Monday, 14 August 2017


Rhyl Life is breaking for a summer hol. The next post will be Monday 28th August 2017.
Please put your email address in the box on your left if you would like to be notified whenever a new post appears.

This year during the two days of our annual air show, volunteers on behalf of RNLI Lifeboats will be making a bucket collection on the prom between Foryd Harbour and Splash Point.
Throughout the UK the lifeboats rescue on average 23 people per day and the service helps in flood rescue response.
Please give generously!



Last month a bumper crop of Rhyl Miniature Railway (Marine Lake) postcards came up for sale on Internet, unused and therefore undated. Below are examples that have not appeared previously in this blog.

Click on any image to see a bigger version.

'Atlantic' Type Locomotive by Bassett-Lowke
'Atlantic' Type Locomotive by Bassett-Lowke

Marine Rifle Range, Foryd Hall
Miniature Railway & Marine Rifle Range
Foryd Hall top left

Central Station, Funland Arcade
Central Station & Funland Arcade

Rae Pickard
By Rhyl photographer Rae Pickard

No. 101 - Joan
No. 101  - 'Joan'

No. 105 - Michael
No. 105 - 'Michael'

No. 44 Clara - built in USA
No.44 'Clara' - built in USA

Centenary 1911-2011

To see all posts relating to Marine Lake please click here:



Above is a reminder that in the 1920s the fun fair at Marine Lake was sometimes known as Ocean Beach before the newer site was developed.
Westbourne Cafe is just about discernible centre left.
The remarkable Figure Eight Rollercoaster would have been fairly new when this aerial photo was taken. On its far side, Oakland Avenue seems in the process of being created.
There is something peculiar built on decking over the water centre right.

Below is ostensibly a shot of Foryd Harbour but shows how the fun fair eventually reached West Parade. This is a card postmarked 1961.
By that time, Marine Lake Fun Fair and Ocean Beach Fun Fair were both operating. The clanking, the swirling, the screams . . .
Bottom left corner of the picture would be part of Ritz Ballroom, and the 'Casino' to your left of the big wheel would be an amusement arcade.


Tuesday, 8 August 2017


On Monday 31st July 2017, Question 1 was: What do these two buildings have in common?

Price Evans shop

The answer: They were both music shops.
At the top is the part of North Wales Women's Centre, Water Street, that used to be Price Evans Music Shop which sold sheet music, musical instruments and records. I bought my first jazz records there in the very early 1960s and recall the husband-and-wife team behind the counter and their daughter T(h)eresa, a wild child around my own age. I wonder what happened to her.
Previously the building was named Harmony House, home of the music shop Box & Co. (originally Box & Stansfield) operated by bandleader and saxophone/clarinet/guitar player Albert Williams. In 'Rhyl Music In The Ritz Years 1955-1968' I described Water Street as the Tin Pan Alley of Rhyl. Dance band musicians looking for gigs would hang out next door in Ellis' Bar.
These days it seems unlikely that Jobcentre Plus would accept that as looking for work.

The other picture shows Chilli Pink Express at 42 Queen Street, a food take- away & delivery service. To an older generation of Rhylites the building will always be Greaves Record Shop.

Bill Ellis says that Greaves was previously in Market Street where R.K.M. wool shop is now. Bill remembers queuing outside with guitarist Dennis Rothwell to buy ‘Apache’ by The Shadows. That would have been 1960.

[Going further back in time, ex-Musicians' Union branch secretary Morgan Borthwick remembers the Gold Charm jewellery shop in Market Street on corner of Glanglasfor as a record shop named R. G. Jones, and sheet music was sold at Alan Edwards’ sports shop on corner of High Street & Russell Road where Detour clothes shop is now. Thanks, Morgan.]

Question 2: How are the following people connected with Rhyl?
a) Albert Cronshaw
b) Mrs. Blake and Miss Grimwood.

