Monday, 18 December 2017


Keith Boyle has written from Queensland, Australia. Keith is grappling with family history and has raised a query about the location of Carlton Café, Rhyl (above left).

The café was at 15 Queen Street before World War 2 but the street has been renumbered at least once since then. The names Bell and Felton have been associated with the premises, and so has footballer Harry Hampton who figures in Wikipedia:,_born_1885)

The point is, where was the café? Keith regards the current Victory Club, 60 Queen Street, as the most likely place. My thanks to Peter Trehearn and Roger & Sue Handley for thoughts on this matter.

Now what we need is somebody to confirm absolutely that the Victory Club was indeed the Carlton Café.
Over to you, dear readers . . .  

Colin Jones / email:



Care home are big business in Rhyl, bringing money into the town and creating jobs. A 2017 report by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) found no reason to be concerned about any Rhyl homes. Only one in Denbighshire failed to pass muster and that was in Llangollen. Phew!


Friday, 1 December 2017


The town's brass band in 1908 outside Rhyl Pavilion

During November 2017 the following posts were updated:

Albert Barnes, founder of Rhyl’s fun fair -

Denbighshire T.Y. -

Exhibition diving at The Baths -

Gordon Hemm, another drawing -

Grand Theatre again -

Remembrance Sunday, old photo -

Cards such as the one below postmarked 1905 (sent from Camberley to Miss Earp of Bayham Gardens, Lamberhurst, Kent) are common enough but not written in shorthand!



During the month of December this blog shall be paused while the year's posts are double checked and possibly re-edited. The next post will be on Monday 1st January 2018.

Rhyl Life has been chosen for preservation by National Library of Wales for researchers in the future. Been thinking of offering photos and/or info but haven't got round to it yet? Best do it soon.
Remember, your items don't have to be old to be interesting!

Colin Jones / email:


Sunday, 26 November 2017


Many readers would remember Charles Jones timber merchants at Foryd Harbour. In days of yore the harbour was a hive of activity. According to the postcard / business card below, the Charles Jones company was established in 1870. (It closed down in 1988.)

"From SHIP to RAIL"

This would refer to nearby Foryd Railway Station aka Kinmel Bay Halt about which you can read on Wikipedia:


This was a name in common use for Foryd Harbour even though most of it is in Kinmel Bay. Foryd is an old name for Kinmel Bay.

This part of the card's text is repeated here for indexing purposes:

Archangel Reds, Floorings, Bathurst Spruce, Mobile Pitchpine & English Cement.
Vessels discharging at Messrs. Charles Jones and Sons, Ltd.,
Timber Importers & Sawmill Proprietors, Foryd & Rhyl.


A reader got in touch to say she had searched Rhyl Life for an old picture of St. John's Church, Wellington Road, and failed to find one. What? Can this be true? Hereby I make amends:

St. John's, a Grade II listed building, held religious services from 1887 to 1997 and is now a private residence named Churchill House.

FRI 16 NOV 2018 UPDATE: Mike Theaker reports that Churchill House is now a Bed and Breakfast business. See Trip Advisor:



Last Sunday I said that in the late 1950s this entertainer topped the bill at a Sunday concert in Rhyl Pavilion. The question: What is her name?

The answer: Jill Day.
She was Brighton-born, mainly a singer, tried her hand at acting. She was popular on TV before most of us had a TV. As a song stylist she was knocked out of the game by the advent of rock 'n' roll. She died in 1990.

The photo is from Bill Ellis who says her Sunday concert in Rhyl Pavilion was in 1958. This information helped me to date the following, one of my own pix in which Jill Day poster is centre left.

Wow, the roller skating rink looks busy!

Also I said that in the early 1970s the entertainer below topped the bill at a Sunday concert in Rhyl Pavilion. The question: What is his name?

The answer: Jimmy Tarbuck.
Like other Liverpool comedians, JT played Rhyl more than once. The Sunday concert in question was 1971.

Below: A recent picture of yer man with his wife Pauline after they had been married for 50 years.

Daily Mirror / Getty Images
Daily Mirror / Getty Images


Daily Post has chosen 13 of the best places to get a Sunday roast in Denbighshire. Rhyl is there with Barratt's at Ty'n Rhyl, 167 Vale Road (Tel: 01745 344138) and The Bistro Restaurant, 215 Wellington Road - corner of Westbourne Avenue (01745 344333).
Click here if you wish to see the full list:

THU 8th FEB 2018 UPDATE: In a Daily Post list of best Chinese restaurants and takeaways in North Wales, Rhyl scores twice again with Laughing Buddha, 88-90 Rhyl Coast Road (Tel: 01745 332163) and Yeung Sing, 133 Wellington Road (01745 350773).
Also listed are one in Rhuddlan and one in Prestatyn.
The full list:


Sunday, 19 November 2017


The old toll bridge that preceded the present Foryd Bridge is always an item of interest. The image below tells us little or nothing about the bridge but it has a certain charm. Views from downriver looking northwards to the harbour are quite rare.

