Tuesday, 25 July 2017


I have never quite reconciled myself to British pop singers adopting American accents when they open their mouths to sing, and bending and twisting notes. The cynic in me suspects these devices are for disguising poor diction and the lack of ability to pitch accurately.

There was and still is a local audience for classically trained singers, such as the John Ridding Opera Company (above) photographed during a summer season in Rhyl. They toured in Wales, Scotland and England and possibly elsewhere from the 1890s to 1920s.

Rhyl Pavilion

The card above advertises their 1910 productions at the New Pavilion & Marine Gardens development. The Pavilion was the iconic domed edifice on the promenade, and Marine Gardens was on its eastern side - where a roller skating rink was created nearly forty years later.

The following is by Rhyl photographer Ernest Jones of 3 Kinmel Street:

The Ridding Company has not been mentioned previously in this blog and nor has Rhyl Choral Society, a local army of enthusiastic amateurs. Here they are photographed by Wills Jones in 1908 on the prom:
Click on the image to see a bigger version.

How handsome the gentlemen look in their evening suits, and how pretty the ladies in their dresses. Dear me, where did we all go wrong?

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

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