As a lad I used many short cuts around Rhyl and assumed that everyone else knew of them.
One of my favourites was pointed out to me by my dad. He grew up in King’s Avenue, and the family continued living in the same house after he got married.
When he moved into the first marital home in Gwynfryn Avenue, he showed me the short cut he used to travel between King’s Avenue and our house in what seemed to be an unfeasibly quick time.
From his house in Kings Avenue he would cross to Oxford Grove and turn into an entry of maybe twenty metres. At the end of the entry was a corrugated iron gate. Once you passed through it you would think it was just another back gate to the houses in the Grove. You were now standing in the much bigger entry which was at the back of West Kinmel Street. When you came out from this entry you were looking at the old Rhyl Engine Shed near the corner of Ffynnongroew Road.
It must be close to fifty years since I last used this short cut. Is it still there I wonder?
It always seemed mysterious to me and I thought it was just my dad and I’s secret passage.
Hardly secret, but the little wooded entry between Mona Terrace and Mount Road which opened out onto Grange Road was always a great short cut.
The footpath over the railway from Lynton Walk gave access to the pathway that bordered the railway and led to some steps onto Grange Road Bridge – short-cutting and trainspotting was always a winning combination with me.
On the Reso was the little footbridge over the Cut at the top end of Gwynfryn Avenue. This was a favourite place to catch sticklebacks and eels. In fact, there were footpaths for much of the length of the cut and if nettles or rats were not a problem you could navigate around the town following the Cut. I even ventured under the bridge where the Cut went under the railway tracks. My mum would have had kittens as she always gave me morbid warnings of the horrors that would await me if I played in the Cut, ventured near the bottomless brickpond, or messed about in the Foryd. She seemed to suffer from hydrophobia.
For years I thought mine was the only solo expedition to venture through there and it was only recently when I mentioned it to Peter Trehearn that he disabused me of the fact as it was a regular haunt of his!
So what have I missed? Where else in Rhyl were there secret passageways?