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!


Thursday, 20 July 2017




Here are some bus items to add to the strength transport pix in this blog. Above: the earliest form of bus, a coach and horses. This one is in Rhyl and ready to depart on a trip. The word TOURIST is just about visible on side of the coach. The image is from a card postmarked 1913.

Above: Brookes Brothers open-top white double decker outside the White Lion Hotel, High Street, Rhyl (where Jobcentre Plus is now).
On the front of the bus is an advert for E.B. Jones, grocers; on the side is advert for a Rhyl Pavilion show titled This Woman Business.

Below: Crimson Coaches vehicle near the Llanberis Pass. It is made by Vulcan of Southport. Crimson is one of the lesser known Rhyl firms, and the driver in this instance is 'Will Llanfair'.

Llanberis Pass


Above: Late 1930s snapshot of a Crosville Motor Services U8 that ran between High Street, Rhyl, and Sandy Cove in Kinmel Bay.

Below: Late 1950s probably. The double decker is near corner of High Street and West Parade, with Woolworth's (now B&M) on your left.

Crosville's 5000th bus, circa 1980 at Marine Lake end of Wellington Road, near an Esso petrol station and an Elf service station.


Sunday, 16 July 2017


St. Asaph Street

1) Last Sunday I posted the above photo. The question: Where was I standing?

The answer: St. Asaph Street.
Looking across the site on which the Grange Hotel once stood.


2a) The question: Where in Rhyl was the Hippodrome?
The answer: On the sands.
It was a later, fancier name name for the outdoor performance area known originally as the minstrel pitch. This advert for E.H. Williams' Merrie Men, written probably in 1904, refers.
Click on it to read small print.

Hippodrome, minstrel pitch


2b) The question: Where in Rhyl was Constantinople?
The answer: Queen's Palace.
Constantinople was the name of a new attraction that replaced 'Little Venice' which may have lost its novelty value and/or been a franchise whose time had expired. 
A previous post refers:

Now, let's see. You can award yourself one win for the correct answer to Question 1, two for 2a and two for 2b, plus an extra win if you got all of them right = a total of 6 wins.


  • The Marlborough Hotel, 16 East Parade, Rhyl, has been renamed The Braga Hotel. Tel: (01745) 353036.
  • Local radio station Point FM appears to have ceased trading. The Wellington Road premises no longer bears the station name.
  • Here is a summery snapshot of girls named Terry and Caroline having a tug o’war with unseen forces on Rhyl promenade in 1957. Holiday-makers or locals, I wonder.
Girls named Terry and Caroline

Colin Jones / email:


Sunday, 9 July 2017



This photo was taken last week by Yours Truly.
The question: Where was I standing?

Where in Rhyl was the Hippodrome?
Where in Rhyl was Constantinople?

No need to send me an email - just check your three answers against mine on Sunday 16th July 2017 after 12 noon.



Only one pub in North Wales has been given a ZERO rating by the Food Standards Agency – The Swan Inn aka Yr Alarch 13 Russell Road, Rhyl.
See story in Daily Post:


Wednesday, 5 July 2017


Recently the first photo below was on sale on Internet, hence the seller's logo. It shows Rhyl Pickwicks football / soccer team 1899-1900. Chances are, this was a team that played for charities  because the top-hatted gent on your right is E.H. Williams the leader of Rhyl's 'Merrie Men' minstrel troupe; he was involved in fundraising activities.

For indexing purposes the names above are repeated here.
Back row (left to right): E.D. Davies, B. Smith, F. Mudd, E.H. Williams.
Middle row: EL. Jones, J. Fell, Tom Moore, H.H. Davies, J. Brookes.
Front row: R. Salt, E. Nelson, R. Newing, T. Keene, T. Roberts.
Name of the original owner of the photo is given as John Nickels, 14 Vale Park, off Victoria Road, Rhyl.

The next item is captioned Rhyl Snooker Hall 1911. The location of the hall is not given. The group in the photo would be staff.

Here, a walking race in East Parade, Rhyl,  presumably dating from before World War 1:

The following shot of Rhyl Bowling Green, Seabank Road, is undated and looks like the work of Rhyl photographer Rae Pickard but I've no evidence that it was taken by him:

From 1947-48 here is a medallion inscribed for the Rhyl & District T.T.L (Table Tennis League) Youth Singles Winner. First mention of table tennis in this blog!

Wrestling is a Rhyl favourite and continues this summer at the town hall. Here are the centre pages from a programme of wrestling at Gaiety Theatre (formerly Pier Amphitheatre) on the prom, dated 1964.

For indexing purposes the names above are repeated here.
Wryton Wrestling, Count Bartelli, Alf Rough-house Cadman Bury, Ted Hannon Scotland, Frank Riley Wigan, Bert Royal Bolton, Vic Faulkner Bolton, Martin Conroy referee, Terry Nylands Rochdale, Dennis Wade St. Helens, Seamus Donlevy Ireland, Mike Donlevy Ireland, Francis Gregory, Reg Williams.
Master of Ceremonies is our very own, recently deceased, Roy Turner.

A seaside resort is not a place you would expect to find a Gunsmiths for field sports, but we have one in Elwy Street where until a few years ago the proprietor was the late Reg Gizzi (airman and ex-musician).
This photo was taken earlier in 2017. Last I heard, a few weeks ago, the business was up for sale.

gun shop

My YouTube channel featuring Rhyl videos and slideshows goes by the name of RhylTime. Click on the following link if you would like to see RhylTime's Top Ten:

Only YouTube items labelled RhylTime are mine.


Friday, 30 June 2017


Palace Hotel, 83-84 West Parade, Rhyl - bowl
Photo by Dave Williams

Audience figures have taken a dive this month. You have been out there surfing instead of in here surfingIn Rhyl the temperature pushed towards 30 degrees Centigrade for a few days, just a little too hot for Yours Truly. Rhyl's average temperature across the year is 13.4 degrees, ever so slightly warmer than Blackpool.

During June 2017, twelve older posts were updated:

Arthur Sutcliffe, pierrot –

Boer War volunteers –

Colwyn Bay Pier and Llandudno Pier –

General Election 2017 –

Holborn Restaurant/CafĂ© –

Kerfoot Hughes & Jones dispatch department –

Lyons Holiday Camp, more early pics –

Men’s Convalescent Home, Bedford Street –

New Foryd Bridge 1932 –

Towyn near Abergele / Wilcocks Camp –

Wood, Son & Co., Abbey Street –

Povey Boarding House, 42 West Parade, Rhyl - spoon
Photo by Dave Williams

Sunday, 25 June 2017


London-based publishers Raphael Tuck & Sons started producing picture postcards in 1900 and continued for more than half a century. The Tuck company lost a lot of its original material during World War 2 and merged with other companies in 1959.

The following are Rhyl examples of Tuck cards - Foryd harbour, the pier, Open Air Bathing Pool ('The Baths') and sandhills opposite East Parade. The photos would have been taken circa 1950.



From the same source and of a similar date are these shots of Palin's Ideal Holiday Camp, Towyn near Abergele:

The camp certainly looks a lot different now and has been renamed Palin's Holiday Park:


WED 26th JUL 2017 UPDATE:  Here is a rare aerial shot of Palin's:

And for good measure, an undated postcard of Cambria Holiday Camp in Towyn, with intriguing reference to Radio Cycles bottom left:

Caravan Park

This camp is still operating as Cambria Caravan Park: