Tuesday, 20 June 2017

ASK CENTRE OPENS


This is a photo of Rhyl resident Eunice Parry taken last week by Yours Truly outside the entrance to United Church in Rhyl (originally Christ Church) in Water Street, where Rev. Paul Robinson is nurturing a new project.

The north side of the church and the adjacent building (formerly Citizens’ Advice Bureau) which is under church ownership, are undergoing transformation into The Ask Centre - of which Eunice will be Manager / Receptionist.

The Ask Centre is being created by money from the 'Community Facilities Programme' of Welsh Government. The centre will incorporate the Rhyl branch of Denbighshire Citizens’ Advice, plus community and social activities.

There will be a suite of six computers for free public use, a food bank that could provide 24 hoursworth of food in case of emergency, community meeting rooms for hire, and a community choir for an hour once a week.

Choir practice will be in the church. Not all songs are going to be religious and you don’t need to be a good singer to join in. Eunice will accompany at the piano.

Helping in the centre's management and admin are Rev. Robinson and Natasha Harper the Communities Facilitator. ”We hope the new centre will help to tackle poverty and deprivation among members of this community." says Eunice.

Grand Opening of The Ask Centre is on Saturday 1st July, 11am-3.30pm. Go along and see the project - you’ll be impressed! The centre is open to all enquirers from Monday 3rd onwards.
Tel: (01745) 337750, email: eunice@unitedchurchinrhyl.co.uk

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Sunday, 18 June 2017

FLASHBACK # 25


ironmongers

Kerfoot Hughes & Jones is one of those evocative Rhyl business names that I like so much. They were ironmongers mainly, and their shop was in Bodfor Street. The business card above states new premises, so this was not their first address. The card would be circa 1909.


The Kerfoot Hughes & Jones invoice below is addressed to Mrs. Stanley "Plas Coed" Dyserth Road and is dated 1931.
Click on it to see small print.

ironmongers
Having consulted my pal Dilys Bagnall, I can advise that the shop was on the northeast side of Bodfor Street. The location is shown in the following photo taken last month by Yours Truly standing outside Argos:

Mind shop, Goldilocks

There may be a connection between the ironmonger Kerfoot and the Rhuddlan street name Kerfoot Avenue. Can anybody confirm?

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

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Another fondly remembered ironmongers was H. O. Davies, 28 Queen Street (known as Garth's). At the time of writing we have no ironmongers in Rhyl town centre – and no butchers.

The business card below, for long gone butchers I mean purveyors of meat Owens & Sons of 9 Water Street and 51a High Street, is likely to be from before World War 1.


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These names are added here for indexing purposes: Mind charity shop, Goldilocks hairdressers.

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FRI 23rd JUN 2017 UPDATE: Nigel Kerry has written from Clun – a lovely place in South Shropshire. Nigel says that in the 1950s his uncle Oswald Jones of Alpha Villa (now No.9) Elwy Street, Rhyl, worked in the dispatch department of Kerfoot Hughes & Jones.

[He adds that there is or was a few years ago a Kerfoots in Porthmadog, an imposing shop that was part ironmonger/ fancy goods etc. The proprietors told him that there was a link to the Rhyl business.]

Nigel says that, in Rhyl, Kerfoots’ dispatch department was in Windsor Street – probably where Salvation Army is now. That would it have made it parallel with the Bodfor Street shop with perhaps an alley between.

Here is a photo of the Sally Army premises taken today by Yours Truly:


The Blood and Fire emblem on the wall above the entrance never fails to catch my eye:


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Sunday, 11 June 2017

QUIZ ANSWER # 187


On Wednesday 31st May 2017 I posted three images. The question: How many of the images are Rhyl pictures?
The answer: Two.

The first IS a Rhyl picture - the maritime scene shown below has its caption restored.

steam packet

Pleasure trips came and went from the far end of the pier and occasionally collided with the edifice. The steam packets 'St. Olaf' and 'The Fawn' did considerable damage to the pier and so did the schooner 'Lady Stewart' before them.
Fire and storm damage took their toll as well. Metal was taken from the far end for repairs so the pier grew shorter and shorter.

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The second IS a Rhyl picture - Claude Lane tram in 1954 on miniature track at Marine Lake.

Marine Lake

You can read more about Mr. Lane's trams in Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seaton_Tramway

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The third IS NOT a Rhyl picture - it's a Kinmel Bay card postmarked 1959, shown below with caption restored.



  • If you got the right answer Two for the right reasons, count yourself a winner.
  • If you got the right answer for the wrong reasons, count yourself lucky.
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HANDFUL OF MYSTERIES


Here at Jones Towers are quite a few pictures marked 'Maybe Rhyl', 'Possibly Rhyl', 'Probably Rhyl'. or simply 'Unknown'. Nothing is known about this one - a large group of males of various ages:


Wills Jones

The above is presumed to be a Rhyl picture because it is by photographer Wills Jones who, in that era of straw boater hats, operated from the Magnet Studio in High Street, Rhyl.

