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: