Wednesday, 31 May 2017


High Street, Rhyl (looking south from near Sussex Street)
card postmarked 1919

Thank you to the many readers who have been in touch this month about one thing or another, from horrible housing conditions to exceptionally hot weather.
My pal Jill and I took a day trip to Llandudno and your blogger came away preferring Rhyl which is more compact (less walking to do) and better value for money.
If you knew what we paid in Llandudno for two teas and ice creams you might just faint.


During May 2017, fourteen older posts were updated:

Boer War Memorial -

Church Army pilgrimages -

Circus at Pavilion 1958 -

Gilbert Rogers and his Jovial Jesters -

HMS Rhyl -

Lifeboat Caroline Richardson II -

Marine Lake early description -

North Wales "Pals" (WW1) -

Pentre Bach Model Village -

Princes Street 1953, identification -

Rhyl Amateur Swimming Club, identification -

Rotor fun fair ride / Gravitron -

Royal Hotel, High Street -

Talbot's shop, High Street -


Colin Jones / email:



The question: How many of these three images are Rhyl pictures?

No need to send me an email - just check your answer against mine on Sunday 11th June 2017 after 12 noon.



The annual list of best beaches (Blue Flag status) is available. More than forty are in in Wales, including Llandudno's West Shore, Colwyn Bay and Prestatyn Central but NOT RHYL. Ask your elected representatives why NOT RHYL.


Thursday, 25 May 2017


Floral Hall

On my YouTube channel RhylTime you would find some home movies taken mainly in the 1960s in Rhyl. This week I added another video of this kind; it came my way as a reel of cine film in a box marked ‘Rhyl 1969’.

It is fairly typical family holiday footage (family unknown) comprising a series of short sequences shot in Rhyl and places nearby. The emphasis is on flowers and birds. Pity our seagulls, so loved at that time, are now despised by the eat-in-the-street generation.

In the video, our Floral Hall is in evidence and so are a lion, tiger and other zoo animals in cages. Biggest surprise is a scene of elephants bathing in the sea near Rhyl Pavilion whose resident circus had gone long before 1969.

Elephant on promenade

See what you make of it all, and remember – only YouTube videos marked RhylTime are mine!

Please click on the following link:



Donald Trump in Saudi Arabia ©The Last Refuge

US President Donald Trump has appeared on TV selling billions of dollars-worth of killing machines and associated mongery to the Muslim dictators of Saudi Arabia, thereby dismaying racists and peaceniks alike.

Mr. Trump's zig-zagging political strategies remind me of a fun fair ride we used to have in Rhyl, the Mad Mouse. At first his antics seemed almost comical but now they are scary, especially his dangerous messing around with environmental regulations.

I hope our American cousins find a way of removing this ignorant man from office before he damages the reputation of the United States beyond repair.

In the UK General Election 2017 campaign, the Labour Party's policies are winning public approval. A Labour Government no longer seems like an impossibility. 

In the Conservative campaign so far, Theresa May is hogging the limelight. Mrs. May has a touch of Head Girl about her – not to mention Brown Owl – and when she says she would make the best Prime Minister she probably believes it.

Theresa May in Wrexham ©Reuters

To vote Conservative because of Mrs. May could be a mistake. After the General Election there would be nothing to prevent the Tories from replacing her with a new leader who would automatically become new Prime Minister.

My vote goes to Plaid Cymru because - whichever big party wins - Plaid must gain a substantial percentage of votes if Wales is to have a credible voice in the Westminster Parliament.

Colin Jones / email:


Tuesday, 23 May 2017


A post on 8th January this year, now titled MILITARIANISM #1, featured some local military camp pictures from the World War 1 era. These drew a considerable amount of interest so here are more of the same.

I present these as items of social history and would not wish to condone or glorify military conflict in any way. In my lifetime I have not supported the UK's involvement in any war. Peacenik, that's me.

The following images are dated.
Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
1908 - Cheshire Regiment at Rhyl

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
1914 - North Wales Comrades training at Rhyl
(not to be confused with North Wales "Pals")

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
1914 - North Wales Comrades training at Rhyl (2)

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
1915 - Service Batt. Welsh Regt. (Carmarthenshire)
outside Rhyl Pavilion

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
1916 - Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Kinmel Park Camp near Bodelwyddan
Aber. Hut (Aber Where,  I wonder)

The following images are undated but from same period.
Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
 Church Lads' Brigade - Morning wash at Rhyl Camp No.7
(Magic Lantern slide)

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
 Royal Welsh Fusiliers - Church Parade at Rhyl Camp

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Kinmel Park Camp

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Kinmel Park Camp (2)

To round off this post, here is a rare snapshot of WW1 soldiers in Rhyl, marching down High Street and about to cross the Alexandra Bridge which these days is called Vale Road Bridge:

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War

Furthest right is a tantalising glimpse of the building that was demolished in the 1930s to make way for Odeon Cinema (now Apollo Bingo).

In centre of the picture is William Roberts' corner shop, and to your left of the shop is a hotel; I have it on good authority that the hotel's rooms still exist on the upper floors.


MON 11 SEP 2017 UPDATE: Another image of Church Lads' Brigade. Here they are marching along the prom in Rhyl. This pic is presumably from World War 1 period.

You can find out more about the Church Lads' Brigade and Church Girls' Brigade in Wikipedia:


Sunday, 14 May 2017


On Friday 5th May 2017, I posted a slightly doctored version of this old photo of a Rhyl hotel.
The question: What stands in that location now?
The answer: Front Room & Late Lounge, 91 High Street 

Bar Blu

On that corner of High St and Kinmel St the chronology appears to be Dinorben Arms Hotel, followed by Alexandra Hotel (shown in old photo) which may have been the same building.
Then there was a rebuild in the form of Alexandra pub known confusingly to hospital staff as "The Alex". You can fill in the remainder.
[Off The Rails and Bar Blu were two names in use before Front Room.]

Also posted was an edited version of this 1960s-80s postcard of North Wales pubs, only ONE of which is in Rhyl.
The question: Is it top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right, or centre?
The answer: top left - The Schooner aka Schooner Inn, West Parade.

Rhyl, Pensarn, Prestatyn, Llandudno

For indexing purposes the others are listed here:

The Yacht, 1 Marine Road, Pensarn near Abergele /
The Railway (formerly Offa's Tavern), High Street, Prestatyn /
Jolly Sailor, Ffordd Penrhwylfa, Prestatyn /
Steam Packet, 70 Mostyn Street, Llandudno.

Let me repeat last year's message from the UK's chief medical officers. Research shows any amount of alcohol can increase the risk of cancer. There is no such thing as a safe level of drinking the stuff.


Monday, 8 May 2017


Rhyl Life presents a double-flashback on the old Pavilion. Firstly, here is a picture I had never seen until recently. It was taken during World War 2 when the Pavilion was camouflaged and Manchester Repertory Company was in residence.

The boy in foreground is wearing a short-sleeved pullover and knee length trousers - a fashion that lasted too long into the 1950s.

On Feb 28, 1908 - just a few months before Rhyl Pavilion opened - the following item appeared in The Building News. Interesting to see the structure described as 'assembly room' rather than a theatre (same intended use, though).


The accompanying text says:

"This design, by Messrs. Maxwell and Toke and F. Bennett Smith, F.R.I.B.A., of 25 Brazennose Street, Manchester, has been selected in a limited competition of six architects for an assembly-room to be erected on the foreshore at Rhyl.
     "The building will contain a large hall or assembly-room on the ground floor, with gallery over. The main entrances will be at the front, with entrances or exits on either side. There will be a large platform, suitable for music or theatricals, with retiring rooms and staircases on either side. Tea and refreshment rooms will be provided on the ground floor, and large one on the upper floor at the front, opening on to a balcony. Covered balconies and verandahs will surround the entire building.
     "The form of plan is practically a square with four large turrets at each corner, and the centre covered by a large dome.
     "A considerable amount of reinforced concrete is to be used in the construction of the staircase, floors, gallery, roofs and dome. The exterior (is) to be faced with red and buff bricks and terracotta. The assembly-room is to hold 1,500 persons seated. The general contractor is Mr. C. Griffiths, of Lye, Stourbridge.
     "The ornamental gardens on either side of the pavilion are being formed from the designs, and under the superintendence of Mr A. A. Goodall, the surveyor to the council. The entire cost is £14,000."