[The Magnet Studio was upstairs to your left of Boots chemist until Boots expanded and swallowed it.]

Click on any image to see a bigger version.

World War 2, World War Two, Second World War

The above is dated 1941 (during World War 2) and labelled 'Rhyl district'. There is no obvious pointer to why these people are being photographed together.
Standing in the back row (left to right): Don't know, Nellie Hall, Rosie Powell, ---- Whittaker, Elsie Woods, V. Gratton and Don't know.
Sitting in the front row (l to r): Kitty Harris, Rene Mac, Vera Whitworth, Don't know and Lottie Jones.

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I am not 100 per cent convinced that the following is Rhyl but, if it is, we might be looking at businesses that were replaced by the long gone Regal Cinema which was in turn replaced by the retail building at 97 High Street recently vacated by the Co-op.


On your left in the picture is Pozzi's Restaurant & Tea Rooms at No.97. 

On your right is 'Ye Olde Britannia' Fish &  Chip Saloon, which may well have been the remnant of the Britannia Forge pub  - a hotbed of illegal gambling - originally the Britannia Inn.
On the other hand, the picture may not be Rhyl at all.
Hey ho.
Motor car enthusiasts may be able to guess the date.

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In this Rhyl promenade pic, probably late 1950s, on your left is the Pier Amphitheatre ('The Amphi') and on your right is Prince's Water Phantasy at the Open Air Bathing Pool ('The Baths'). All well and good but what is the tall tower centre right?
Would it part of the illuminations perhaps?

Your thoughts on any of today's mysteries would be most welcome.

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

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MON 12th JUNE 2017 UPDATE: Of the first picture above, Robert Jones of Dyserth writes:
"The location of the men and boys is the old Merseyside Holiday Camp in Dyserth. The Allt y Graig railway bridge is at the top left, and the wall to the right going to Lady’s Wood is visible. 
The camp was sited on Lletty Mwyn (Place of Minerals), next to the Clive Engine; you can see undulating ground due to the mine waste.
There are lots of pictures of those tents from 1909 onwards, including soldiers in WW1, until wooden huts replaced them in the 1920s. 
The most interesting thing about the photo is the unusual mixture of the classes posing together."

Thank you, Robert!

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Friday, 9 June 2017

NOTHING WRONG WITH RHYL

Pennaf Clwyd Alyn

"There's nothing wrong with Rhyl, it's the people who live in it!" This is an opinion that I hear regularly.

Governments come and go, councils come and go, and yet difficulties in Rhyl West continue. The ward is still being targeted by resettlement agencies as a destination for addicts, offenders, misfits and problem families from other places – mainly (but by no means entirely) from the English cities.

Advantages of new green space in Aquarium Street area have been offset by the cramming in of new flats around it – guaranteeing that the density of population remains uncomfortably high. The photo above was taken a few days ago from my kitchen window showing a scene at the back of Pennaf/Clwyd Alyn flats in Wellington Road.

Pennaf/Clwyd Alyn has a big hand in the new flats, and owns the flats for the elderly where I live and masses of other properties in Rhyl and across North Wales, and is classified by Welsh Government as a ‘social landlord’.

Recently the company borrowed £250 million from the private sector. £160 million is to be used for repaying bank loans and other existing commitments. The remainder is for future developments.
See story in Daily Post:
http://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/housing-group-gets-250m-investment-13152882?

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Thursday, 1 June 2017

GENERAL ELECTION - THU 8th JUNE 2017


Rhyl Life says,
"Vote for Plaid Cymru - the party for everybody who lives in Wales."

Leanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru

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FRI 9th JUN 2017 UPDATE: Plaid went into this General Election with three MPs and came out with four. Now in Wales our team of 40 MPs is comprised of 4 Plaid, 8 Con and 28 Lab. No Green Party, Independents, Lib Dems or UKIP.

Here in Vale of Clwyd constituency Chris Ruane (Lab) took back the seat from James Davies (Con). James needed more than his 2 years in the job to establish himself as MP.

I am not best pleased to see the return of Mr. Ruin. Perhaps somebody will take him aside and explain that Rhyl is first and foremost a holiday resort. He seemed only vaguely aware of the fact last time he was MP.

As for the Westminster Parliament, the Conservatives had a slender overall majority and now no party has an overall majority. Brexit should be put on the back burner for the time being – no one has the authority to negotiate on behalf of UK.

The most pleasing aspect of the election results is that the nasty campaign by the hate newspapers (Mail, Express, Sun) against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, has backfired.

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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

LIFE GOES ON: MAY 2017

High Street, Rhyl (looking south from near Sussex Street)
card postmarked 1919

Thank you to the many readers who have been in touch this month about one thing or another, from horrible housing conditions to exceptionally hot weather.
My pal Jill and I took a day trip to Llandudno and your blogger came away preferring Rhyl which is more compact (less walking to do) and better value for money.
If you knew what we paid in Llandudno for two teas and ice creams you'd faint. I nearly did.

