Thursday, 1 March 2018



In 1993 after a long absence I returned to the Vale of Clwyd where born and raised. My mother and her mother being Rhylites, I had known the town all my life and was shocked to see how much it had changed.

Since then I have been involved with community groups in Rhyl, and from early 1990s onwards with the resort’s history. One way or another I have been thinking about Rhyl on a daily basis for a quarter of a century.

It’s time I thought about something else.

Rhyl Life therefore is closing today, but the existing posts will continue to be updated, and ‘Life Goes On’ bulletins about these updates should appear occasionally.


I've had my say about the inadequacies of local politics and about the 2016 referendum on UK's membership of the European Union having produced the wrong result for Wales.

In my 72nd year I feel unhappy about the bigger picture but could never feel pessimistic about Rhyl – it has as much potential as ever. It is a young town with far more of a future than a past. 

Rhyl Life has operated on-and-off for ten years. Many early posts were of a temporary nature and have been deleted. At the time of writing there are 1,220 posts and an estimated 3,500 images.

At its height, the site attracted about 10,000 pageviews a month. A large part of this success was due to the contributors who generously supplied material for inclusion.

With a final word of thanks to the contributors, I sign off here and wish all readers the best of health and happiness.

Colin Jones / email:



book by Philip Lloyd

Arthur Cheetham the Rhyl-based movie pioneer and businessman is the subject of a new book by Philip Lloyd whose previous work 'Glorious Rhyl: a peep at its past' was published in 2002 and well received.

Of the new book, which is titled 'Silvograph, Arthur Cheetham 1865-1937, pioneer film maker', Philip writes, "Arthur Cheetham arrived in Rhyl in 1889 and set up in business as a phrenologist, ‘medical electrician’ (offering ‘treatment’ for a variety of ailments with his ‘electro-curative battery’), printer, publisher and photographer.

"But he is best known as the town’s pioneer film maker. Between 1898 and 1912 Cheetham shot at least 47 films, depicting aspects of contemporary entertainment, sport, industry, transport etc, well over half of them in Rhyl, including the arrival of the first through Euston/Rhyl summer-service train."

Arthur Cheetham, film movie maker

The new book will be on sale on Thursday 22nd March 2018 at Rhyl Library. The author will be available to sign copies between 9.30 am and 5 pm and will screen a selection of Cheetham films at 2 pm.

Most of the films came from the collection of the late Eric Foulkes of Foulkes' Bar, High Street, Rhyl.


Saturday, 24 February 2018


Artwork by The FastStone Kid - Rhyl's clock tower in original position

During February 2018 the following posts were updated:

The Beatles at Ritz Ballroom -

Chinese food -

H. Batten-Jones, undertakers -

Jewish connections -

Miller’s Camp, Towyn -

Former Morville Hotel -

Plastirion Puzzle -

Sussex Street Baths -

Swimming at Marine Lake -

Visit by Duke of Connaught & Strathearn -



The UK Government continues to hatch its plan to rob us of our European citizenship. Meanwhile, there is a new organisation named Is It Worth It?  They are running a campaign in favour of remaining in European Union and they have a touring battle bus.

Is it worth it?

Link to the organisation:

ALSO there is a new political party named RENEW whose policies include staying in the EU, and I am getting involved.

Link to the party:

See them on YouTube:


Saturday, 17 February 2018


Most of my favourite old Rhyl images are already on Rhyl Life except the following which have been lying around waiting for a context. 
Before the blog closes to new posts, I present these images for no better reason than
I would hate to see them left out.

In this blog there have been already a couple of references to Professor Miller / Millar who operated Rhyl's first Punch and Judy booth on the prom opposite Queens Hotel. Here is the good professor up a ladder with a ventriloquist's doll:

Queen's Palace

The Queen's Palace dome dates the image as 1902-1907. A point of interest far left is a sign for 'Queens Mews' 
– haven't noticed that before.

From a 2018 Internet auction: a rare and unaffordable postcard of putting greens at Botanical Gardens, undated, certainly before WW2 -

putting greens

The family snaps below are from a 1930s album belonging to George Robert Eden of Birmingham. Our 'continental' basket chairs, the pier, deckchairs - and a sand castle - made very good props.

