Monday, 29 January 2018

COOL CALLING


Unaccustomed as I am to walking Rhyl seafront in January, curiosity about new works sent me up there today.

The weather was not warm, dear readers but, as is often the case in Rhyl, the general aspect was bright and cheerful. The photos in this post were taken by Yours Truly.

On the promenade, to your left of Pavilion Theatre there are extensive works all the way along to Garden of Remembrance. These should include a Travelodge hotel amongst other things:


Click on any image to see a bigger version.

The Village

Above: In Children's Village, aka The Village, the unit once operated by Noah Robinson as Cap'n Noah's indoor playground is being demolished. Nearby at the Tourist Information Centre business is as usual.

Below: Just to your left of the Skytower the forthcoming Waterpark is being constructed:


Opposite the Skytower the Premier Inn hotel/restaurant/pub is nearing completion:


The scene from Water Street:


Rhyl began as a resort with residential areas and became a residential town with a resort area. In the process it lost its sense of direction.

In 2018 though, we see evidence that Rhyl has clawed its way back on course and is gathering strength again.

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THU 12th APR 2018 UPDATE: Regarding the Premier Inn project, I can tell you that the 'Cookhouse and Pub' part is open for business. The address is 21-26 West Parade. Tel: (01745) 775419.

Premier Inn, Whitbread PLC

This and the rest of the Premier Inn project are owned by Whitbread PLC who also own the Costa coffee bar in High Street.


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SUN 13th MAY 2018 UPDATE: Pleased to report that the Waterpark is coming along nicely. This photograph was taken today by Yours Truly.


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WED 8th AUG 2018 UPDATE: The Waterpark seems on track to be ready for summer season 2019. Pictures of the interior indicate something like the old Sun Centre with plenty of novelty slides and refreshment areas, plus lots of extra features (I should hope so for £15 million).
In some quarters the new one is referred to as SC2 which probably means Sun Centre 2, but the name SC2 is unlikely to catch on with the public. Our combined bus & railway station site has been Rhyl Interchange since 2010; have you ever heard anybody call it by that name?

For updates on the Waterpark see stories by Kelly Williams in Daily Post:
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Saturday, 27 January 2018

EARLY ROYAL VISITS


Although television executives seem to believe we are all royalists, they can include me out. The bestowing of massive privileges on one particular family for hereditary reasons seems to me an outdated and offensive idea.

Nevertheless I have a soft spot for Alexandra of Denmark (shown below) patron of the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Rhyl. We had Alexandra Hotel and still have Alexandra Bridge i.e. the Vale Road Bridge.


She was Princess of Wales and wife of Edward, Prince of Wales, who became King Edward V11. Alexandra visited Rhyl in 1894 for laying the foundation stone of the hospital, and in 1902 to open the hospital. On the second occasion her husband was with her in his coronation year.

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A later Prince of Wales was to become King Edward V111 for less than 12 months. He abdicated (gave up the throne) in order to marry his lover, a divorced American woman. I always admired this Edward for flying in the face of convention.

Here he is, in his days as Prince of Wales, opening the War Memorial Hospital, Grange Road, Rhyl (now Hafan Deg Day Centre and War Memorial Court):

Edward V111, Duke of Windsor

This was taken on the same occasion:

Edward V111, Duke of Windsor

Click on the image to see a bigger version.

[Strangely, considering how brief his rule, we have a miniature train at Marine Lake named Edward V111.]

All very well, but the only king that really interests me is The Wire King who used to bend wire into novelties at a booth on the prom in Rhyl, and of course our May Queens & Rose Queens and – who said Johnny Dallas! Go and stand in the corner!

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The following references are added here for indexing purposes:
Duke of Windsor, Buckley Jones, Hughes Jones, G.J. Evans.

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ALL IS FAIR

Mike Theaker


Film maker Mike Theaker has dug into his archives and come up with footage of Rhyl fairground in 1959. At that time we had the old fun fair at Marine Lake and a newer one at Ocean Beach.

The shots are brief, the video’s total running time is less than 3-and-a-half minutes, but the material has not been viewed publicly before. Click on the link below to see on my YouTube channel.

Thanks, Mike!

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=GVw9JKqGg8A

Only videos marked RhylTime are mine. Don't blame me for the others.