The image has been re-shaped slightly Yours Truly. It is from a card postmarked 1916. Printed on the back of the card is a copyright notice by

A. Netherwood, Conway. Arthur Netherwood was an English artist who travelled in Wales. He died in 1930.


Well boys, we men seem to be boxed into a corner: no longer able to take hold of children and – thanks to predatory film producers and the like – no longer able to take hold of women either. We’ll have to learn to hug each other.

A long way from the dark side is this depiction of a young lady landing in Rhyl and being pursued by interested parties while a policeman looks on. Women would send this kind of card to each other.

humorous card

This is postmarked 1903. It is intended to be humorous and I hope most sincerely that it offends nobody.

MON 15th OCT 2018 UPDATE: Ditto the following item, a card postmarked 1910.

humorous card

Colin Jones / email:



In the late 1950s this entertainer topped the bill at a Sunday concert in Rhyl Pavilion.
The question: What is her name?

In the early 1970s the entertainer below topped the bill at a Sunday concert in Rhyl Pavilion.
The question: What is his name?

No need to send me an email - just check your answers against mine on Sunday 26th November 2017 after 12 noon.


I note with glee that Scottish Government has overcome legal objections and is to impose a minimum price per unit of alcohol. Welsh Government is poised to follow suit.
The alcoholic drinks industry is pernicious; more action is needed against it. Imagine how much less our social services, NHS and policing would cost if alcohol consumption in general were cut back drastically.
The Chief Medical Officer for Wales and Chief Constable of North Wales Police are both on record as supporting the idea of a minimum price per unit of alcohol, so it's time for everybody  including the legions of local daily drinkers of the stuff – to realise that it has been dangerously cheap for too long.


Sunday, 12 November 2017


Gaiety Theatre, Rhyl

In October last year I mentioned 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.

Recently a companion volume turned up  the covers are shown above. ‘Rhyl Seafront’ (published 2015) is in same format and this too is limited edition of 150. Its fifteen images show parts of West Parade and the promenade.

Cover shot of Gaiety Theatre would be 1980s (it was demolished 1991). Presumably the other pictures are from the ‘80s as well. The text gives no clue as to the date or any other information because there is no text.

Clwyd Cream Ices' kiosk is featured and so is the Information Centre in a unit on the prom before it moved to Children’s Village. Also we have the arcades Stardust, Mint and Ronald Seldon's Sands; and Bumper Boats. The booklet is a time capsule.

To see the post about photographer Stephen Clarke’s 'Ocean Beach Rhyl' please click here:

The following refs are added here for indexing purposes: Cafe Royal Books, Craig Atkinson editor.

Colin Jones / email:

See my Rhyl videos on YouTube:

Only the videos marked RhylTime are mine!



Last Sunday I listed some Rhyl places with every other letter removed.
The question: What are the full names of the places?

The example given:
-e-l-n-t-n / -o-d = Wellington Road

The answers:

1) -u-l-n-t-n / -r-s-e-t = Burlington Crescent

2) -a-n-l-a / -o-r- = Magnolia Court

3) -a-d-w-r-h / -r-s-e-t = Handsworth Crescent

4) -l-s / -o-i- / G-c- = Llys Robin Goch

5) -a-f-r- / A-e-u- = Walford Avenue

Did you get them all right?
Of course you did!


Here we are again at Rhyl

Alas, Daily Post reports that Rhyl has become North Wales' most crime-ridden railway station:

Criminals continue to make a bee-line for Rhyl because they have family/ friends/associates here, and they know the town is an easy place to get drugs, and policing is weak.
As far as I can see, little or nothing is being done to deter these people from coming. On the contrary they are welcomed by publicly-funded support projects including housing services.
Your taxes, dear readers, are being used to help Rhyl gain and keep a bad reputation.



Automobile Association

These amateur snaphots from the early 1930s relate to AA Box. No. 263 named ‘Rhuddlan Cross-Roads’. The telephone number was Rhuddlan 235. At the crossroads it was on the B. 5532 (now A5151 to Bodrhyddan Hall, Dyserth and Trelawnyd.)

Whenever passing I see the ghost of the AA Box in Rhuddlan and the one at Trefnant, Doctor.

