Rhyl, Denbighshire: Old Photos & Film

Rhyl Denbighshire Wales local history

Once a very popular seaside resort for British holidaymakers, Rhyl in north Wales has experienced a great deal of change through recent decades.

Old Photos of Rhyl

Restrictions mean the thumbnail of this YouTube video can’t be displayed. But if you click the link you’ll be taked through to YouTube to see “Rhyl 1870s to 1950s: Gaynor’s pix”

A lovely photo montage of old pictures of the town, showing many locations and local people. From the collection of Gaynor Williams of the shop ‘Aquarius’ in Market Street, Rhyl.

The YouTube RhylTime has a wonderful collection of old photographs and films from local people.

Rhyl’s First Carnival 1929

A giant model of a key is handed to the Carnival King, all dressed up along with many other carnival participants.

Crowds line the street to watch the long procession of decorated carriages and vehicles transporting people in costume. Musicians also march along. 

Rhyl’s First Carnival (1929) – British Pathé on YouTube

Tourist Heyday 1947

Filmed in the heyday of the town’s tourism industry, the presenter walks through busy streets and beaches.

All the holidaymakers are wearing coats, even those sitting on the beach. In the water, paddlers roll up their trouser legs.

Rhyl Holiday Story (1947) – British Pathé on YouTube

Changing Times in the 1960s

Restrictions mean the thumbnail of this YouTube video can’t be displayed. But if you click the link you’ll be taked through to YouTube to see “Rhyl 1960s: A Tale Of Two Seasons”.

Barry Snelson and Michael Theaker created a black and white film showing the reality of life in a town which depended on the summer season for its income.

Already, the tradition of people staying in the seaside resort for an entire holiday was disappearing.

Instead, larger numbers of people just visited for a day.

Early 1980s Fun

A short home movie from the early 1980s, 1981 or 1982, with commentary.

Rhyl Seafront Circa 1981 – 1982 – on YouTube

It’s Wicked in Rhyl 1984

Uploaded from a VHS which starts with other children’s TV from 1984, this episode of “It’s Wicked” was filmed in Rhyl.

It’s Wicked – Rhyl 1980s (music removed) – on YouTube

Beaches of 1986

A home movie recorded on August 9th 1986. The beaches are packed!

Rhyl in 1986 – What Did It Look Like? – on Youtube


A short home movie showing a number of bungalows under several feet of sea water. Where the road should be looks like a river.

Rhyl Floods 1990. – on Youtube

No 2 Signal Box 1990

A few days before the signal box was closed in 1990, this home footage was made. Signalman Len Rose talks to the visitors. 

Visit to Rhyl No 2 Signal Box 1990 – on YouTube

Ocean Beach Demolition 2007

On 20 October 2007, the Ocean Beach funfair was demolished, including the water chute and Jetstream Coaster. Other rides were permanently relocated to other sides, including the Festival Gardens at Frith.

A heartbreaking look at the end of a funfair which once drew in huge numbers of visitors to the seaside town.

Rhyl Ocean Beach Demolition 20 October 2007 – on YouTube

Flooding 2013

In scenes almost identical to 1990, bungalows sit under several feet of water. This time the emergency services are out in force, rescuing residents with an inflatable dinghy. There are also a number of cars sitting in the flood water.

Rhyl Flooding 5 TH Dec 2013 – on YouTube

Demolition 2016

2016 saw the demolition of the Sun Centre. SC2 may replace it in the future.

Collins Demolition at Rhyl Sun Centre – on YouTube

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