Friday, 28 October 2016

EFTA YOU'VE GONE

Nissan image from Reuters

This week the car manufacturer Nissan announced that it is expanding its business in the UK. I take this to be a sign that the UK intends to withdraw from the European Union (EU) and join instead the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

I have referred previously to this option. EFTA members (presently only Iceland, Liechtenstein, most of Norway and most of Switzerland) can trade with EU without any restrictions or surcharges.

EFTA members do not have to adopt EU laws, but they do have to abide by the EU’s basic principles of free movement of goods, services, money and people.

If the UK joined EFTA, the majority of Brits who voted to leave the EU would get what they voted for, and Colonel Blimps who harrumph about “lost British sovereignty” would get it back, and people who voted to leave EU on racist grounds would get a well-deserved poke in the eye.

Joining EFTA would put us back to where we were in 1973 when, as I recall, we left EFTA to join the EU.

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RHYL WEST BY-ELECTION

This week's by-election was won by Labour. So now both of Rhyl West's county councillors are Labour Party people who do not live in the ward.

The turnout was 12 per cent. In other words, 88 out of every 100 residents who could have voted did not bother to do so.

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Thursday, 27 October 2016

RHYL LIFE

Wellington Road
Wellington Road card postmarked 1908

Future posts will not be so frequent. To be sure that you catch them all (including occasional quiz questions) please follow by email. Just type your email address in box at top left of this page.

Pip! Pip!

Colin Jones / email: rhyl.colin.jones@live.co.uk

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RHYL LIFE QUIZ WINNERS


There have been two series of the quiz, each ran for 80 weeks. Most weeks the ‘question’ was more than one question!

For quizmaster and players it was a fun way of absorbing information. Although the number of entrants was small, the blog’s statistics showed that a very large number of people were watching the questions and answers.

The quiz was never a level playing field – readers found out about it at differing stages. As a whole it was a stiff test of anybody’s knowledge of Rhyl past and present.

The results are all in and I have no hesitation in declaring Gareth Morris as King of the Rhyl Life Quiz:


The above photos of Gareth appeared in this blog in April 2010. I dubbed him The Great Gareth because of his high scoring rate. He was joint-winner of the first series and is clear winner of the second series.

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Next are ‘the Jackson girls’. On the left in this photo – in second place – Jane Shuttle who was joint-winner of the first series and runner-up in the second. That makes her Queen of the Rhyl Life Quiz!


In third place, on your right above, is Jane’s sister Sue Handley. There has been no collusion here. Sue would have loved to beat Jane at this game!

I call Jane and Sue ‘the Jackson girls’ because their father was Douglas Jackson who worked in Pilkingtons and for a short time was landlord of Ellis's in Water Street.


In fourth place were Richard & Ceri Swinney. Richy might say “not bad for a Worcestershire man”. Interesting to note that none of the top scorers started life in Rhyl, except the following:


In fifth place Dilys Bagnall who was born at “10 Williams Street, Rhyl. Lived next door to John and Muriel Bamber who had a coal round.”

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In the second series Dorothy Jones and Geoff Hughes did not play continuously but both displayed above-average ability and should be mentioned in dispatches.

Many thanks to all who took part.

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BUTTERICK AT TALBOT'S

A post of this name, dated 23rd August this year, became corrupted and lost in cyberspace. This happens once in a blue moon when an old post is being updated.

In this case the images, mainly 1940s ladies' dress fashions, were saved. So retro-fashionistas may relax. Butterick At Talbot's will reappear in this blog before long.

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Sunday, 23 October 2016

QUIZ ANSWER # 160


Quiz Question # 160 was the last in this second series of the quiz. It comprised the following eight questions:

1. Below is a photo taken not many years ago. The building's name has been obscured by black dots.
The question: What is the missing name?


2. Below is a group of Edwardian gentlemen and a lady outside a Rhyl building.
The question: What is the name of the building?


3. Below is a shot taken in January this year. On nearest side is The Bike Hub, on far side is The Harbour Hub Cafe.
The question: What is the building inbetween used for?

Foryd Harbour

4. Below is a photo of unknown date taken in the London Transport area.
The question: What has it got to do with Rhyl?

Rhyl

Click on any picture to see a bigger version.