Does anybody know who the patrolman is?

Colin Jones / email:


Sunday, 5 November 2017


Here are a couple of aerial shots; the guesstimated date is August 2010. Thanks to 'L' for sending these.

Above: Looking westwards across Towyn. Tir Prince is on your left.

Click on an image to see a bigger version.

Below: Looking eastwards across Towyn & Kinmel Bay towards Rhyl.

Colin Jones / email:

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.



Here are some Rhyl places with every other letter removed.
The question: What are the full names of the places?

-e-l-n-t-n / -o-d = Wellington Road

Now try these

1) -u-l-n-t-n / -r-s-e-t

2) -a-n-l-a / -o-r-

3) -a-d-w-r-h / -r-s-e-t

4) -l-s / -o-i- / G-c-

5) -a-f-r- / A-e-u-

No need to send me an email - just check your answers against mine on Sunday 12th November 2017 after 12 noon.


Tuesday, 31 October 2017


Erdington Children's Homes Band at Rhyl, 1929

During October 2017 the following old posts were updated:

Former Co-op premises, High Street (2 updates) -

Foryd Bridge -

High Street, Polkinghorne’s Series -

Pleasure Boats / Gangways on beach -

Pleasure / Fishing Boats near harbour -

May Queen 1941 -

Sun Centre -

Universal Credit in Rhyl -

STOP PRESS! Bodycare is moving from High Street to White Rose Centre.
ALDI is moving from Wellington Rd to Marina Quay (was Ocean Beach).



October 2017 was a classic month for quotes about Republican President Donald Trump:

Republican Senator Jeff Flake said,
“We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country - the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions, the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations.”

Republican Senator Bob Corker said,
"At the end of the day, when his term is over, I think the debasing of our nation, the constant non-truth telling, just the name-calling ... I think the debasement of our nation will be what he'll be remembered most for, and that's regretful."

American Professor of Economics Jeffrey Sachs said,
"I believe that at an individual level he is profoundly psychologically ill. He is a malignant narcissist and a sociopath."

MON 30 OCT 2017 – Ex-Trump election campaign adviser George Papadopoulos has admitting lying to the FBI about connections between individuals associated with the campaign and the Russian government's efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

MON 30 OCT 2017 AGAIN – Ex-Trump election campaign adviser Paul Manafort & his business associate Richard ‘Rick’ Gates, have been charged on 12 counts, including conspiracy against United States, making false statements and conspiracy to launder money.


Saturday, 28 October 2017


St. Mary's Convent School

St. Mary's Convent School

These recent acquisitions are postcards bearing bottom right the printed signature of Rhyl photographer Rae Pickard and the date 1912. On the back they carry the following message: "BROMESQUE" REAL PHOTOGRAPH by RAE PICKARD, RHYL. PRINTED IN RHYL.

The cards bear no further details. Mr. Pickard ranged far and wide in North Wales, so there is no guarantee that this production of 'Cinderella' was actually staged in Rhyl. Nevertheless I suspect we are looking at girls from our St. Mary's Convent School in Russell Road which was up and running by then.

Kinmel Bay-based cartoonist/singer/comedian Roy Lance clocked up a few pantos in his time, such as this one:

Jack and the Beanstalk

Roy is on your right as Simple Simon with Trevor Moreton as Dame in 'Jack and the Beanstalk' 1968-69 at Swansea Grand Theatre. Jack was played by pop singer Wayne Fontana; the cast included The Harmon Brothers (later known as The Chuckle Brothers).

If I have identified the wrong production I will go and stand in the corner.

This year at Pavilion Theatre, Rhyl, we have 'Sleeping Beauty':

Pavilion Theatre says, "The cast is headed by Vicky Entwistle, perhaps best known as Coronation Streeet’s Janice Batterby who plays the Bad Fairy Cararabosse. She is joined by Channel 5’s Milkshake presenter, Amy Thompson as Sleeping Beauty, Princess Briar Rose, and Hollyoaks’ Kathy Barnes, Sarah Jane Buckley, as the Good Fairy.

