Friday, 28 December 2018



These refs are added here for indexing purposes: West Shore Hotel Rhyl, Mr & Mrs. A. Lawton.


During December 2018 the following posts were updated:

Aubrey Phillips / Gaiety Theatre -

Grand Theatre / Denbighshire Hussars -

Kinmel School For Boys, Kinmel Hall -

Lifeboat launch, vintage pic -

Lowther College For Girls, Bodelwyddan -

Pentre Bach Model Village, more pix -

Politics: Trump-related sleaze -

Vivian Hewitt, aviator -


In previous posts I said that the old Pavilion "faced a little to the east of Edward Henry Street"; "was between Water Street and Edward Henry Street"; and "near Edward Henry Street".
In 2018 the following image was on auction, illustrating precisely where the Pavilion was in relation to EHS, i..e. just round the corner!

On the subject of auction items, how about this splendid vintage aerial view of the pier:

At shore end of the pier is rear of the original wooden Pier Amphitheatre ("The Amphi") which in early 1920s was rebuilt in brick.



On Monday 17th December 2018 the pub named The Wellington (formerly Liverpool Arms) in Wellington Road, Rhyl, was closed down by court order because it was unhygienic and posed a health risk to the public.
I would have said the same about some of its customers.

Colin Jones / email:


Wednesday, 28 November 2018


The Baths

Above: 1956 advert for Prince's Water Phantasy at the council-owned Open-Air Bathing Pool ('The Baths') on the prom, featuring exhibition divers, swimmers and novelty acts: Tarzan and his mate, The Famous Lambert Trio, Prince Zahoor the 'brilliant Indian balancing star', and The Water Phantasettes.
When these performers were out of the way you could go and have a dip. The location was roughly where the Events Arena is now.

During November 2018 the following posts were updated:

Electrip Records, letter from Italy -
J.A. Elliott-Jones, artist -
Jasper Maskelyne in Rhyl -

St. John’s Church, Wellington Road -

Westcliffe Hotel, West Parade -



Earlier this month, Denbighshire County Council announced a £5 million redevelopment plan that targets the run-down Queens Indoor Market which has entrances in West Parade, High Street and Sussex Street.

Queens Market (established 1960) was previously Queens Ballroom which was established in 1920s. The splendid dance floor was taken up and sold at the time of conversion. Queens Theatre upstairs closed shortly after the ballroom.

Queens Theatre & Ballroom were preceded by the Grand Theatre upstairs with indoor roller skating rink below. Early film shows started at the rink and then moved upstairs to the theatre which operated off-season under the name Futurist Cinema.

Grand Theatre and the skating rink comprised a redevelopment of the Queen's Palace i.e. palace of varieties, which included theatre, ballroom, exhibitions and novelty sideshows. Queen's Palace opened in 1902, was open only in summer seasons, and closed down after a fire in 1907.

[Note for romantics: For two or three seasons Queen's Palace had in its basement a 'Little Venice' exhibition which included a gondola ride. This was taken out a couple of years before the fire and was nothing special in that day and age.]

A lot of genuine history is associated with the building and, up to 5 or 6 years ago, I would have thought it worth preserving if enough public money could be found. But since then the town centre has nose-dived and is in urgent need of something new.

At this point in its history Rhyl needs something new more than it needs something old.

Also in the proposed new scheme is Queens Market's next-door neighbour in West Parade, the Savoy Enterprises' building at Nos. 7-13. For a long time until fairly recently this was owned by the Trehearn family and operated under the name Vern's Amusements.

Readers may remember its corner of Queen Street as The Bistro night club (originally Savoy Cafe).

At present Denbighshire Council is seeking match-funding from Welsh Government for the proposed scheme and has not yet announced what it would intend to create on these sites.


Above: I like the idea of a tobacconist named Mr. Stubbs . . . and indeed a sprinter named Mr. Bolt!


Colin Jones / email:


Tuesday, 30 October 2018


European citizenship is the most valuable thing that
Welsh people have ever been given.
Fight for  second chance to keep it.


It used to be a matter of routine to take a photo of passengers setting out on a day trip, as in the Rhyl & Potteries Motors image above.
Here the background is interesting: Midland Hotel, Rhyl, on your left with Ye Olde Welsh Cafe (not very olde) in basement on right.
Midland Hotel was a Victorian building in East Parade, close to High Street; now the site is part of White Rose Centre.
I am obliged to Philip Lloyd for a reminder of its location.


