question 1: What is the name of this Rhyl street?
                   The correct answer would score 1 win.

Question 2: Which statements are true/false?

                   A: The Britannia Hotel was in High Street.
                   B: The pier was open to the public for a hundred years.
                   C: The Skytower came to us from Glasgow.

                   The correct three answers would score 1 win.

You have until the end of Saturday 17th September 2016 to send your entry. The result will appear on this blog next day around noon.

Colin Jones / email:



Last Sunday I posted part of a photo taken a few days before in Rhyl by Yours Truly. The question: Where was I standing?
The answer: Paradise Street or Clwyd Street.
I was in Paradise Street but with a touch a zoom I could have taken the same shot from Clwyd Street. Here is complete photo with St. Thomas' Church and other details restored:

Also I posted the following picture of a badge. The question: What is unusual about it?

The answer: The National Eisteddfod was not here in 1974.
Eisteddfod Yr Urdd is the youth version of the event and it has a separate itinerary. The adult version of National Eisteddfod Of Wales came to Rhyl in 1892, 1904, 1953 and 1985.

Both correct answers were needed to score 1 win. Everybody got the street but nobody got the badge. No winners!

More badges: a poppy styled emblem of the Junior Tradesmen's Regiment (Kinmel Park Camp, Bodelwyddan) 1962-1974, and Rhyl & District Motor Club car badge / Model Train Exhibition Rhyl, and gold-coloured badge (style of lettering indicates it's quite an old one) / Rhyl Football Club badge by Mark Parr, and Rhyl Delta F.C. who played in Welsh Alliance League from 1998 to 2000:

Rhyl football club Delta

WED 1st MAR 2017 UPDATE: Further to the Junior Tradesmen’s Regiment (Kinmel Park Camp) emblem shown above, here is a sew-on badge and a belt:

Kinmel Park Camp near Rhyl

THU 4th JAN 2018 UPDATE: Further to the Rhyl & District Motor Club car badge shown above, here is an enamel coat badge of completely different design:



Thursday, 8 September 2016


Roller skating is always good for a laugh unless you're the one underneath a pile-up. Costumes may not be an accurate guide to the date of this item, but the venue would be either the Queens in West Parade or the Olympia Skating Rink in Wellington Road. The back of the card holds no clue:

The following Marine Lake item tickled my ribs. Not only are some of the buildings in the background sketched by hand, the picture is captioned accidentally as Morville Lake:

Is this where the Morville Hotel used to brew its beer? Only joking!!

Years ago the Morville seemed a disreputable place. The name was changed to the Fiorenzo Cazari Hotel. Now I read that the present proprietor, a qualified solicitor, has been jailed for trying to pervert the course of justice:

TUE 22nd NOV 2016 UPDATE: Daily Post reports that the Fiorenzo Cazari Hotel has been closed down because of unsafe electrical wiring.

SUN 4th FEB 2018 UPDATE: The Fiorenzo Cazari Hotel has been renamed as The Mews Inn. The word Mews used to mean converted stables. I wonder what it means now.


Tuesday, 6 September 2016


Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (RAOB)

This is a photograph of the last meeting of the Rhyl lodge of "The Buffs" i.e. The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (RAOB).

The photo was taken in 1990 at the The Millbank pub in Grange Road. Seated on the right is Steve Wheeler, and the gent with the beard is Les Williams the builder.

If you can identify anybody else please let me know:
Colin Jones / email:

RAOB does charitable works. As you can see, the regalia is elaborate so there are local collectors of items such as this 1957 President's silver breast jewel:

Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (RAOB)

Readers who share my distaste for secret societies please note that the RAOB imitates Freemasonry but is completely open in its objectives, activities and ritual. More info on Wikipedia:

TUE 22nd AUG 2017 UPDATE: Another collectable, an RAOB Quinquennial Meeting G.C Rhyl 1947 badge.

I take that to mean a once-every-five-years meeting of the General Council. Yes? No?

Colin Jones / email:


Sunday, 4 September 2016


Above is part of a photo taken a few days ago in Rhyl by Yours Truly.
The question: Where was I standing?

Below is a picture of a badge.
The question: What is unusual about it?

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

You have until the end of Saturday 10th September 2016 to send your entry. The result will appear on this blog next day around noon.

Colin Jones / email: