Tuesday, 23 May 2017


A post on 8th January this year, now titled MILITARIANISM #1, featured some local military camp pictures from the World War 1 era. These drew a considerable amount of interest so here are more of the same.

I present these as items of social history and would not wish to condone or glorify military conflict in any way. In my lifetime I have not supported the UK's involvement in any war. Peacenik, that's me.

The following images are dated.
Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
1908 - Cheshire Regiment at Rhyl

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
1914 - North Wales Comrades training at Rhyl
(not to be confused with North Wales "Pals")

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
1914 - North Wales Comrades training at Rhyl (2)

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
1915 - Service Batt. Welsh Regt. (Carmarthenshire)
outside Rhyl Pavilion

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
1916 - Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Kinmel Park Camp near Bodelwyddan
Aber. Hut (Aber Where,  I wonder)

The following images are undated but from same period.
Click on any picture to see a bigger version.

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
 Church Lads' Brigade - Morning wash at Rhyl Camp No.7
(Magic Lantern slide)

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
 Royal Welsh Fusiliers - Church Parade at Rhyl Camp

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Kinmel Park Camp

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War
Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Kinmel Park Camp (2)

To round off this post, here is a rare snapshot of WW1 soldiers in Rhyl, marching down High Street and about to cross the Alexandra Bridge which these days is called Vale Road Bridge:

World War 1, World War One, First World War, The Great War

Furthest right is a tantalising glimpse of the building that was demolished in the 1930s to make way for Odeon Cinema (now Apollo Bingo).
In centre of the picture is William Roberts' corner shop, and to your left of the shop is a hotel; I have it on good authority that the hotel's rooms still exist on the upper floors.

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

See my Rhyl videos on YouTube:

Only the videos marked RhylTime are mine!


Sunday, 14 May 2017


On Friday 5th May 2017, I posted a slightly doctored version of this old photo of a Rhyl hotel.
The question: What stands in that location now?
The answer: Front Room & Late Lounge, 91 High Street 

Bar Blu

On that corner of High St and Kinmel St the chronology appears to be Dinorben Arms Hotel, followed by Alexandra Hotel (shown in old photo) which may have been the same building.
Then there was a rebuild in the form of Alexandra pub known confusingly to hospital staff as "The Alex". You can fill in the remainder.
[Off The Rails and Bar Blu were two names in use before Front Room.]

Also posted was an edited version of this 1960s-80s postcard of North Wales pubs, only ONE of which is in Rhyl.
The question: Is it top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right, or centre?
The answer: top left - The Schooner aka Schooner Inn, West Parade.

Rhyl, Pensarn, Prestatyn, Llandudno

For indexing purposes the others are listed here:

The Yacht, 1 Marine Road, Pensarn near Abergele /
The Railway (formerly Offa's Tavern), High Street, Prestatyn /
Jolly Sailor, Ffordd Penrhwylfa, Prestatyn /
Steam Packet, 70 Mostyn Street, Llandudno.

Let me repeat last year's message from the UK's chief medical officers. Research shows any amount of alcohol can increase the risk of cancer. There is no such thing as a safe level of drinking the stuff.


Monday, 8 May 2017


Rhyl Life presents a double-flashback on the old Pavilion. Firstly, here is a picture I had never seen until recently. It was taken during World War 2 when the Pavilion was camouflaged and Manchester Repertory Company was in residence.

The boy in foreground is wearing a short-sleeved pullover and knee length trousers - a fashion that lasted too long into the 1950s.

On Feb 28, 1908 - just a few months before Rhyl Pavilion opened - the following item appeared in The Building News. Interesting to see the structure described as 'assembly room' rather than a theatre (same intended use, though).


The accompanying text says:

"This design, by Messrs. Maxwell and Toke and F. Bennett Smith, F.R.I.B.A., of 25 Brazennose Street, Manchester, has been selected in a limited competition of six architects for an assembly-room to be erected on the foreshore at Rhyl.
     "The building will contain a large hall or assembly-room on the ground floor, with gallery over. The main entrances will be at the front, with entrances or exits on either side. There will be a large platform, suitable for music or theatricals, with retiring rooms and staircases on either side. Tea and refreshment rooms will be provided on the ground floor, and large one on the upper floor at the front, opening on to a balcony. Covered balconies and verandahs will surround the entire building.
     "The form of plan is practically a square with four large turrets at each corner, and the centre covered by a large dome.
     "A considerable amount of reinforced concrete is to be used in the construction of the staircase, floors, gallery, roofs and dome. The exterior (is) to be faced with red and buff bricks and terracotta. The assembly-room is to hold 1,500 persons seated. The general contractor is Mr. C. Griffiths, of Lye, Stourbridge.
     "The ornamental gardens on either side of the pavilion are being formed from the designs, and under the superintendence of Mr A. A. Goodall, the surveyor to the council. The entire cost is £14,000."

Note the cost of the project is £14,000 – that would be about one-and-a-half million pounds in today's money (quite a bargain compared with the fifteen million pounds for our proposed waterpark).


Photo: VOA News


Congratulations to voters of France for electing Emmanuel Macron as President. He is enthusiastic about the European Union and wants to make it work. How refreshing, compared with our stale politicians who want to drag us out!
Bon chance, Monsieur le Président!


Friday, 5 May 2017


The two pictures above of the Parish Church of St. Thomas, Rhyl (organ and exterior) are from the 1900-1910 period, and the interior below is on a card postmarked 1916:

Click on any image to see a bigger version.

The above portrait of the ladies of Church Army Crusaders Group No.2 is undated and is the work of photographer J.A. Harding of Rhyl.

Below: gentlemen of Church Army Pilgrimage Salisbury To Rhyl 1928 posing outside a church. I wonder what church.

Church Army should not be confused with Salvation Army. They are not the same. See Wikipedia:

Church Army -
Salvation Army -


The original Catholic Church in Wellington Road, Rhyl, was known as St. Mary's but actually named Our Lady Of The Assumption (same applies to the present one).
The original's interior was far more elaborate and decorative as shown on this card postmarked 1916:

Here are two rare snapshots of the old church being demolished after the present one had been built behind it. The new church opened in 1975.

The following segment has been moved to here from an older post:

Rev. Father Patrick Collins (later Canon) was based at St. Mary's from early 1950s to early '70s. He was a well known figure on a bicycle visiting parishioners who were in hospital or housebound.
In 1971 he was presented with a motor scooter. Standing left to right in the image below are Mayor of Rhyl Dan Roberts, Les Slee (from whose book ‘The Catholic Church In Rhyl 1854-2005’ the photo was uplifted) and Councillor Herbert Weston.

TUE 16th MAY 2017 UPDATE: Regarding the photo of Church Army Pilgrimage Salisbury To Rhyl 1928. The Great Gareth and I have been puzzling over the church in background; it may not be a Rhyl church.
The photo might have been taken in Salisbury before starting out.

Same consideration applies to image below of Church Army Pilgrimage Nottingham to Rhyl. This is a card postmarked 1937.

[Taking pictures of pilgrims before they set out for Rhyl seems a good idea - in case they don't return.]



Plaid Cymru retained their overall control of Gwynedd County Council – that means Plaid has more councillors there than other parties put together. Plaid won a total of 202 county council seats in Wales as a whole (33 more than last time).

Here in Denbighshire the biggest party had been Labour but with no overall control. NOW the biggest party are the Conservatives with no overall control.
County residents are unlikely to notice much difference because unelected officers rule the roost anyway.

In Rhyl all our county and town councillors had been Labour but their stranglehold has been loosened slightly. NOW 2 of Rhyl’s 11 county councillors are not Labour and 5 of Rhyl’s 22 town councillors are not Labour.
Town residents are not likely to notice much difference because town council has no powers worth mentioning.

I note with satisfaction that the election left Wales without any UKIP councillors. UKIP is the nastiest, most racist and most untruthful party. We are better off without them in our council chambers.

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



Above is a well seasoned old photo of a Rhyl hotel.
The question: What stands in that location now?

Below is a 1960s-80s multiview postcard of North Wales pubs - only ONE is in Rhyl.
The question: Is it top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right, or centre?

No need to send me an email - just check your two answers against mine on Sunday 14th May 2017 after 12 noon.


Friday, 28 April 2017


Ocean Plaza

Lot of works going on in Rhyl at present. The scene above is part of the Marina Quay development on the former Ocean Beach Fun Fair site, and so are these two:

Ocean Plaza

Ocean Plaza

The big unit on corner of West Parade and Sydenham Avenue has an entrance in the same place as the fun fair's main entrance was. The resemblance ends there.

The Marina Quay development will bring more shoppers to Rhyl, but will it take more trade away from our town centre? We'll have to wait and see.

All photos in this post were taken this month by Yours Truly.
Click on any one to see a bigger version.

Further along West Parade there is nothing doing on the derelict plot of land at top of John Street, but the Skytower is getting a lick of paint in advance of further decoration.

Across the road, at top of Water Street, work has commenced on site of the demolished Honey Club (previously Rosy O'Grady's, originally Monica Hotel). The plan is for a Premier Inn. Not much to see at present because of a high fence.

Near top of Queen Street the scaffolding is a work of art and should be preserved:

Near Rhyl Golf Club, opposite Lyons Robin Hood Holiday Park, large moles have become a problem.

sea defences

No, it's just more flood defence work:

sea defences
sea defences

Nothing doing on site of the demolished Grange Hotel in East Parade, but the Pavilion Theatre's facelift is coming along nicely and plans to your left of the theatre include a Travelodge hotel and a pub.

At present the theatre looks like this from Conwy Street:

The shows go on as usual. See Pavilion website -

Sorry to have to note here that my pal Fred Burns the photographer, who has been operating a studio at 44 Bedford Street, Rhyl, for more than ten years has opted for early retirement due to illness. Fred and I worked together on several projects and had a lot of laughs.
By coincidence, GMG's wedding dress shop next door at No.42 has closed down because proprietor Geraldine also is afflicted by illness. One-person businesses have a fragile existence.



During April 2017, eight older posts were updated:

Brexit / Regrexit!

Coventry Co-op Camp, Kinmel Bay -

Jolly Boys Football Club -

Knights Caverns, Palace Fun Centre -

Ocean Beach Fun Fair/1970s -

Promenade boating lake (pedal boats) -

Rebecca Trehearn -

Stoke-on-Trent Children's Holiday Home -


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


Friday, 21 April 2017


Previously in this blog have been references to the Post Office that used to be in Rhyl High Street in days of yore, but no clear illustration until now. The date 1959 appears on the back of this photo:

Avondale Cafe, E.B. Jones

The building has long gone. It was opposite the present Boots chemist, on a site where now we have a pair of charity shops: British Heart Foundation at No.44 and Scope at No.42.

I thought I remembered a red pillar box outside. Memory plays tricks!

To your right of the Post Office was formerly Avondale Restaurant which, by the time the photo was taken, had become combined-Avondale-Cafe-and-shop belonging to E.B. Jones & Co Ltd.

Cyclists, please take note of the two chaps in the picture. They are doing what you should be doing in town centres, i.e. walking along pushing the bikes and not riding.