During October 2018 the following Rhyl Life posts were updated:

Comic postcard, Rhyl -

Kinmel Hall as Kinmel School for boys -

L. Volpé photographer, Rhyl -

Pennaf / Clwyd Alyn, new boss -

Pickard, Rae, Dining Hall at the Alex hospital -

Pickard, seashore picture -

Pickard, WW1 soldiers on parade -

Scottish independence -

guest house
'The Hague' guest house, Rhyl, was at 2a North Avenue, just round the corner
from Butterton Road. The building still exists, still has same name
and is now in residential use.

You may have passed No.36 Eastville Ave and thought it unremarkable, but the very
existence of this late-1940s postcard suggests it was a small B&B.


Photo: Daily Post Wales
Pictured above is Carl Foulkes who is taking over from Mark Polin as Chief Constable of North Wales Police. Mr. Foulkes is from Caergwrle near Wrexham.
Until recently he has been Deputy Chief  Constable of Merseyside so I'm sure he will see many familiar faces in North Wales, especially in Rhyl.

Colin Jones / email:


Thursday, 27 September 2018


Prince's International Circus, Rhyl Pavilion, 1955

During September 2018 the following posts were updated:

Ask Centre, Water Street --

Bird’s Eye View Of Rhyl -

Circus “Petite” -

Foryd Bridge -

Gun Shop, Elwy Street -

Mike Peters / The Alarm -

Pennaf / Clwyd Alyn Housing Assoc -

Rhyl & Potteries Motors (charabancs) -

Rhyl Football Club -

Southlawn School -

Prince's Royal International Circus, 1956
The word Royal may refer to sea lions!

Click on any image to read small print.

Above: The Royal Sea Lions and June; Tom, Dick and 'Arry with Jack Dale (clowns); Dumarte & Denzer; Broncho the comedy horse; Lions trained by Captain Sydney Howes;  Lucken's  Liberty Ponies (Shetland ponies); Digger Pugh's girls as The Wallabies (tumblers); The Amazing Maurices (trapeze act).
Among other names in 1956 programme are:
Keefe Brothers & Annette (balancers); Evelyn's coloured pigeon phantasy; Sam Linfield & his Crazy Scouts; The Kamtoi Company (Chinese acrobats); Pat Somers (cat impersonator);  Monkeys trained by Jack Klette; Freddy, Tommy & Co. (fighters); Walter's famous comedy dogs; and The Alexis Troupe (acrobats).
The mayhem was accompanied warily by the Prince's Circus Orchestra conducted by Eugene Auld.

And here is a trophy from the 1958 season, an autograph of The Sensational Shermans 

I wonder what their speciality was. Does anybody know?

Colin Jones / email:


Friday, 31 August 2018


Youngsters on a camping holiday in Rhyl, August 1927
Vintage pic of lady at ease in a 'continental' 
basket chair on Rhyl sands


This summer the good weather helped to bring more visitors to us. On a couple of occasions this month I have been in Rhyl and Prestatyn town centres on the same day and found more people in Rhyl. We must be doing something right.

The seafront looks agreeable, and the works under construction on the prom are generating interest and creating an atmosphere of progress. The shopping centre is less impressive, but even here new businesses are popping up all the time.

Commentators that hurl insults at the town routinely should get out more and do some comparing with other places of similar size with similar economies. Soon they would arrive at the conclusion that Rhyl has bigger pluses than minuses.


During August 2018 the following posts were updated.



Rhyl is a young town. Some towns and villages in North Wales go back a couple of thousand years, whereas Rhyl would not reach 200 years as a parish until 2044. Rhyl is an immature settlement (“a spotty teenager”) and the problems associated with it in recent years can be regarded as growing pains.

Rhyl is a purpose-built resort. When the land around here was drained and made fit to build on, the strips near the sea were advertised for sale as suitable for tourist development. This would have been a silly place to build a town for any other reason. Residents who complain about spending public money on tourism miss the point.