Around 1960 at Ocean Beach Fun Fair there were two Big Wheels as shown below. This image is artificially coloured; the shed-like building shown with dark green  roof is the Playland arcade/cafe, and next door with brown roof is Ritz Ballroom:

Eli ferris wheel

I think the Big Wheel nearest to camera arrived first and departed first; it was a 'ferris wheel' made by Eli Bridge Company of USA and operated by Billy Williams. The wheel further away looks smaller but was in fact bigger and was owned by Rhyl Amusements Ltd.

Here is a picture of the promenade paddling pool which had been built in 1920s as the Children's Lake for nippers to splash around in, sail toy boats and get cramp if the weather wasn't warm enough.

Some years ago in newspaper archives I found a reader's letter scorning "that montrosity they are building on the prom". The year was 1908 and he was referring to Rhyl Pavilion as shown above.

[I wouldn't go along with term "monstrosity" but it has to be said that the Pavilion was highly photogenic and looked better in postcard images than in reality.]

The summer show being advertised is 'A Night At The Varieties'. That happened to be the Pavilion's final show and therefore the date is 1972. The building was demolished in 1974.


Colin Jones / email: 

Don't forget my 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.


Tuesday, 13 February 2018


Card postmarked 1928

Here are some Valentine's Day gifts I bet you never thought of:

FOR HIM, a Rhyl-crested china miniature shaving mug -

FOR HER, a souvenir floral-bordered handkerchief from Rhyl -

In these Unisex days perhaps we could safely swap those two gifts round. No, only joking!


As for Yours Truly, I could fall for a woman who gave me presents like this big metal sign from the Jetstream ride at Ocean Beach Fun Fair -

What a collector's item.


Friday, 9 February 2018


As you cross the Foryd Bridge and land in Kinmel Bay you are flanked by hostelries. On your left used to be Clwyd Private Hotel and Clwyd Cafe:

Now in the same building are The Harbour pub and Hungry Horse restaurant:

Click on any image to see a bigger version.

On the opposite side of the road used to be The Ferry Hotel. At the time shown below Mr. & Mrs. Marsh were in charge.

Now in the same building is The Mayquay pub/restaurant:

  • The 2016 message from the UK's chief medical officers still applies. 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.

The colour pix were taken a few days ago by Yours Truly.


Below is a 1920s snapshot taken on Rhyl promenade, opposite West Parade. The first turning on your right is Queen Street.

Mary Hughes Birmingham

In shot is Mary Hughes of Birmingham with her brother and possibly her mother. There must be thousands of family snaps like this lying forgotten in attics and sideboards . . .

Colin Jones / email:


Saturday, 3 February 2018


glass negative
Bathing machines at Rhyl - glass negative circa 1910

glass negative
Rowing boats at Rhyl - glass negative circa 1910

During December 2017 no old posts were updated.

During January 2018 the following posts were updated:

Burton / Dorothy Perkins (2 updates) -

Derbyshire Miners' Holiday Centre -

Greaves Records -

Pennaf / Clwyd Alyn -

Pier Amphitheatre aka Gaiety Theatre -

Queen's Palace -

Rhyl & District Motor Club -

Royal Lido, Prestatyn -

Skating rink, promenade and West Parade -

Swan Inn -

William Roberts (Rhyl) Limited -

Card postmarked 1924

detail of above



This blog is winding down to a close. The final new post is scheduled for Thursday 1st March 2018. The updating of posts will continue and 'Life Goes On’ bulletins about the updates should appear here on blog and be sent to subscribers.
If you have not already subscribed, please pop your email address into the box at top left of the page. Subscription is free.

Colin Jones /


Monday, 29 January 2018


Unaccustomed as I am to walking Rhyl seafront in January, curiosity about new works sent me up there today.

The weather was not warm, dear readers but, as is often the case in Rhyl, the general aspect was bright and cheerful. The photos in this post were taken by Yours Truly.

On the promenade, to your left of Pavilion Theatre there are extensive works all the way along to Garden of Remembrance. These should include a Travelodge hotel amongst other things:

Click on any image to see a bigger version.

The Village

Above: In Children's Village, aka The Village, the unit once operated by Noah Robinson as Cap'n Noah's indoor playground is being demolished. Nearby at the Tourist Information Centre business is as usual.

Below: Just to your left of the Skytower the forthcoming Waterpark is being constructed:

Opposite the Skytower the Premier Inn hotel/restaurant/pub is nearing completion:

The scene from Water Street:

Rhyl began as a resort with residential areas and became a residential town with a resort area. In the process it lost its sense of direction.

In 2018 though, we see evidence that Rhyl has clawed its way back on course and is gathering strength again.