Friday, 30 June 2017


Palace Hotel, 83-84 West Parade, Rhyl - bowl
Photo by Dave Williams

Audience figures have taken a dive this month. You have been out there surfing instead of in here surfing! In Rhyl the temperature pushed towards 30 degrees Centigrade for a few days, just a little too hot for Yours Truly. Rhyl's average temperature across the year is 13.4 degrees, ever so slightly warmer than Blackpool.

During June 2017, twelve older posts were updated:

Arthur Sutcliffe, pierrot –

Boer War volunteers –

Colwyn Bay Pier and Llandudno Pier –

General Election 2017 –

Holborn Restaurant/CafĂ© –

Kerfoot Hughes & Jones dispatch department –

Lyons Holiday Camp, more early pics –

Men’s Convalescent Home, Bedford Street –

New Foryd Bridge 1932 –

Towyn near Abergele / Wilcocks Camp –

Wood, Son & Co., Abbey Street –
Povey Boarding House, 42 West Parade, Rhyl - spoon
Photo by Dave Williams
Rhyl crested spoon, souvenir ware, 1950s/'60s

Sunday, 25 June 2017


London-based publishers Raphael Tuck & Sons started producing picture postcards in 1900 and continued for more than half a century. The Tuck company lost a lot of its original material during World War 2 and merged with other companies in 1959.

The following are Rhyl examples of Tuck cards - Foryd harbour, the pier, Open Air Bathing Pool ('The Baths') and sandhills opposite East Parade. The photos would have been taken circa 1950.



From the same source and of a similar date are these shots of Palin's Ideal Holiday Camp, Towyn near Abergele:

The camp certainly looks a lot different now and has been renamed Palin's Holiday Park:


WED 26th JUL 2017 UPDATE:  Here is a rare aerial shot of Palin's:

And for good measure, an undated postcard of Cambria Holiday Camp in Towyn, with intriguing reference to Radio Cycles bottom left:

Caravan Park

This camp is still operating as Cambria Caravan Park:



I was just the right age to get caught up in the idealistic youth culture of the 1960s. We wanted a world built on peace, friendship, mutual respect, understanding and sharing. We wanted an end to wars, an end to all kinds of discrimination and an end to poverty and deprivation.

We saw all that hijacked by commercialism and the drug culture, and gradually it collapsed into selfishness and self-indulgence in the 1980s.

Yesterday, watching on TV as Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed a massive, cheering crowd at the Glastonbury Festival, I felt the old buzz of the ’sixties again.

Mr. Corbyn believes in building bridges and not walls – so do I.
He believes in human rights, peace, justice and democracy – so do I.
He believes that people should not live in poverty surrounded by riches – so do I.

He spoke against the trashing of our environment, and against racism, sexism, homophobia and Islamophobia, and he pointed to a decent, better world where everybody mattered.

You would find these sentiments embedded in Plaid Cymru, Scottish Nationalist and some other smaller parties but rarely in the governing Conservative Party. 

Jeremy Corbyn spoke of releasing the creativeness locked inside children and the yearning for change in young people, and - in a master stroke - he quoted the poet Shelley:

'Rise like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you,
Ye are many - they are few.'

Colin Jones / email:


Tuesday, 20 June 2017


This is a photo of Rhyl resident Eunice Parry taken last week by Yours Truly outside the entrance to United Church in Rhyl (originally Christ Church) in Water Street, where Rev. Paul Robinson is nurturing a new project.

The north side of the church and the adjacent building (formerly Citizens’ Advice Bureau) which is under church ownership, are undergoing transformation into The Ask Centre - of which Eunice will be Manager / Receptionist.

The Ask Centre is being created by money from the 'Community Facilities Programme' of Welsh Government. The centre will incorporate the Rhyl branch of Denbighshire Citizens’ Advice, plus community and social activities.

There will be a suite of six computers for free public use, a food bank that could provide 24 hoursworth of food in case of emergency, community meeting rooms for hire, and a community choir for an hour once a week.

Choir practice will be in the church. Not all songs are going to be religious and you don’t need to be a good singer to join in. Eunice will accompany at the piano.

Helping in the centre's management and admin are Rev. Robinson and Natasha Harper the Communities Facilitator. ”We hope the new centre will help to tackle poverty and deprivation among members of this community." says Eunice.

Grand Opening of The Ask Centre is on Saturday 1st July, 11am-3.30pm. Go along and see the project - you’ll be impressed! The centre is open to all enquirers from Monday 3rd onwards.
Tel: (01745) 337750, email:

TUE 11th SEP 2018 UPDATE: Eunice and Natasha report that the community choir has been replaced by Carry On Singing, a dementia-friendly singing group.
In addition to a food bank The Ask Centre now has access to a fuel bank (a voucher scheme operated by a third party).
Despite expectations, the food bank's statistics show that benefit delays are not a major cause of hardship. The reasons are more to do with the everyday cost of bringing up children on benefits or on inadequate earnings.
Comparatively poor families with children are under extreme pressure during school holidays when no free school meals are available, and whenever they need to buy school uniforms, and almost inevitably at Christmas time.
All sorts of people are in all sorts of trouble. Guidance on marriage and other relationships is much in demand, and debt is without doubt a growing menace in the community. You can get counselling on these and other tricky matters at or through The Ask Centre.
Some refugees and other migrants have “no recourse to public funds”, i.e. no entitlement to benefits and need help from charitable groups; ex-members of the military and other emergency services need practical support and friendship.
Whatever the problem, The Ask Centre is a good place to start looking for a solution. If you are fortunate enough not to need the services perhaps you could afford to make a donation or leave some money in a Will?
Light refreshments are available in the Living Hope coffee shop run by volunteers of the United Church in Rhyl next door. The coffee shop is open Tue/Wed/Thu 10am-1.30pm. It operates on a donations basis – just pay what you can afford.

Colin Jones / email:

See my Rhyl videos on YouTube:
Only the videos marked RhylTime are mine!

Comparative poverty is a form of suffering, and suffering is an intensely personal experience that cannot be shared. You can sympathise with somebody experiencing deprivation but you can’t stand in their shoes and know what they are going through. Poverty can make people feel lonely, alienated, even embittered and angry. It is corrosive and divisive, and no decent society should tolerate it.


Sunday, 18 June 2017



Kerfoot Hughes & Jones is one of those evocative Rhyl business names that I like so much. They were ironmongers mainly, and their shop was in Bodfor Street. The business card above states new premises, so this was not their first address. The card would be circa 1909.

The Kerfoot Hughes & Jones invoice below is addressed to Mrs. Stanley "Plas Coed" Dyserth Road and is dated 1931.
Click on it to see small print.

Having consulted my pal Dilys Bagnall, I can advise that the shop was on the northeast side of Bodfor Street. The location is shown in the following photo taken last month by Yours Truly standing outside Argos:

Mind shop, Goldilocks

There may be a connection between the ironmonger Kerfoot and the Rhuddlan street name Kerfoot Avenue. Can anybody confirm?

Colin Jones / email:


Another fondly remembered ironmongers was H.O. Davies, 28 Queen Street (known as Garth's). At the time of writing we have no ironmongers in Rhyl town centre – and no butchers.

The business card below, for long gone butchers I mean purveyors of meat Owens & Sons of 9 Water Street and 51a High Street, is likely to be from before World War 1.

These names are added here for indexing purposes: Mind charity shop, Goldilocks hairdressers.


FRI 23rd JUN 2017 UPDATE: Nigel Kerry has written from Clun – a lovely place in South Shropshire. Nigel says that in the 1950s his uncle Oswald Jones of Alpha Villa (now No.9) Elwy Street, Rhyl, worked in the dispatch department of Kerfoot Hughes & Jones.