The answers

Albert Cronshaw was a well known character at Marine Lake Fun Fair. The following is from 'Rhyl At The Fun Fair' by Eric Hughes:
"In the 1930s as a visitor to Marine Lake Fun Fair I saw lightning artist Albert Cronshaw who could paint up to 100 complete pictures in one day. [Wouldn't I love to find one of those! - Ed.] 
Eric continues, "Albert Cronshaw also operated Spider and the Fly (or Spider Racing Game). This was a competitive game for a number of players: a large spider's web was depicted on a back wall, by turning a handle you sent a spider creeping towards the centre of the web where a fly was revolving. If your spider was first to stop the fly, you won a prize. It was not a straight- forward speed game, the handle was fitted with a clutch device that slipped if you turned too fast."

Mrs. Blake and Miss Grimwood were in a news story retold in 'Rhyl In The Second World War' by Yours Truly:
"In Rhyl on April 12th 1945, tragedy struck in a spare room in Brighton Road. Two middle-aged ladies, Mrs. Frances Gertrude Blake and her companion Miss Muriel Elsie Grimwood, committed suicide. They were overwrought after experiencing difficulties in finding suitable accommodation. The ladies were financially secure but said to be mentally unsound. They were found in bed facing each other with hands clasped. An inquest the following month found that Mrs. Blake and Miss Grimwood had died of poisoning caused by an overdose of sleeping pills."


SAT 19th AUG 2017 UPDATE: Although Eric Hughes refers to Albert Cronshaw more than once by that name, the following image is captioned Photo by Cronkshaw

Were Albert Cronshaw and Cronkshaw the same person and, if so, which spelling would be correct I wonder.

Colin Jones / email:

See my Rhyl videos on YouTube:
Only the videos marked RhylTime are mine!


Monday, 31 July 2017


The above photos were taken yesterday in Rhyl by Yours Truly.
Question 1: What do these two buildings have in common?

Question 2: How are the following people connected with Rhyl?
a) Albert Cronshaw
b) Mrs. Blake and Miss Grimwood.

No need to send me an email - just check your answers against mine on Tuesday 8th August 2017 after 12 noon.


Nigel Kerry, now resident in Clun, Shropshire, is hoping for a picture of the Roma Coffee Bar, West Parade, late 1950s/early '60s. 
Here is an advert for the Roma mentioning Ray Rowlands and His Band; Ray was a drummer from St. Asaph.
This is from 1958 and appears in 'Rhyl Music In The Ritz Years 1955-1968' by Yours Truly.
Click on it to read small print.


Sunday, 30 July 2017


sunlight moonlight wonderful time
Postcard by Bamforth & Co. Ltd. (1930s)

During July 2017, ten old posts were updated. They are as follows:

Boer War aka South African War / Hugh Owen Hughes -

Bridges in Rhyl -

Floral Hall: another image -

Llandudno tram -

Llandudno Telegraph Hotel aka Randy’s Bar -

Prestatyn: more old images -

Rubbish disposal / Clwyd Alyn -

Steam train in Rhyl: another image -

Towyn near Abergele / Cambria Holiday Camp -

Water Street / Orama Radio & TV -

RAF pilot
Rhyl Urban District Council chairman and airman J. Parry,
probably in Manchester Evening News (1957)

Well well, a councillor that knew how to fly a plane . . .


Tuesday, 25 July 2017


I have never quite reconciled myself to British pop singers adopting American accents when they open their mouths to sing, and bending and twisting notes. The cynic in me suspects these devices are for disguising poor diction and the lack of ability to pitch accurately.

There was and still is a local audience for classically trained singers, such as the John Ridding Opera Company (above) photographed during a summer season in Rhyl. They toured in Wales, Scotland and England and possibly elsewhere from the 1890s to 1920s.

Rhyl Pavilion

The card above advertises their 1910 productions at the New Pavilion & Marine Gardens development. The Pavilion was the iconic domed edifice on the promenade, and Marine Gardens was on its eastern side - where a roller skating rink was created nearly forty years later.

The following is by Rhyl photographer Ernest Jones of 3 Kinmel Street:

The Ridding Company has not been mentioned previously in this blog and nor has Rhyl Choral Society, a local army of enthusiastic amateurs. Here they are photographed by Wills Jones in 1908 on the prom:
Click on the image to see a bigger version.

How handsome the gentlemen look in their evening suits, and how pretty the ladies in their dresses. Dear me, where did we all go wrong?

Colin Jones / email:

See my Rhyl videos on YouTube:
Only the videos marked RhylTime are mine!