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.

Rhyl: Old Photos

“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 in 1929

“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 march along. 

Holidaymakers in 1947

“Rhyl Holiday Story (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.

The Town’s Economy In The 1960s

“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.

“Rhyl Seafront Circa 1981 – 1982”

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

“It’s Wicked – Rhyl 1980s (music removed)”

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

“Rhyl in 1986 – What Did It Look Like?”

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

Floods, Closure And Demolition

“Rhyl Floods 1990.”

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

“Visit to Rhyl No 2 Signal Box 1990”

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

“Rhyl Ocean Beach Demolition 20 October 2007”

“The Ocean Beach Funfair at Rhyl was demolished including the Water chute and the Jetsream Coaster.  The rest of the rides went elsewhere, including the Festival Gardens at Ffrith.”

northwestcoastuk on YouTube

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

“Rhyl Flooding 5 TH Dec 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.

“Collins Demolition at Rhyl Sun Centre”

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

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