5. Above is a part of a photo of unknown date, obviously not recent.
The question: Where in Rhyl was it taken?


6. Above is a shot taken this year with a place name blanked out.
The question: What is the missing name?

High Street, Crosville single decker bus

7. Above is an image of a Crosville bus loading in High Street.
The question: Would the nearest date be 1930, 1940, 1950 or 1960?


8. The above is part of a photograph taken this year.
The question: Where in Rhyl would you see this construction?

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HERE ARE THE ANSWERS:

1.  The Abbey Vaults (in Abbey Street). Photo supplied by Dave Williams. Thanks Dave!

2.  The original Rhyl Pavilion. Photo was taken in 1908 on opening day. Here is the full picture; the gent in the light-coloured trilby hat would be Lord Mostyn, L.N.V. Lloyd-Mostyn the 3rd Baron Mostyn (1856-1929):

   
3.  Harbour Master. Behind the black dots are signs saying Harbwr Feistr/Harbour Master. Photo taken in January 2016 by Fred Burns.

4.  The white coach belonged to Brookes Bros of Rhyl. It is a Leyland Lioness with registration number DM6228.

5.  Grange Court (near Rhyl High School).

6.  The Conservatory, Botanical Gardens. Here is the picture complete with its caption:


7.  1950. The image of a bus loading in High Street is an amateur shot dated 1950.
   
8.  Westbourne Avenue. Here's a wider view of the construction:

Westbourne Avenue

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Scoring 1 win for each correct answer plus 2 wins for getting all 8 right:
Jane Shuttle 10, The Great Gareth 10, Dilys Bagnall 5, Richard & Ceri Swinney 10, Sue Handley 4.

SOON THERE WILL BE A FEATURE ON THE REGULAR PLAYERS.

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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

KINMEL BAY TOP-UP


According to Wikipedia, Kinmel Bay is a suburb of Rhyl. Kinmel Bay was originally called Foryd, and Foryd was the name of its former railway station.


The following Kinmel Bay oddity is an advert inviting investment in a poultry farm which may or may not have existed.


Poultry farm

The card below is captioned The Camping Fields, Kinmel Bay, and is believed to be from late 1930s/early 1940s:

Camping fields

The following beach shot may be late 1940s/early 1950s. I like the windsock and would love to know what was written on it:


Beach sands

Here is Sunnyvale Camp's swimming pool on a card postmarked 1955 from Pat to her workmates I mean colleagues at the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance in Coventry:



Click on any image to see a bigger version.

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TOWYN TOP-UP


Towyn is part of the postal district of Abergele but shares a community council with Kinmel Bay; the combined population is about 8,000.

Art enthusiasts may like this picture titled 'The Sands of Towyn, North Wales' by B.W. Leader A.R.A. (Associate of the Royal Academy):

Towyn Abergele

Benjamin Williams Leader (1831-1923) was a landscape artist from the English midlands; he spent quite a lot of time in North Wales. I like the way he turned his name around from Benjamin Leader Williams so as not to disappear in a tide of Williamses.

The following postcard is undated, looks to be 1930s. Below it is a detail from the big picture.

Abergele Rhyl


Here is another card; this one is postmarked 1955. It carries a message from Rose to her Aunt, Mrs M. Williams of Harborne, Birmingham:

Abergele Rhyl


Until recently I had not heard of Howison's Holiday Camp, Towyn, as featured on the multiview card below.

Abergele

Howison's was a forerunner of the present Whitehouse Leisure Park:
http://www.whitehouseleisurepark.com/

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Sunday, 16 October 2016

QUIZ QUESTION # 160


The final salvo in this second series of the quiz comprises eight questions.

1. Below is a photo taken not many years ago. The building's name has been obscured by black dots.
The question: What is the missing name?


2. Below is a group of Edwardian gentlemen and a lady outside a Rhyl building.
The question: What is the name of the building?


3. Below is a shot taken in January this year. On nearest side is The Bike Hub, on far side is The Harbour Hub Cafe.
The question: What is the building inbetween used for?


4. Below is a photo of unknown date taken in the London Transport area.
The question: What has it got to do with Rhyl?


Click on any picture to see a bigger version.


5. Above is a part of a photo of unknown date, obviously not recent.
The question: Where in Rhyl was it taken?


6. Above is a shot taken this year with a place name blanked out.
The question: What is the missing name?


7. Above is an image of a Crosville bus loading in High Street.
The question: Would the nearest date be 1930, 1940, 1950 or 1960?