"The Queen of pantomime dames, Charles Burden, plays Nanny Glucose, and back by popular demand is Wales’ very own Sean Jones as Silly Billy who returns for his 6th consecutive pantomime at the Pavilion.
"There is a full supporting cast which includes two local talented dance schools, The Gay Harris Dancers and The North Wales School of Dance. Sleeping Beauty runs from Wednesday 13th December to Saturday 6th January, tickets are priced from just £9.50."
Incidentally, recent works by Denbighshire County Council at the Pavilion Theatre include the creation of a new restaurant area which has been given the name ‘1891’ because somebody thinks that’s when the Pavilion first opened. There are faults in this reasoning.
The present Pavilion Theatre which opened in 1991 could be described as a belated replacement for the famous domed Rhyl Pavilion (demolished 1974, opened 1908) but there is no connection that I know of between those two council-owned venues and the Grand Pavilion (destroyed by fire 1901, opened 1891).
The Grand Pavilion, about which I published a book in 2002, was a concert hall built at the shore end of our Victoria Pier by a private company which owned the pier at that particular time. It was not the start of a Pavilion dynasty so ‘1891’ is not an appropriate name for the restaurant.

If the link between the three disparate venues is simply the word Pavilion, then the restaurant might as well be named '1867' which was the date that the Bijou Pavilion opened halfway along the pier. Does all this matter? Well, there is already enough misinformation about Rhyl history out there without Denbighshire Council adding to it.


Wednesday, 25 October 2017



A message has arrived here at Jones Towers from Jan Gammie who says:

I am working as the researcher on a book being written by an old colleague of mine, Dafydd Rees, about The Beatles in 1963. We worked together in the press office at Decca back in the day, and have kept in touch over the years. He has been writing music books for over 40 years (if you google "dafydd rees author" you should find some previous publications on his Amazon page).

The latest project (well, I say "latest", but we have been on it for 5 years now!) is "1963 - A Year In The Life Of The Beatles". It essentially covers each day of that pivotal year, with a short narrative from the group's perspective, accompanied by a memoir from someone who encountered them in some way.

We have stories from musicians who played on the same bill, fans who saw them in concert, waitresses who served them in restaurants, and try though I may, I just haven't been able to find someone to share a memoir from when they appeared at The Ritz Ballroom in Rhyl on the 19th/20th July of that year. 

I wonder if you know anyone who saw them on either of these two dates, and who would be happy to share their memories of the evening, and growing up in Rhyl in the early '60s - was there much to do for young people/local music shops/coffee bars, etc. 

Over to you, dear readers. Did you see The Beatles at the Ritz? If so, send an email to me in the first instance and I will forward it to Jan.

Colin Jones /

SAT 10th FEB 2018 UPDATE: The following two photos of The Beatles at the Ritz were auctioned recently on Internet together as one lot. They sold for £280.


Sunday, 22 October 2017


arts centre, cinema, theatre, conference venue

As Labour enjoys popularity and the Conservatives descend into disarray yet again over Europe, Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales - holds its own very well as a pressure group within the Welsh Assembly. Its four MPs and MEP are hard at work too.

Last Friday at the party's annual conference, at Galeri in Caernarfon (pictured above), Plaid's leader Leanne Wood expressed support for Catalonian independence and condemned the violence by Spanish state police that shocked us all in television news reports.

Plaid’s position on Brexit is same as Labour’s. Both parties believe that leaving the European Union is a bad idea but they are going along with it anyway as long as leaving the EU (a political institution) does not mean having to leave the single market and customs union as well.


Plaid wishes to see the establishing of a Welsh Government fund to help businesses across any transition period, and an end to the scapegoating of migrants who came to UK lawfully and in good faith and have contributed a lot to strengthening the economy.

Leanne moved on to talk about the need to expand rail transport within Wales (including electrification of the North Wales Coast line) and about Education being the route out of poverty, and Community Action being an antidote to deprivation and budget cuts.

The speech touched on other issues but avoided controversies within the party such as arguments for and against legalising drugs, and for or against banning the sale of council & housing association properties.

Certain elements within Plaid would prefer to have a new leader before the next National Assembly for Wales election in 2021. Why they feel that way is a mystery; they are anonymous and therefore cannot be questioned about the matter.

THU 30th NOV 2017 UPDATE: Photo from the latest edition of Plaid Cymru’s publication The Welsh Nation – a delegation from Plaid’s youth wing Plaid Ifanc showing solidarity with campaigners for independence in Catalonia (Catalunya).

MON 1st OCT 2018 UPDATE: Plaid Cymru holds a leadership election every two years. Leanne Wood lost last month after a hat trick of wins, and the new leader is Adam Price.

Adam Price AM - Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

Leanne Wood is often quoted as saying, "I will always be a European" (to which I would respond, "Me, too!").

You can read about Adam Price in The Guardian:




Last Sunday I said that in late 1940s this family appeared in a one-off Sunday show at Queens Theatre, Rhyl. The little girl became a big international star. The question: What is her name?
The answer: Julie Andrews.
Pictured above with Julie are mother Barbara and stepfather Ted Andrews. They were at the Queens on July 25th 1948 when Julie was 12 years old.


