Rhyl Positive

Rhyl Promenade and Pavilion 1974

Rhyl Promenade and Pavilion 1974


The old home town takes a bit of a battering at times and it can be difficult to see the positives in all the negative press.

Like many British seaside resorts, Rhyl has experienced many economic and social woes since the heyday of tourism. Since the 1970s the town has had to try and re-invent itself with a broader based economy. The former local MP and Welsh Assembly Member Chris Ruane, and Ann Jones have been particularly successful in winning development resources for the town, but it has been a long and difficult task and some locals have grown very impatient with the long lead times for new investment. Recently there have been significant developments on the promenade and this perhaps signals a more diverse and prosperous future.

This article was a riposte to a very negative article posted about life in the town…

Read Daily Post Article





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Rhyl Holidays 1960s

A great film of life in Rhyl in a 1960s summer posted by friend and collaborator Chris Turner…

Click here to watch…

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Rhyl Lifeboat and my cousin Gerald Hughes




My cousin Gerald died at the weekend at the age of 86. Apart from a time on National Service in the Royal Artillery, he spent his entire life in the town and most of it as part of the Rhyl lifeboat crew.

The picture above shows him in 1960 as Acting Coxswain, He is in the sou’westers and peaked cap in the front of the picture, typical of his shy and modest nature, he isn’t facing the camera.

During his lifeboat service he took part in hundreds of rescues, from tourists taken off-shore on li-los to merchant ships and yachts in distress. His most unusual shout was to try to save the world’s first commercial hovercraft, which slipped its moorings in storms at the Foryd Harbour.

I was always aghast that Gerald could not swim, given his seafaring activities, but he explained that in the seas they were called out in, being a good swimmer counted for no more than an extra thirty seconds before the sea overwhelmed you.

The RNLI was the central pillar of his life and it was very comforting to see how quickly the RNLI reacted to the news of his death with this tribute…

RNLI Tribute to Gerald







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Rhyl Promenade in its heyday


Rhyl in its tourist heyday!

Three theatres in view. The blue roof of the coliseum on the right, the dome of the Pavilion in the middle and the red brick and grey roof of the Gaiety Theatre next to the swimming baths and the Royal Floral Hall at top left. The skating and cycle rinks are also in view as is what looks like a packed paddling pool. Happy days in the late fifties or early sixties!


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Rhyl: The world’s first commercial hovercraft service


One of Rhyl’s claims to fame is that in the early sixties, it was the site of the world’s first commercial hovercraft service between Rhyl and Wallasey.

Why anyone would feel the need to go from Rhyl to Wallasey more than once for the novelty is beyond me, but in the early sixties I remember being taken to the West Parade, near the Harbour, to see the beast launch. I remember a terrific roar of the engines and dry sand flying everywhere and then it disappeared in the distance.

The service did not last long and the craft was wrecked when it slipped its moorings in a storm. My cousin Gerald, who was second coxswain on the lifeboat, was part of the crew which attempted to rescue it.



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