Saturday, 13 January 2018


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.


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.

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.



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:


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.

Colin Jones / email:


Sunday, 7 January 2018


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:



The photographs above are by Yours Truly.

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

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.”



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!

You can see Mark Hambourg on YouTube:

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



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!



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.

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


Monday, 1 January 2018



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.



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 /