Wednesday, 7 October 2015


Postcard collectors would tell you that the Rhyl name to look out for is photographer Rae Pickard. Some of his work appears in previous posts in this blog – and sometimes uncredited because not all of his pictures carry his trade mark.

Here is one attributed to Rae Pickard circa 1914 and coloured at a later date. It shows the steam packet St. Elian at Foryd Harbour:

Rae Pickard was a Kentish lad whose real name was Harold Ashby Norris. He came to Rhyl in the early 1900s and stayed with his brother Jeffrey Norris who was Clerk to the Rhyl county court.

Some fine details in Mr. Pickard’s work gets lost in translation to Internet but the following item showing the boarding house (unlicensed hotel) Moseley House, 66 West Parade, run by Mrs. S. Rowlands circa 1915 illustrates he was a cut above other photographers of the day:

Rae Pickard’s first studio/shop was in Queen Street, and later he moved to High Street. The following shot of the sands and promenade is undated, must be later than 1908 because Rhyl Pavilion is there. At the bottom on your right is the Pickard trade mark:

Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

Next is Queen Street on a card posted in 1913 to Mrs. G. Nicholls of Maids Moreton, Bucks, from daughter Rose. On the corner Parr's Bank is now the NatWest:

In late 1930s Rae Pickard passed away after more than 30 years of producing work that is still admired. In a later post I will present some of his photos of other towns and villages in North Wales.

Meanwhile, here are two more of his Rhyl gems – a picture of the Women’s Convalescent Home at Morfa Hall undated, and one that was taken under tricky lighting conditions at the children’s sea water bath in Royal Alexandra Hospital circa 1920:

Sea water bath

I am obliged to Llanddulas Hidden History for some of this information. Please click here to see the site:

SUN 28th FEB 2016 UPDATE: Recently to hand came this Rae Pickard photo of the Children’s Lake (paddling pool) and West Parade from the late 1920s or thereabouts:

MON 15th OCT 2018 UPDATE: The Rae Pickard picture below seems to fit here. It is captioned Rhyl Shore and shows a pleasure boat returning to the beach, with Pavilion and pier in the background.

This is a card postmarked 1920.