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!