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During May 2017, fourteen older posts were updated:

Boer War Memorial -
http://rhyl-life.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/quiz-answer-88_26.html

Church Army pilgrimages -
http://rhyl-life.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/ecclesiastics.html

Circus at Pavilion 1958 -
http://rhyl-life.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/pavilions-circus.html

Gilbert Rogers and his Jovial Jesters -
http://rhyl-life.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/quiz-answer-78.html

HMS Rhyl -
http://rhyl-life.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/hms-rhyl-4.html

Lifeboat Caroline Richardson II -
http://rhyl-life.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/lifeboat-day.html

Marine Lake early description -
http://rhyl-life.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/crown-jewels.html

North Wales "Pals" (WW1) -
http://rhyl-life.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/quiz-answer-133.html

Pentre Bach Model Village -
http://rhyl-life.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/pentre-bach.html

Princes Street 1953, identification -
http://rhyl-life.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/princes-street-1953.html

Rhyl Amateur Swimming Club, identification -
http://rhyl-life.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/fun-at-baths.html

Rotor fun fair ride / Gravitron -

http://rhyl-life.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/quiz-answer-141.html

Royal Hotel, High Street -

http://rhyl-life.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/flashback-18.html

Talbot's shop, High Street - 

http://rhyl-life.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/butterick-at-talbots.html

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

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QUIZ QUESTION # 187




The question: How many of these three images are Rhyl pictures?

No need to send me an email - just check your answer against mine on Sunday 11th June 2017 after 12 noon.

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BLUE FLAG DOWN

The annual list of best beaches (Blue Flag status) is available. More than forty are in in Wales, including Llandudno's West Shore, Colwyn Bay and Prestatyn Central but NOT RHYL. Ask your elected representatives why NOT RHYL.

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Thursday, 25 May 2017

RHYL 1969: A FAMILY ON HOLIDAY


Floral Hall

On my YouTube channel RhylTime you would find some home movies taken mainly in the 1960s in Rhyl. This week I added another video of this kind; it came my way as a reel of cine film in a box marked ‘Rhyl 1969’.

It is fairly typical family holiday footage (family unknown) comprising a series of short sequences shot in Rhyl and places nearby. The emphasis is on flowers and birds. Pity our seagulls, so loved at that time, are now despised by the eat-in-the-street generation.

In the video, our Floral Hall is in evidence and so are a lion, tiger and other zoo animals in cages. Biggest surprise is a scene of elephants bathing in the sea near Rhyl Pavilion whose resident circus had gone long before 1969.

Elephant on promenade

See what you make of it all, and remember – only YouTube videos marked RhylTime are mine!

Please click on the following link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4PCOcOKW0Y

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INTERESTING TIMES # 4

Donald Trump in Saudi Arabia ©The Last Refuge

US President Donald Trump has appeared on TV selling billions of dollars-worth of killing machines and associated mongery to the Muslim dictators of Saudi Arabia, thereby disconcerting racists and peaceniks alike.

Mr. Trump's zig-zagging political strategies remind me of a fun fair ride we used to have in Rhyl, the Mad Mouse. At first his antics seemed almost comical but now they are scary, especially his dangerous messing around with environmental regulations.

I hope our American cousins find a way of removing this ignorant man from office before he damages the United States beyond repair.

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In the UK General Election 2017 campaign, the Labour Party's policies are winning public approval. A Labour Government no longer seems like an impossibility. 

In the Conservative campaign so far, Theresa May is hogging the limelight. Mrs. May has a touch of Head Girl about her – not to mention Brown Owl – and when she says she would make the best Prime Minister she probably believes it.

Theresa May in Wrexham ©Reuters

To vote Conservative because of Mrs. May could be a mistake. After the General Election there would be nothing to prevent the Tories from replacing her with a new leader who would automatically become new Prime Minister.

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My vote goes to Plaid Cymru because - whichever big party wins - Plaid must gain a substantial percentage of votes if Wales is to have a credible voice in the Westminster Parliament.

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

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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

MILITARIANISM # 2


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.

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

See my Rhyl videos on YouTube:

Only the videos marked RhylTime are mine!

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Sunday, 14 May 2017

QUIZ ANSWER # 186


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.]

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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.

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Monday, 8 May 2017

FLASHBACK #24


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.

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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).

Pavilion

The accompanying text says:


"SELECTED DESIGN FOR ASSEMBLY ROOM AND GARDENS FOR THE TOWN COUNCIL, RHYL
"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).

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Photo: VOA News

FÉLICITATIONS AUX ÉLECTEURS DE FRANCE

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!

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Friday, 5 May 2017

ECCLESIASTICS



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 -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Army
Salvation Army -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Salvation_Army

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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.


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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.]


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COUNCIL ELECTION RESULTS 2017

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

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