Rhyl’s future is more important than its past. The Victorian-Edwardian era of piers and pavilions has gone. That chapter in our local history may – in the long term – be considered as Rhyl’s ‘Jurassic Period’. Destinations for family holidays, short breaks and day trips are always needed and so Rhyl always has a reason to be here.

The scene in 2013 © Daily Post
Colin Jones / email:


Saturday, 28 July 2018


Rae Pickard
Vintage photo by Rae Pickard – Pendyffryn Road, Rhyl
Rae Pickard
Photo by Rae Pickard – West Parade, Rhyl
Rae Pickard
By Rae Pickard – Marine Lake Fun Fair, Rhyl. In the foreground is
a lethal-sounding 'Electric' Fishing Pond.

During July 2018 the following posts were updated:

Alcohol minimum pricing in Wales -

Circus: Uncle Sam’s Great American Circus in Rhyl -

Colet House boys school / Rae Pickard -

Gaming: One arm bandit fruit machine -

Lyons Holiday Park Limited -

Promenade Gardens -

Promenade ‘ walking photos ‘ -

Royal Alexandra Hospital / Rae Pickard -

Victoria Pier / Belvoir Hotel -

YMCA Cinema, Kinmel Park Camp -


Further to last month's 'Life Goes On' I can report that the eastern prom is now home to a skateboard park.
Looking left to right, we see the skateboard park followed by Garden Of Remembrance, the Sun Verge pub/restaurant (still under construction), Travelodge (under construction), and recently face-lifted Pavilion Theatre.


This month I felt relieved to hear that England’s hopes of a FIFA World Cup win had ended. I was around in 1966 when England actually did win and I’ve had to live with continuous reminders ever since. The prospect of another win was more than I could bear.
At World Cup time the English in Wales behave badly, waving their red cross flag under our noses and going large. But what really astounds me is the emotional frenzy surrounding big sporting events. If only that passion could be directed at something more important! 



The biggest blight on our summer has been an official visit by the appalling Donald Trump, America’s biggest mistake. Among Mr. Trump’s fans are the arrogant Nigel Farage and clownish Boris Johnson who are almost as much liars and fantasists as he is.
Mr. Trump’s delusional tendencies were on show again recently when he said of the UK, “I think they love me there.” 

Photo of anti-Trump demo in London © Hollywood Life

Having to do trade deals with the likes of Donald Trump and the world’s other hucksters and shysters is a very good reason for us to remain safely within the European Union.
The BBC News website has an interesting article about his activities in Scotland:

TUE 21 AUG 2018 UPDATE: Two of Mr. Trump's sleazebag associates are heading for jail.
Paul Manafort, ex-Trump election campaign chief, has been found guilty on eight charges of tax fraud, bank fraud and failing to disclose foreign banks accounts.
Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump's former lawyer, has been found guilty on eight counts, including violating election campaign finance laws, tax evasion and bank fraud.

TUE 18th DEC 2018 UPDATE: Attorney General of New York State, Barbara Underwood, has announced that Donald Trump’s dodgy charity ‘The Trump Foundation’ is to be shut down.
She has accused Mr. Trump and his three eldest children of using it for private and political gain. In a statement, she said there had been "a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation – including unlawful co-ordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and wilful self-dealing, and much more.
"We'll continue to move our suit forward to ensure the Trump Foundation and its directors are held to account for their clear and repeated violations of state and federal law."

Hmmmm, Donald Trump is looking more and more like the crook I have always suspected him to be.

Colin Jones / email:


Saturday, 30 June 2018


On our eastern promenade two new businesses are emerging. Next door to the west of Pavilion Theatre a Travelodge is being built:

Between this Travelodge and Garden Of Remembrance the Sun Verge pub/restaurant is under construction:

The photographs above were taken a week ago by Yours Truly.


During June 2018 the following posts were updated:

Arthur Cheetham -

Belvoir Hotel, East Parade -

Canterbury House care home -

Floral Hall / Cambrian Railways -

Flying Scotsman train -

Haven Hotel, West Parade -

May Queen Beryl 1937 -

Rhyl Love, the song -

Rhyl Pavilion demolition -


A new book of interest to railway enthusiasts is on sale at local bookshops and on Amazon, eBay etc. It is Lost Lines of Wales: Rhyl to Corwen by Paul Lawton and David Southern.

Rhyl to Corwen


NEWS FROM ICELAND (the shop not the country)

On Tuesday 31st July 2018 the food retailer Iceland will open a new store on Clwyd Retail Park, Rhyl Road, Rhuddlan. The branch in White Rose Centre, Rhyl, will continue as usual. See story in Daily Post:

Colin Jones / email:


Thursday, 31 May 2018


Muliview card from the 1960s

During May 2018 the following posts were updated:

Elvis Presley -

Foryd Harbour, more old pix -

Kinmel Bay, vintage aircraft -

Louis Volpe, photographer -

Mystery shop -

Promenade illuminations -
Rhuddlan, A.E. Williams (company) -

Rhyl Silver Band CD -

Roma Expresso Coffee Bar -

Waterpark progress -


Castell Rhuddlan / Rhuddlan Castle by English artist
George Grainger Smith, circa 1930.
Rhuddlan - Abbey Farm in Abbey Road, undated. The farm is
built on the site of an ancient Dominican Friary.

Colin Jones / email:

Don't forget my YouTube channel featuring Rhyl videos and slideshows. The channel is named RhylTime.

Click on the link below to see RHYL AT THE FÊTE, a new slideshow of stills from an amateur video of a garden party at The Lawn care home in Russell Road, circa 1990.
Featured are many residents, staff and visitors including councillors Nancy Fletcher-Williams & Frank Selby.

Only YouTube items labelled RhylTime are mine!


Saturday, 28 April 2018


Punchinello aka Punch and Judy on Rhyl promenade, late 1800s.
On your left is the Rowley-Conwy drinking fountain
which had been erected in 1862.

A rare and rusty old tin that once contained "dainty pieces"
of  Mountain Heather Toffee made by
Convalli Confections Ltd of Rhyl.

During April 2018 the following posts were updated:

Circus at the old Pavilion / Trio Hazmas -

Dolphinarium in West Parade -

Johnny Gizzi -

J.W. Jones / Rhyl Pavilion -

Kinmel Park Camp, National Service -

Premier Inn project -

Rhylsville the song -

Roller skating rink -

Vaughan's Baths, High Street -

World War 2 -

Jafflong Spice
New-ish in Queen Street is Chutney Lobster Indian Restaurant (renamed
from Jafflong Spice) on the former Chilli Pink premises. Pity about the
spelling mistake "Takewaway" on fascia.
Preparing to launch is Tim's Coffee Lounge at 90 High Street (with black
frontage) formerly the  premises of Soulmates Bridal Shop.
Soulmates went round the corner to 12 Kinmel Street.

These references are added here for indexing purposes:
Front Room pub restaurant Rhyl, Reeds Rains estate agents.


Saturday, 31 March 2018


Above: stamp albums published in Rhyl by Thomas Cliffe of The Philatelic Factory, Marsh Road, and one by Martin Mills of The Philatelic Workshops, Lusanga Mews.
Lusanga Mews?

Since 1st March 2018 the following posts have been updated:

Albion Hotel, Rhyl -

Botanical Gardens: lily pond -

Coal mines -

Derbyshire Miners’ Camp -

Fiveways Café -

Floral hall: birds -

Kavern Records -

National Eisteddfod 1985 -

Rawicz & Landauer at Pavilion -

YMCA Kings Avenue -



Kathryn Nedd

As hinted in a previous post, there exists a biography of Albert Barnes the creator of Marine Lake Fun Fair and Ocean Beach Fun Fair. The book is written by Kathryn Nedd. The back and front covers are shown above.
Click on the image to read the blurb.

Kathryn is Mr. Barnes' granddaughter (and Eric Hughes' daughter). Although essentially a piece of family history, the book gives a thorough appraisal of the Barnes contribution to Rhyl. He was one of the most important figures in the development of the resort.

The first edition of the book, 'White Socks and a Walking Stick' by Kathryn Nedd, was circulated privately. The second edition is yours for £10 in Central Station at Marine Lake or £11 via the Rhyl Miniature Railway website:

At long last the chain store named The Range has opened at Marina Quay the former Ocean Beach Fun Fair site. The Range sells furniture, bedding, curtains, and has a garden centre and cafe. The company's headquarters are in Plymouth.
To see the Rhyl store's opening hours please click here: