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.