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Saturday, 20 January 2018

PLASTIRION PUZZLE



This week the above items landed here at Jones Towers  a pair of group photos taken probably in 1950s on the steps of Plastirion Hotel (now East Parade Apartments, 46-48 East Parade, Rhyl).

The items arrived without accompanying information. Below are the group photos in close up.

LEFT:

RIGHT:

Click on any image to see a bigger version.

I wonder who the children were and why they were at the Plastirion. Were they locals or visitors? Were they on school outings without uniforms?
Were they something to do with the Alex Hospital nearby?

Absence of flags indicates that they were probably not something to do with Festival of Britain 1951 or Coronation 1953. On the other hand they may be.

Can anybody throw some light on this matter?

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

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SUN 4th FEB 2018 UPDATE: Readers report a number of group photos in circulation with artwork similar to those above.
Some are marked Coronation Year 1953. One such, relating to 'Brynteg', Edward Henry Street, appeared on this blog in September 2010:
http://rhyl-life.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/up-and-down.html

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EDWARD HENRY


In this blog there have references to E.H. Williams' Merrie Men before but not until now has there been a photographic portrait of E.H. in solo pose. Here he is in all his glory, waxed moustache an' all:

Merrie Men

E. H. (Edward Henry) Williams led his Merrie Men at the minstrel pitch on the beach in Rhyl from 1899 until 1906. He rented the pitch from Rhyl Urban District Council and turned his troupe into a real crowd-pulling act combining comedy and music.

Nearly spoiled by artificial colouring is the following picture of his Merrie Men performing a black-faced routine on the minstrel pitch.

minstrel pitch

[Note there is a building on left of the picture advertising saddle horses for hire not just donkeys.]

The Merrie Men came to be regarded as a valuable asset in the town, and Mr. Williams' work on behalf of local charities won even wider approval.

The image below shows the location of the minstrel pitch far left (opposite High Street) in relation to the pier (opposite Church Street). The pitch was taken over in 1907 by Gilbert Rogers' Jovial Jesters.


As for E.H. Williams Esq., he appears to have wound up living in London. Contrary to info published in other places, Edward Henry Street in Rhyl was not named after him.

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Saturday, 13 January 2018

FLASHBACK #33


This time we flash back not very far. Here is a snap taken in September 1984 at the Foryd in Rhyl (who could mistake that Ocean Beach Fun Fair background?)


It was taken by a passing stranger. Lined up, left to right, we have Frank Lomax, Basil Connelly, Ray Pearson, "Sandy" Powell and Sam Caruth. They are ex-Harrison Line relief staff.


The Harrison Line was based in Liverpool and ran cargo and passenger services from 1869 until the year 2000 when the business was absorbed by P&O Nedlloyd.


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This seems as good a place as any to squeeze in an image of the harbour that has not appeared previously in Rhyl Life.
It is on a card postmarked 1980 but the photo must have been taken years earlier because in the background on your left is the old domed Pavilion which was demolished in 1974.



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Don't forget Rhyl Life's YouTube channel featuring Rhyl videos and slideshows. The channel is named RhylTime. Click here to see RhylTime's Top Ten:

Only YouTube items labelled RhylTime are mine.


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FLASHBACK #32




These two photos were taken on the Dyserth branch line that operated 1869-1973 from Prestatyn to Meliden to Dyserth for the quarries.

Ah yes, the quarries. As a schoolboy on the Dyserth side of Rhuddlan I used to hear a warning siren followed by eerie silence, and then big boom accompanied by a chorus of dogs barking.

The mountain looked as if a giant’s spoon had removed a portion to eat. We took the disfiguring of the landscape by heavy industry for granted.

On visits to Wrexham area I joined the children playing on ‘spoil tips’ from the collieries until 1966 when a big one collapsed on houses and a school at Aberfan in South Wales and killed 28 adults and 116 children.

Our industrial past is less than glorious.

You can read about the Dyserth branch line, most of which is now a footpath, in Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyserth_branch_line

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Mr. Gerald Turner, now of Canada, thought he saw a picture of Yours Truly and my pal Jill on this blog ages ago  and he has spent a long time trying to find it again. He didn't say what for!

Well Gerry, the pic was taken in 2015 by Lynn Roberts outside The Piazza Restaurant, High Street, Rhyl. It appeared as part of a temporary post and got deleted. Here 'tis.


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

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Sunday, 7 January 2018

HELLO, GOODBYE


This afternoon out for a stroll (a Sunday constitutional) I witnessed Burton / Dorothy Perkins in the process of clearing out. Inside the shop were rails of clothes marked for transfer to other branches, nearest being Llandudno and Broughton.

The building at 48-50 High Street is one of few left from Rhyl's art deco period. It began life in 1930 simply as Burton the tailor. In recent years: Burton menswear on the 1st floor, Dorothy Perkins womens' fashions on ground floor.

Just in case the building undergoes radical change, here is  a record of its exterior wall plaques.

The following is on front of the building, to the right of Dorothy Perkins' window at a height of roughly 10-12 feet. It commemorates The Beatles 1962 appearance at Regent Dansette which used to be on 2nd floor: 


This cornerstone is at ground level beneath The Beatles plaque: 


Round the corner of Burton's window is a disused side door with plaques at ground level on each side:

Left:

 Right:


The photographs above are by Yours Truly.

You could read a short history of the company in Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burton_(retailer)

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TUE 9th JAN 2018 UPDATE: Ex-Rhylite Nigel Kerry of Clun writes, “Misspent youth. Burton’s also had a very popular snooker hall upstairs as lots of Burton’s branches had.”

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WED 24th JAN 2018 UPDATE:  Rhyl's percentage of empty shops has increased from 17.3 per cent in 2015 to 21.6 in 2016, and to 24.7 in 2017. What a rate of decline. It's hard to believe Rhyl was once THE regional shopping centre in Vale of Clwyd.
See Daily Post:

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MARK HAMBOURG

Mark Hamourg
portrait by F.W. Schmidt, Manchester

Mark Hambourg (1879-1960) was a Russian-born, naturalised British pianist of international repute. He played at Rhyl Pavilion on Sunday October 10th 1943, presumably as part of a concerted effort to keep the collective pecker up during World War 2.

Mr. Hambourg was accompanied by the Bournemouth Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by William Rees. The dodgy acoustics at the old Pavilion would have done them no favours but it was by all accounts a  rattling good concert, a big success!

Bournemouth Philharmonic Orch, William Rees

This reference is added here for indexing purposes:
Summit Enterprises Limited London.

You can see Mark Hambourg on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD2IoVbOUpc

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WED 7th MAR 2018 UPDATE: From one pianist to two! On April 2nd 1945 (five months before World War 2 ended) the Pavilion presented piano duettists Marjan Rawicz and Walter Landauer.
Here is the complete programme:

 
 

Click on any image to see a bigger version.


1940s

These are added here for indexing purposes:

Harold Fielding agent promoter, Mary Denise singer vocalist, Mannucci cello cellist , Joseph Saxby piano pianist, Keith Prowse old advert.

You can see Rawicz & Landauer on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i82tN2f1t4w&list=RDi82tN2f1t4w&t=2

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FRI 3rd AUG 2018 UPDATE: An eminent visitor to Rhyl Pavilion the year before Mark Hambourg was the Russian/Ukranian naturalised British concert pianist Benno Moiseiwitsch who was given a CBE in 1946 for performing hundreds of recitals to servicemen and charities during WW2.

Liverpool Philharmonic Orch, Louis Cohen

These are added here for indexing purposes:
Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Henry Holst, Louis Cohen.

The Grand Repertory Ball reference in the flyer was a fundraising event by (and possibly for) Manchester Repertory Company who were resident at the Pavilion at that time.

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RHETORICAL QUESTION


This is not part of the usual Quiz.

Below are two old postcards from the same series. They show photos of small hotels/guest houses in Butterton Road, Rhyl, named Mountgreen and Silverdale.
Notice anything funny about them?


Same photo!

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ALEX BOOKLET


Ex-Rhylite Robert Jones of Dyserth has provided this item - a booklet from the early days of the Royal Alexandra Hospital or - as it was known then - Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital and Convalescent Home.

The booklet is undated but clearly over 100 years old. Some pictures are familiar but the big attraction here is the text which is very informative about conditions at the time.

Incidentally, The Patroness H.M. Queen Alexandra was actually Alexandra of Denmark, Queen consort, wife of Edward VII.

Interesting item. Thanks, Robert!





Click on any page to read small print.






Click on any page to read small print.





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The following references are added here for indexing purposes:
Archdeacon Ffoulkes, Duke of Westminster, Alfred Waterhouse architect, Murray Browne, Gertrude Ffoulkes, Edith Vizard.