Note the cost of the project is £14,000 – that would be about one-and-a-half million pounds in today's money (quite a bargain compared with the fifteen million pounds for our proposed waterpark).


Photo: VOA News


Congratulations to voters of France for electing Emmanuel Macron as President. He is enthusiastic about the European Union and wants to make it work. How refreshing, compared with the backward politicians who want to drag us out!
Bon chance, Monsieur le Président!


Friday, 5 May 2017


The two pictures above of the Parish Church of St. Thomas, Rhyl (organ and exterior) are from the 1900-1910 period, and the interior below is on a card postmarked 1916:

Click on any image to see a bigger version.

The above portrait of the ladies of Church Army Crusaders Group No.2 is undated and is the work of photographer J.A. Harding of Rhyl.

Below: gentlemen of Church Army Pilgrimage Salisbury To Rhyl 1928 posing outside a church. I wonder what church.

Church Army should not be confused with Salvation Army. They are not the same. See Wikipedia:

Church Army -
Salvation Army -


The original Catholic Church in Wellington Road, Rhyl, was known as St. Mary's but actually named Our Lady Of The Assumption (same applies to the present one).
The original's interior was far more elaborate and decorative as shown on this card postmarked 1916:

Here are two rare snapshots of the old church being demolished after the present one had been built behind it. The new church opened in 1975.

The following segment has been moved to here from an older post:

Rev. Father Patrick Collins (later Canon) was based at St. Mary's from early 1950s to early '70s. He was a well known figure on a bicycle visiting parishioners who were in hospital or housebound.
In 1971 he was presented with a motor scooter. Standing left to right in the image below are Mayor of Rhyl Dan Roberts, Les Slee (from whose book ‘The Catholic Church In Rhyl 1854-2005’ the photo was uplifted) and Councillor Herbert Weston.

TUE 16th MAY 2017 UPDATE: Regarding the photo of Church Army Pilgrimage Salisbury To Rhyl 1928. The Great Gareth and I have been puzzling over the church in background; it may not be a Rhyl church.
The photo might have been taken in Salisbury before starting out.

Same consideration applies to image below of Church Army Pilgrimage Nottingham to Rhyl. This is a card postmarked 1937.

[Taking pictures of pilgrims before they set out for Rhyl seems a good idea - in case they don't return.]



Plaid Cymru retained overall control of Gwynedd County Council – that means Plaid has more councillors there than other parties put together. Plaid won a total of 202 county council seats in Wales as a whole (33 more than last time).

Here in Denbighshire the biggest party had been Labour but with no overall control. NOW the biggest party are the Conservatives with no overall control.
County residents are unlikely to notice much difference because unelected officers rule the roost anyway.

In Rhyl all our county and town councillors had been Labour but their stranglehold has been loosened slightly. NOW 2 of Rhyl’s 11 county councillors are not Labour and 5 of Rhyl’s 22 town councillors are not Labour.
Town residents are not likely to notice much difference because town council has no powers worth mentioning.

I note with satisfaction that the election left Wales without any UKIP councillors. UKIP is the nastiest, most racist and most untruthful party. We are better off without them in our council chambers.

Colin Jones / email:



Above is a well seasoned old photo of a Rhyl hotel.
The question: What stands in that location now?

Below is a 1960s-80s multiview postcard of North Wales pubs - only ONE is in Rhyl.
The question: Is it top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right, or centre?

No need to send me an email - just check your two answers against mine on Sunday 14th May 2017 after 12 noon.