Thursday, 31 August 2017


During the summer months visits to this blog fell by a third compared with the previous winter. Even so, the total number of pageviews now exceeds half a million. Last time I looked, the figure was  500,829.

During August 2017, these old posts were updated:

Albert Cronshaw / Cronkshaw -

Diane Heirene (2 updates) -

Garden of Remembrance -

Kinmel Hall's Chinese Hall -

RAOB (‘The Buffs’) -

Rhyl Amateur Swimming Club -

Rhyl Rollers skating team -

Winkup’s Camp -

World War 1 / Kinmel Park Camp -


North Hoyle (2003) - £80 million
Rhyl Flats (2009) - £198 million
Gwynt y Môr (2015) - 2700 million

Colin Jones / email:

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



In the above photo, which was taken this month in Rhyl, a place name has been blanked out.
The question: What is the missing name?

Below is a badge from a campaign by The Visitor newspaper.
The question: What was the campaign about?

No need to send me an email - just check your answers against mine on Thursday 7th September 2017 after 12 noon.


Monday, 28 August 2017


E.H. Williams

Rhyl is an August resort; this month the town has seen plenty of visitors. Nevertheless you would be hard pressed to produce a long list of the attractions. 'Rhyl's 40 Attractions' above is from circa 1904.

- Of items relating to the short-lived Queen's Palace in West Parade, Constantinople was a large model version of the Turkish city of Istanbul. The management installed this after taking out a similar representation of Venice ('Little Venice'). 

- Bijou Pavilion was a tiny theatre on the pier for troupes such as Adeler & Sutton’s Pierrots. Later it was renamed Pier Pavilion. It is under the blue dot in the image below.

 - Phrenology is the study of size and contours of the head as an alleged indication of character and mental abilities. Phrenological Lectures were presumably by Arthur Cheetham who, if you crossed his palm with silver, would feel your bumps.

- The Doll Man would be Professor Millar (sometimes written as Miller) who operated Rhyl's first Punch and Judy booth featuring his 'talking dolls' on the prom opposite Queens Hotel - just west of High Street:

- Victoria Hall Concerts is an interesting item. I suspect Victoria Hall to be the upstairs premises in Market Street known at other times as Lyric Hall and Central Hall. My reasoning is as follows:

Here is a comparatively recent pic of the premises. Underneath the red dot is inscribed the year 1890. So the building was in existence when the list was drawn up and yet the only Hall named is Victoria.

Round the margins of the list are adverts for Sandoe's books and stationery and a plug for E.H. Williams who rented the council-owned minstrel pitch on the sands for comedy & music shows by E.H. Williams' Merrie Men.


Monday, 14 August 2017


Last month a bumper crop of Rhyl Miniature Railway (Marine Lake) postcards came up for sale on Internet, unused and therefore undated. Below are examples that have not appeared previously in this blog.

Click on any image to see a bigger version.

'Atlantic' Type Locomotive by Bassett-Lowke
'Atlantic' Type Locomotive by Bassett-Lowke

Marine Rifle Range, Foryd Hall
Miniature Railway & Marine Rifle Range
Foryd Hall top left

Central Station, Funland Arcade
Central Station & Funland Arcade

Rae Pickard
By Rhyl photographer Rae Pickard

No. 101 - Joan
No. 101  - 'Joan'

No. 105 - Michael
No. 105 - 'Michael'

No. 44 Clara - built in USA
No.44 'Clara' - built in USA

Centenary 1911-2011

To see all posts relating to Marine Lake please click here:



Above is a reminder that in the 1920s the fun fair at Marine Lake was sometimes known as Ocean Beach before the newer site was developed.
Westbourne Cafe is just about discernible centre left.
The remarkable Figure Eight Rollercoaster would have been fairly new when this aerial photo was taken. On its far side, Oakland Avenue seems in the process of being created.
There is something peculiar built on decking over the water centre right.

Below is ostensibly a shot of Foryd Harbour but shows how the fun fair eventually reached West Parade. This is a card postmarked 1961.
By that time, Marine Lake Fun Fair and Ocean Beach Fun Fair were both operating. The clanking, the swirling, the screams . . .
Bottom left corner of the picture would be part of Ritz Ballroom, and the 'Casino' to your left of the Big Wheel would be an amusement arcade.


Tuesday, 8 August 2017


On Monday 31st July 2017, Question 1 was: What do these two buildings have in common?

Price Evans shop

The answer: They were both music shops.
At the top is the part of North Wales Women's Centre, Water Street, that used to be Price Evans Music Shop which sold sheet music, musical instruments and records. I bought my first jazz records there in the very early 1960s and recall the husband-and-wife team behind the counter and their daughter T(h)eresa, a wild child around my own age. I wonder what happened to her.
Previously the building was named Harmony House, home of the music shop Box & Co. (originally Box & Stansfield) operated by bandleader and saxophone/clarinet/guitar player Albert Williams. In the book 'Rhyl Music In The Ritz Years 1955-1968' I described Water Street as the Tin Pan Alley of Rhyl. Dance band musicians looking for gigs would hang out next door in Ellis' Bar.
These days it seems unlikely that Jobcentre Plus would accept that as looking for work.

The other picture shows Chilli Pink Express at 42 Queen Street, a food take- away & delivery service. To an older generation of Rhylites the building will always be Greaves Record Shop.

Bill Ellis says that Greaves was previously in Market Street where R.K.M. wool shop is now. Bill remembers queuing outside with guitarist Dennis Rothwell to buy ‘Apache’ by The Shadows. That would have been 1960.

[Going further back in time, ex-Musicians' Union branch secretary Morgan Borthwick remembers the Gold Charm jewellery shop in Market Street on corner of Glanglasfor as a record shop named R.G. Jones, and sheet music was sold at Alan Edwards’ sports shop on corner of High Street & Russell Road where Detour clothes shop is now. Thanks, Morgan.]

Question 2: How are the following people connected with Rhyl?
a) Albert Cronshaw
b) Mrs. Blake and Miss Grimwood.

The answers

Albert Cronshaw was a well known character at Marine Lake Fun Fair. The following is from 'Rhyl At The Fun Fair' by Eric Hughes:
"In the 1930s as a visitor to Marine Lake Fun Fair I saw lightning artist Albert Cronshaw who could paint up to 100 complete pictures in one day. [Wouldn't I love to find one of those! - Ed.] 
Eric continues, "Albert Cronshaw also operated Spider and the Fly (or Spider Racing Game). This was a competitive game for a number of players: a large spider's web was depicted on a back wall, by turning a handle you sent a spider creeping towards the centre of the web where a fly was revolving. If your spider was first to stop the fly, you won a prize. It was not a straight- forward speed game, the handle was fitted with a clutch device that slipped if you turned too fast."

Mrs. Blake and Miss Grimwood were in a news story retold in 'Rhyl In The Second World War' by Yours Truly:
"In Rhyl on April 12th 1945, tragedy struck in a spare room in Brighton Road. Two middle-aged ladies, Mrs. Frances Gertrude Blake and her companion Miss Muriel Elsie Grimwood, committed suicide. They were overwrought after experiencing difficulties in finding suitable accommodation. The ladies were financially secure but said to be mentally unsound. They were found in bed facing each other with hands clasped. An inquest the following month found that Mrs. Blake and Miss Grimwood had died of poisoning caused by an overdose of sleeping pills."


SAT 19th AUG 2017 UPDATE: Although Eric Hughes refers to Albert Cronshaw more than once by that name, the following image is captioned Photo by Cronkshaw

Were Albert Cronshaw and Cronkshaw the same person and, if so, which spelling would be correct I wonder.

SUN 21st JAN 2018 UPDATE: In the book ‘Strange Requests And Comic Tales From Record Shops’ by Graham Jones (published in 2013)
a former sales rep named Martin Palmer says,“The most unusual shop I visited was Greaves Records in Rhyl. The owner maintained a shrine to Elvis in a corner at the back of the shop; yes, a proper shrine! It didn’t do much for the atmosphere of the shop, in fact they should have renamed it Graves!”

SUN 13th MAY 2018 UPDATE: In Rhyl, homage to Elvis continues in the shape of a model outside Millie's Fish & Chips Diner, 57 Water Street near junction with Crescent Road.

What was that song? Ah yes, 'There's A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis' by Kirsty MacColl. All the elements of a good quiz question there!