8. The above is part of a photograph taken this year.
The question: Where in Rhyl would you see this construction?

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You would score 1 win for each correct answer, plus 2 extra wins for getting all 8 right.

You have until the end of Saturday 22nd October 2016 to send your entry. The result will appear on this blog next day around noon.

Colin Jones / email: rhyl.colin.jones@live.co.uk

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QUIZ ANSWER # 159


Last Sunday I posted the above image of a Rhyl character circa 1900 on Foryd Bridge, not the present one but the one before (a toll bridge 1861-1932). The question: Is she most likely to have been a Fisherwoman, Fortune teller, Nanny or Postwoman?
The answer: Fortune teller.
I lifted the image shamelessly from Philip Lloyd's excellent book 'Glorious Rhyl' published 2002.
Of the figure in question, Philip says: "The late Eric Foulkes who gave me this and many other lantern slides believed that she was part of Rhyl's c.1900 holiday 'scene', telling fortunes with the aid of a canary which selected cards in its beak."

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Also I posted the following aerial shot which had been taken in the 1920s and was blurred deliberately. The question: What is the name of the street marked by red dot?


The answer: High Street.
Here is the restored picture. The white car has just crossed the Alexandra Bridge aka Vale Road Bridge:

aerial view

The date I have been given for this is 1923 so the scene may have been part of the build-up to the ceremonial opening of the present coast road from Rhyl to Prestatyn.

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Scoring 1 win for the Fortune teller and/or 1 win for High Street: Dilys Bagnall 2, The Great Gareth 2, Sue Handley 1, Jane Shuttle 2, John E. Davies 1.

John Davies is a new player. He says, "I was very pleased that I got High Street right first time of looking.
"I am a Rhyl lad born and bred and our family home was at Morfa, 60 Warren Road, which my paternal grandparents purchased new in the 1920's. I am an only son with four younger sisters, Lesley, Margaret, Janet and Kathleen.
"The latter two still live in Rhyl and the other two live down south. You featured the Close where Janet lives on Rhyl Life a few months ago with a blanked street name - Eleri Close.
" I met my wife of almost 50 years in 1967 at The Schooner pub when she was holidaying with a friend in Towyn. We now live about 52 miles away in Warrington with our family.
"My grandfather was a steam locomotive driver and was on the rails for 49 years. He drove the Royal Train when George V and the present Queen and her sister Princess Margaret were with him on a visit to North Wales in the 1930s.
"He was the first driver to take the controls of the Welsh Dragon in 1951."

[The Welsh Dragon was a push-pull train that went back and forth between Rhyl and Llandudno in 1950s & '60s. - Ed.]


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MON 17th OCT 2016 UPDATE: John Davies writes, “In the newspaper cutting below, Miss Nan Williams in traditional Welsh costume shakes hands with the driver of Welsh Dragon holiday special, Mr. R.J. (Jack) Davies of Rhyl – my grandfather. The picture was taken at Rhyl station:

Llandudno

“When the train reached Llandudno on its first journey it was welcomed by radio comedian Cyril Fletcher and his wife Betty Estell.

L&NWR LNWR bus

“In the photo above, my grandfather is standing second from left (in black overcoat) with his four brothers. I don't know the year but I think the London & North Western Railway used this mode of transport in towns where there was no railway line. The town in this case may have been Mold but I am not certain.”

Further info welcome at: rhyl.colin.jones@live.co.uk

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Saturday, 15 October 2016

ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru's annual conference is to be held here in Denbighshire, at Llangollen Pavilion (shown above). The conference is on Friday and Saturday, 21st and 22nd October. 


The government's EU shambles is bound to be a major point of debate. Plaid's position is that leaving the EU would be extremely damaging to the Welsh economy and endanger a great many jobs.


If we are to be dragged out by circumstance, at least Plaid will be on the alert to see that Wales comes away with the best possible deal.


I am pleased to note that there will be a Scottish National Party guest speaker. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland need to be even more vigilant than usual to see that England does not have all its own way at this critical time.


Incidentally have you heard about Undeb Credyd Plaid Cymru / Plaid Cymru Credit Union? You can get information by telephoning 029 2049 1888 or email: post@ucpccu.org


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SHUFFLING THE PACK

Changes have been proposed that would reduce the total number of Westminster MPs and make constituencies more even in size in terms of population.