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Monday, 1 January 2018

BURIAL AT SEA

RNLI

It is not every day you see a photo of three lifeboats together. This one shows 12-24 Rhyl, 13-06 Hoylake and 12-006 Llandudno gathered in April 2017 to mark the scattering of the ashes of long serving Rhyl lifeboat man Gerald Hughes of Frederick Street.

The late Gerald Hughes, RNLI Rhyl

Photos in this post were supplied by Gerald’s cousin, educationalist David Hughes [alias Ambrose Conway, author of 'The Reso' books] who says of the boat codes, The first 2 numbers refer to the length in metres and the second 2 to the individual boat in the class.
“Rhyl is due to receive a boat like the Hoylake boat - which is why they are going to extend our lifeboat station to fit it in.
“They will also be setting up a small museum with many of Gerald's artefacts taking pride of place."

I look forward to seeing that. Thanks, David.

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PLEASE NOTE

This blog is winding down to a close. The final new post is scheduled for Dydd Gŵyl Dewi / St. David’s Day, Thursday 1st March 2018.
Updating of posts will continue as usual. Subscribers will receive occasional ‘Life Goes On’ bulletins about updates.

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

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NIGHT LIFE


The following information about night clubs has been moved here from a 2017 post that had become over-long and unwieldy:

Marina Hotel

Celebrity's was in Marina Hotel, or Hotel Marina if you prefer, in Marine Drive Rhyl. The hotel was closed following a police raid in 2012. Not long afterwards the hotel was converted to flats (Marina Apartments).

On the back of the above flyer, these Celebrity's disc jockeys are listed:
DJ Welly, Pleasuredome Farnworth / DJ Stubby, Mix Factory / Sequins, Blackpool / Banshee, Manchester / M.C. Sack, Legendary 2ForJoy Revenge / DJ Rodge The Dodge & Co, London.

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Here is a 1996 flyer from the Downtown in West Parade (near Ocean Beach Fun Fair).
Click on it to read small print.


Front of flyer:
Steam 2 rave tour
Back of flyer:
Downtown Club residents:
DJ 3.D.O.M, DJ Dolphin, DJ/M.C. Eazy, M.C. Delicious, M.C. Eternal.
DJ Scorpio, DJ Producer, DJ HMS, DJ Loftgroover, DJ Brisk,
M.C. Squidgy B.
Visitors and others:
DJ Nicky B, DJ FDA, DJ Destroyer, DJ Vortex.
DJ Clarkee, DJ Mastervibe, DJ Menace, DJ Psycho 9.
DJ Jay Prescott, DJ Smarti, DJ Sass, DJ Frantic, DJ Macca, DJ Tox.
DJ Mark E.G., DJ Aggressor.
DJ Freak, DJ Jack Hammer, DJ A/Trax.

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Here is another club flyer. This one is from 1992 – 
Click on it to read small print.


References on the flyer:
Clash Promotions, Rhyl Fridays, DJ Symon M, DJ Rob Tissara, PSI Division, DJ Sami B, Sunset Radio 102 FM, DJ Nipper, DJ Slipmatt, DJ Stu Allen, DJ Dave Angel, DJ Kenny Ken, DJ Mike E-Bloc.

The location is not specified exactly but the following clues are in the text "OPEN AIR CHILL OUT DANCE BALCONY OVERLOOKING THE SEA" and "Next door to the fun fair on the seafront" and therefore the finger of suspicion points to the Downtown Club again.

The telephone number has an error. That should be 01745 351 861. Was that the Downtown's number?

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

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SUN 19th AUG 2018 UPDATE: A flyer for Saturday 27th Sep 1997 at Club Zinc, Queens Buildings, West Parade, Rhyl.
Click on it to read small print.


References on the flyer:
Music promoter North aka North Radical Technology, music promoter Helter Skelter,
music event All The Fun Of The Fairmusic event Spectrum  Night,
DJ 3.D.O.M, DJ M-Zone, DJ Sharkey, DJ Dolphin, DJ Jay Prescott,
[B2B means 2 DJs on stage together back-to-back]
DJ Mark EG, DJ Scorpio, DJ Producer,
M.C. Eazy, M.C. Squidgy B, M.C. Ribbs,
DJ Dare, Wigless Wigy as The Fat Controller,
3rd Planet Records (record shop), 4 Russell Road, Rhyl.

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