Thursday, 6 October 2016


Aerial view

Above is an aerial photo dated 1949 showing Marine Lake Fun Fair in the background and the plot of land that would become Ocean Beach Fun Fair in the foreground.

In the 1930s the Ocean Beach site had been bought by Albert Barnes, Managing Director of Rhyl Amusements Ltd the company that owned the fun fair, for use as the company's coach park and for travelling circuses and exhibitions.

The late Eric Hughes, who became manger of both sites said, "We began moving rides from Marine Lake to Ocean Beach where we had to fill the new site to form a surface level with rest of West Parade.
"We also had to build a retaining wall and extend the site by building decking over the coach park at the rear.
"Marine Lake and Ocean Beach were linked by a walkway parallel to the west side of Sydenham Avenue."
[Later the walkway became known as The Walk - Ed.] 

At the bottom of the photo, on your right with slanted roofs is the Alhambra cafe and dance hall which was destined to become the Ritz Ballroom. The picture shows the fun fair on the cusp of becoming two fun fairs.

A recent addition to this blog's book list is an A5-size booklet of fourteen arty black-and-white photos by Stephen Clarke titled 'Ocean Beach Rhyl' (published 2014) in a limited edition of 150.  

The booklet contains no text and therefore tells you nothing about Ocean Beach - not even the dates when the photos were taken. It is not that kind of book, it's more of a mood piece capturing the feel of the fair as it neared the end of its life - on the cusp of extinction you might say.

The longer I live with this little publication the more I like it. Some of the plates have an end-of-an-era sadness about them, others reflect the mad love of being thrown all over the place by machines. The following is just half of one of the pictures; the ride is The Waltzer:

Stephen if you are reading this, do get in touch to tell us about your other activities in Rhyl. 
Colin Jones / email: 

These refs are added here for indexing purposes: Westbourne Avenue, gasometers, Dodgem, Cafe Royal Books, Craig Atkinson editor.