[He adds that there is or was a few years ago a Kerfoots in Porthmadog, an imposing shop that was part ironmonger/ fancy goods etc. The proprietors told him that there was a link to the Rhyl business.]

Nigel says that, in Rhyl, Kerfoots’ dispatch department was in Windsor Street – probably where Salvation Army is now. That would it have made it parallel with the Bodfor Street shop with perhaps an alley between.

Here is a photo of the Sally Army premises taken today by Yours Truly:

The Blood and Fire emblem on the wall above the entrance never fails to catch my eye:


Sunday, 11 June 2017


On Wednesday 31st May 2017 I posted three images. The question: How many of the images are Rhyl pictures?
The answer: Two.

The first IS a Rhyl picture - the maritime scene shown below has its caption restored.

steam packet

Pleasure trips came and went from the far end of the pier and occasionally collided with the edifice. The steam packets 'St. Olaf' and 'The Fawn' did considerable damage to the pier and so did the schooner 'Lady Stewart' before them.
Fire and storm damage took their toll as well. Metal was taken from the far end for repairs so the pier grew shorter and shorter.

The second IS a Rhyl picture - Claude Lane tram in 1954 on miniature track at Marine Lake.

Marine Lake

You can read more about Mr. Lane's trams in Wikipedia:

The third IS NOT a Rhyl picture - it's a Kinmel Bay card postmarked 1959, shown below with caption restored.

  • If you got the right answer Two for the right reasons, count yourself a winner.
  • If you got the right answer for the wrong reasons, count yourself lucky.


Here at Jones Towers are quite a few pictures marked 'Maybe Rhyl', 'Possibly Rhyl', 'Probably Rhyl'. or simply 'Unknown'. Nothing is known about this one - a large group of males of various ages:

Wills Jones

The above is presumed to be a Rhyl picture because it is by photographer Wills Jones who, in that era of straw boater hats, operated from the Magnet Studio in High Street, Rhyl.

[The Magnet Studio was upstairs to your left of Boots chemist until Boots expanded and swallowed it.]

Click on any image to see a bigger version.

World War 2, World War Two, Second World War

The above is dated 1941 (during World War 2) and labelled 'Rhyl district'. There is no obvious pointer to why these people are being photographed together.
Standing in the back row (left to right): Don't know, Nellie Hall, Rosie Powell, ---- Whittaker, Elsie Woods, V. Gratton and Don't know.
Sitting in the front row (l to r): Kitty Harris, Rene Mac, Vera Whitworth, Don't know and Lottie Jones.

I am not 100 per cent convinced that the following is Rhyl but, if it is, we might be looking at businesses that were replaced by the long gone Regal Cinema which was in turn replaced by the retail building at 97 High Street recently vacated by the Co-op.

On your left in the picture is Pozzi's Restaurant & Tea Rooms at No.97. 

On your right is 'Ye Olde Britannia' Fish &  Chip Saloon, which may well have been the remnant of the Britannia Forge pub  - a hotbed of illegal gambling - originally the Britannia Inn.
On the other hand, the picture may not be Rhyl at all.
Hey ho.
Motor car enthusiasts may be able to guess the date.


In this Rhyl promenade pic, probably late 1950s, on your left is the Pier Amphitheatre ('The Amphi') and on your right is Prince's Water Phantasy at the Open Air Bathing Pool ('The Baths'). All well and good but what is the tall tower centre right?
Would it part of the illuminations perhaps?

Your thoughts on any of today's mysteries would be most welcome.

Colin Jones / email:

MON 12th JUN 2017 UPDATE: Of the first picture above, Robert Jones of Dyserth writes:
"The location of the men and boys is the old Merseyside Holiday Camp in Dyserth. The Allt y Graig railway bridge is at the top left, and the wall to the right going to Lady’s Wood is visible. 
The camp was sited on Lletty Mwyn (Place of Minerals), next to the Clive Engine; you can see undulating ground due to the mine waste.
There are lots of pictures of those tents from 1909 onwards, including soldiers in WW1, until wooden huts replaced them in the 1920s. 
The most interesting thing about the photo is the unusual mixture of the classes posing together."

Thank you, Robert!


Friday, 9 June 2017


Pennaf Clwyd Alyn

"There's nothing wrong with Rhyl, it's the people who live in it!"  This is an opinion that I hear regularly.

Governments come and go, councils come and go, and yet difficulties in Rhyl West continue. The ward is still being targeted by resettlement agencies as a destination for addicts, offenders, misfits and problem families from other places – mainly (but by no means entirely) from the English cities.

Advantages of new green space in Aquarium Street area have been offset by the cramming in of new flats around it – guaranteeing that the density of population remains uncomfortably high. The photo above was taken a few days ago from my kitchen window showing a scene at the back of Pennaf/Clwyd Alyn flats in Wellington Road.

Pennaf/Clwyd Alyn has a big hand in the new flats, and owns the flats for the elderly where I live and masses of other properties in Rhyl and across North Wales, and is classified by Welsh Government as a ‘social landlord’.

Recently the company borrowed £250 million from the private sector. £160 million is to be used for repaying bank loans and other existing commitments. The remainder is for future developments.
See story in Daily Post:

THU 13th JUL 2017 UPDATE: When the photo above was posted, the yard was already scheduled for clearance. A day or two later it was indeed cleared but by yesterday looked like this:

Pennaf Clwyd Alyn

WED 3rd JAN 2018 UPDATE: Despite occasional clearances the yard is still an eyesore and a potential health hazard.

Towards the end of 2017, Pennaf/Clwyd Alyn announced that it had sacked its caretakers. This seemed an odd decision by a company that was letting upstairs flats to elderly people who might well need a hand with something or other from time to time.
A money-saving measure no doubt.
Meanwhile came news that Graham Worthington, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pennaf Housing Group was retiring. The job vacancy was advertised at a basic salary of £100,000 a year.
North Wales
Graham Worthington, retiring CEO Pennaf Housing Group
FRI 12th OCT 2018 UPDATE: The new CEO is Clare Budden (pictured below in the latest Clwyd Alyn newsletter to residents).
North Wales
Clare Budden, new CEO Pennaf Housing Group

Clare Budden was previously one of the chief officers at Flintshire County Council. She is local to this northeast corner of Wales and – surprisingly – is Welsh.
In the same newsletter are mugshots of Clwyd Alyn’s housing officers and their team leaders; some of these been in place for many years. Out of the 11 people pictured only one is male. I wonder why the imbalance.
Well, the new CEO is said to be passionate about inequality so perhaps she will look into the matter.


Thursday, 1 June 2017


Rhyl Life says,
"Vote for Plaid Cymru - the party for everybody who lives in Wales."

Leanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru

FRI 9th JUN 2017 UPDATE: Plaid went into this General Election with three MPs and came out with four. Now in Wales our team of 40 MPs is comprised of 4 Plaid, 8 Con and 28 Lab. No Green Party, Independents, Lib Dems or UKIP.

Here in Vale of Clwyd constituency Chris Ruane (Lab) took back the seat from James Davies (Con). James needed more than his 2 years in the job to establish himself as MP.

I am not best pleased to see the return of Mr. Ruin. Perhaps somebody will take him aside and explain that Rhyl is first and foremost a holiday resort. He seemed only vaguely aware of the fact last time he was MP.

As for the Westminster Parliament, the Conservatives emerged with only a slender majority and now no party has an overall majority. Brexit ought to be put on the back burner for the time being because nobody has the un-questionable authority to negotiate on behalf of UK.

The most pleasing aspect of the election results is that the nasty campaign by the hate newspapers (Mail, Express, Sun) against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, has backfired.