Interesting to note that on this kind of engagement the biggest names did not necessarily appear on stage last. Position on the bill would suit their travelling arrangements.
If you never seen Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins (1964), The Sound Of Music (1965) or Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) do try to catch up!
Ms Andrews is 82 years of age and still working.

The following acts are added here for indexing purposes:
Tommy Casserley, Mabel Somers, Mark Rivers comic, Ian Glen magician, Tattersall and Jerry.

Also I said that in late 1950s this popular singer topped the bill in a Sunday show at the Queens. The question: What is her name?

The answer: Anne Shelton.
To be precise I could have said mid 1950s, but either you recognised her or you jolly well didn't . . .

Anne Shelton had a strong clear voice ideal for theatres. Click here to see her singing on YouTube:



A request has flooded in from John W. Davies for additional Rhuddlan pix. As a Rhuddlan boy myself, Mr. Davies, I am only too delighted to present a few more images including Parliament House:

The image above dates from before World War 1. Exterior plaque says:

This Fragment
Is the Remains of the Building
Where King Edward the first
Held his Parliament
A.D. 1283
In which was passed the Statute of Rhuddlan
To the Principality of Wales
Its Judicial Rights
And Independence

The plaque has been renewed since then. The words remain the same but their layout is more straightforward.

Below: This Raphael Tuck postcard published in 1930 is captioned Bridge End, Rhuddlan, which makes me wonder what the other end of the bridge was called.

On the far side is Gittins' Garage and Marsh Hotel, Lower High Street which became Marsh Warden, Station Road (demolished in 2014).

The following photo was taken from the opposite direction. It is on a card postmarked 1961:


Above: Nice example of an image created in a studio for use far and wide with the name of the location superimposed. Somebody must have thought Rhuddlan was a seaside resort. This is a card postmarked 1934.

Below: Hylas Lane, Rhuddlan, in late 1960s/early '70s. The white cottage on your right is Hylas Bach which may be associated with (or a downsized version of) Hylas-fawr which appears on old maps.

Hylas Bach

Round the corner on same side of road is Rhuddlan Primary School which opened in 1935, expanded to include infants in 1954 and changed name to Ysgol y Castell in 1972.


Above: Eisteddfod Genedlaethol = National Eisteddfod of Wales. The 1985 event is listed as having been in Rhyl.
This modest paperweight is a reminder that - not for first time - it was actually in Rhuddlan at The Showfield aka Brookes' Field, south of the Rhyl town boundary.
Y Rhyl a'r Cyffiniau = Rhyl and surrounding area.

Below: Despite the black-and-white format, this image of The Parish Church of St. Mary, Rhuddlan, is probably less than 20 years old. The church was founded way back in the 13th century, i.e. 500-600 years before the town of Rhyl was invented.

Doan forget, Rhuddlan Local History Society has its own website:

MON 5th MAR 2018 UPDATE: On the subject of National Eisteddfod 1985, this china commemorative mug is a collector's item:

SUN 4th NOV 2018 UPDATE: Another vintage pic of Rhuddlan. The photo below is dated 1907. It was taken in High Street near junction with Princes Road. You will see on your left that the Black Hotel offers good stabling; the hotel was a forerunner of the present Kings Head.

Harry Thomas Collection

This is a postcard in the Harry Thomas Collection published by Gwasg Helygain, Rhyl – a series worth collecting.


Sunday, 15 October 2017


Here is a rare set of advertisements from a 1938 housing brochure, sent in by ex-Rhylite Robert Jones of Dyserth.
Thanks, Robert!

Click on any part to see a bigger version.

In the above the "five up-to-date Picture Houses" would be Plaza, Regal and Odeon - all built in the 1930s in High Street - and the older Cinema Royal also in High Street but this had probably closed down by the time the brochure was circulated; the fifth would be Queens Theatre which showed cinema films off-season.

Burns Drive

Click on any part to see a bigger version.


This last one is a reminder that Rhyl Urban District Council ran the gas supply and other utilities before World War 2.

Price guide: £1,000 in 1938 would be about £60,000 in today's money. Not much for a new house!

The following references are added here for indexing purposes:
Botanical Gardens, Halifax Building Society, Harold Smith accountant agent, Burns Drive, Kinard Park Estate (2 refs), London and Lancashire Insurance Company Ltd, Tom Edwards insurance, Barnett & Soans of Prestatyn, Griffiths Farm Tre-Llewelyn Trellewelyn, Astons Furniture.