At present Wales has 40 MPs. This would reduce to just 29, losing us 11 seats (Conservatives would lose 4, Labour would lose 7).

Rhyl is currently in the Vale of Clwyd constituency. Parts of this and parts of Delyn would be combined to create a brand new constituency named Flint and Rhuddlan.

Flint and Rhuddlan would comprise Bagillt, Brynford, Caerwys, Cilcain, Dyserth, Ffynnongroyw, Flint, Greenfield, Gronant, Gwernaffield, Halkyn, Holywell, Mostyn, Northop, Prestatyn, Rhuddlan, Rhyl, Trelawnyd & Gwaenysgor, and Whitford.

The runes predict that this would be a likely Labour seat so I hope our present MP James Davies (Conservative) would be parachuted to a safer place where he could continue his career.

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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

GRAND TIMES



After a fire in 1907 at Queen’s Palace entertainment complex (the domed building above) the owning company dissolved having been unable to get a payout from the insurers.

The fire destroyed completely only the topmost part. The remainder of the complex was soon operating again under a renamed company involving some of the same directors.

The ballroom part on the ground floor became a roller skating rink, and film shows (‘movies’) were introduced there. The theatre part upstairs on the first floor became renamed Grand Theatre.

Here is the front of a Grand Theatre programme from Thursday August 21st 1914, less than a month after the outbreak of WW1:
Click on it to see a clearer version.


. . . the other side . . .


Details of the play Broadway Jones are too faded to reproduce clearly. Geoffrey Saville appeared in the lead role. The producer Seymour Hicks had played lead himself in other venues including the Leeds Grand:


Eventually the Rhyl building was revamped and in 1926 the Grand Theatre on the first floor was renamed Queen's Theatre, and the skating rink on the ground floor reverted to use for dancing under the name Queens Ballroom.

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The following Rhyl advertisers are added here for indexing purposes:
Goldstraw, Wedgwood House, Dunning, Rhyl Journal, Garson Allen, Hubbards, Knutsford House, Madame Le Vere, Marlborough Hotel, Queens Hotel, F Thomas cycles, Ben Glass, Arcade Bazaar, E Robins, Foulkes Bar, Sussex Cafe, York House, Leinster House, Ferry Hotel, Hazel Grove House, Ferns apartments, Ivy House, Truscott.
X L Seed Co, Arnolds, Chester House, Geo J Mason, Hodges Chatsworth Cafe, Twillrane, Wadsworths, SPQR Stores, Philip Thomas, Avondale Restaurant, Marine Lake Fun Fair, Charlton boarding, Fells Bazaar, White Lion Hotel, Archie Wood.
Robins, J H Ellis, Owens butchers, Griffiths baker, E Beech, H Wilcock, Ernest R Clarke, Star Supply Stores, C H J E Lamb, J A Smalley.

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FRI 3rd FEB 2017 UPDATE: Here is a rare photograph captioned Grand Theatre, Staff, Rhyl Oct,1912.


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Sunday, 9 October 2016

QUIZ QUESTION # 159


Above is an image of a Rhyl character circa 1900 on Foryd Bridge, not the present one but the one before (a toll bridge 1861-1932).
The question: Is she most likely to have been a Fisherwoman, Fortune teller, Nanny or Postwoman?
The correct answer would score 1 win.

Below is an aerial shot taken in the 1920s and blurred deliberately by your crafty blogger:


The question: What is the name of the street marked by red dot?
The correct answer would score 1 win. 

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You have until the end of Saturday 15th October 2016 to send your entry. The result will appear on this blog next day around noon.

Colin Jones / email: rhyl.colin.jones@live.co.uk

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QUIZ ANSWER # 158


Last Sunday I posted the uppermost part of two commercial buildings in Rhyl, photographed a few days before by Yours Truly. In each case the question was: What is the name of the business underneath?

A:

The answer: Quality Solicitors Edward Hughes.
The office is at 29-31 Kinmel Street. Here is the photo in full:

Quality Solicitors Edward Hughes

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B:

The answer: Liffy's Cafe.
The premises are at 7 Russell Road. Here is the photo in full, taken on a Sunday afternoon to avoid scaring the customers:

Liffy's Cafe
  
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With correct answers to A and B to score 1 win: Jane Shuttle, The Great Gareth, Dilys Bagnall, Sue Handley.

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