Dark History Tour

Cllr Alan James begins unravelling some of Rhyl’s old mysteries

Rhyl Town Council’s Dark History Tour was launched at Halloween with three mini films providing a snapshot of key stories in the town’s history.

Kinmel Street’s Mummy in the Cupboard, the story of one of the last men in Britain to be hanged and the secret of the ghost of Bodfor Street are being told as part of a permanent, virtual history tour.

The films can be viewed on a smartphone in the streets where these stories originally unfolded and are the first in a series to be unveiled with other trails set to focus on Rhyl’s famous faces and sporting history.
Rhyl History Club opened its archives to help the project with a team from Barnardo’s working with TAPE Community Music & Film to shape the content and story-boards.
Rhyl Mayor Cllr Alan James said: “Rhyl is rich in history – from murder mysteries, strange happenings to a host of famous faces, there are stories to tell at every turn. These are woven into the fabric of Rhyl life and, bit by bit, we’ll be telling them in a new way, using the latest technology.

“The Dark History tour has been a cross-Rhyl project, bringing in the history club, and working with young people through Barnardos’ providing opportunities to learn about research, film making and development. This has been as much about supporting local groups and providing an educational resource as it has about preserving local history.  Dark History is something new to discover this Halloween but the films will live on for all time.”  People will be able to unlock the films by picking up a leaflet from Rhyl Tourist Information Centre, following the map and scanning QR codes.

The films will also eventually be available in full on the town council and history club’s website.  For a preview of the films click here
Ruth Pritchard of Rhyl History Club said: “Rhyl is full of legendary stories, such as Hanratty’s murder trial which has been the subject of much
discussion, debate and legal challenges and the ghost of Bodfor Street which is believed to have been sighted many times over the years.”

“By turning these stories into film, history is being made accessible and interesting, keeping myths, legends and questions of justice alive.”

In the case of the Mummy in the Cupboard, the remains of Frances Alice Knight were discovered locked away in a Kinmel Street house,
instantly turning a 65-year-old landlady into a murder suspect. The Dark History film covers the grim discovery and what happened next in a story which generated headlines around the world.

Neil Dunsire of TAPE Community Music & Film said: “Some of these stories go back decades but, by using new technology, we are retelling
them and making them accessible to current and future generations. Working with Barnardo’s in Rhyl gave us an opportunity to provide training
for the town’s youngsters too, making this new, if not slightly gruesome, project one that that the wider local community has been able to benefit from.”

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under General

The Cynefin Project

Have you ever wondered about the land on which your house stands?  Who used to own it? What was the land used for?  Did the field have a name?  To what farm did it belong?  Thanks to the Cynefin project all this can now be explored from the comfort of your own home.  The project, which is now complete, has repaired and digitised around 1,200 tithe maps and they now form a wonderful online resource for the all those interested in local history and family history.  (To learn more about tithe maps click here.)

 

Click on Places of Wales (part of the National Library of Wales website) to start your search.  I typed “Rhuddlan” into “Find a place” then moved the map to the area I was interested in.  The numbers indicate where there is more than one result and by zooming in these separate out. I looked at the area on which Morrison’s now stands on Marsh Road in Rhyl, and discovered that the field on which it stands was called Cae Morfa and it belonged to a farm called Penyddan Glawdd.  Peter Parry farmed the arable land there, which was owned by The Right Honourable Lord Dinorbin – I was also able to view the map and apportionment.

In another example I looked at land adjacent to the Community Fire Station on the Coast Road, where Rhyl History Club meets once a month.  The field name was Ffridd Fawr, part of Ty Newydd Farm, which was occupied by Hugh Hughes.  The land was used for pasture.  The landowner was Mrs Penelope Warren.

There is an excellent help page on the website.  Maps can be viewed as “modern”, “satellite”, “historic NLS  (1888-1913)” and “tithe map overlay”.  Have a go –  find out about the history of the land where you live.  This is a fantastic, free, new resource that will have you spellbound!

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under General

Our new programme 2017-18

Leave a comment

August 10, 2017 · 7:57 pm

Roy Turner 1927-2017

A few years ago the Rhyl History Club invited Roy Turner to reflect on Rhyl – the town and family resort.  It was an excellent choice for the audience was enthralled with his story – so much as an insider – having served as chairman on so many committees eg. Rhyl Urban Council – specialising on developing  Rhyl as a resort,  Rhyl Operatic Society and he became the U.K’s longest serving governor serving Christ Church School for 60 years, over 50 as chairman.  In recognition of this he was invited to 10, Downing Street, to meet the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

He died whilst on holiday in Spain in March 2017 and on August 5th, on what would have been his 90th birthday, there was a celebration of his life fittingly in the Town Hall, Rhyl.  It was full to capacity when family and his numerous friends remembered with great affection, Roy Turner, “Mr Rhyl”, the first Freeman of the town.

Many thanks to our programme secretary and former chairman Mr Rufus Adams for writing this tribute.

To read the obituary in the Rhyl Journal click here

3 Comments

Filed under People

Our Summer Trip 2017.

Rhyl History Club has had many and various Summer outings over the years – and almost without exception they have been hugely enjoyable.  This year’s trip to Caernarfon yesterday was a great success, a good time was had by all.  In the morning some of our group visited the castle, including the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum, others visited Segontium.  An excellent lunch was taken at the famous historic inn – The Black Boy.  However, the highlight of the day was our afternoon “Town Tour – a guided walk through the streets of the Medieval town of Caernarfon” with our informative and entertaining guide Emrys Llewelyn.

Emrys is passionate about his town and is exceedingly knowledgeable about its history.  He has a wonderfully humorous style, weaving anecdotes and funny stories into the wealth of history that he presents.  Thoroughly recommended!!  See Trip Advisor for more reviews

Many thanks to Rufus Adams and Maggi Blythin for their organisation.

Our programme for 2017-18 will be available shortly – check this website for updates.  Our year consists of monthly lectures/talks, a Christmas lunch and a Summer outing – we look forward to seeing members old and new in September.

Leave a comment

Filed under General

Sgt. “Tony” Turner

Two years ago we published an article about a village called Marly in Moselle, France where five British airmen lie buried after being shot down during the second world war, in February 1944.  One of them was a Rhyl man – Tony Turner.

A Marly historian, Stéphane Cottel, is searching for more information, and especially a photograph of Sgt. Patrick Anthony “Tony” Turner. Tony was born on October 14th, 1922 at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Rhyl.  His parents were Thomas Turner and Norah Sheila Turner nee Phillips of the Foryd Harbour Hotel.  This is what we know about Tony:

TURNER Patrick Anthony, Sergeant Mid-upper gunner, 1661472, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (100 Sqdn.). Born in Rhyl October 14th, 1922. Died in Marly, Moselle, France February 24th, 1944 at 10:00 P.M. Commemorated on Rhyl War Memorial, Abergele Town Hall Memorial and Towyn War Memorial.
To read the article in this blog again click here
To read an article by historian Stéphane Cottel of Marly, please click here

The restoration of the mural in homage to the airmen of Lancaster JB604 in Marly, Moselle, France.

Unfortunately we received no leads or more information after publishing the article.  However, recently we have discovered more information which may help.  The Turner family were originally from the Manchester area.  Tony was an only son.  His mother, Norah Sheila Turner died in tragic circumstances on July 19th, 1938.  She was discovered dead on the floor of the washhouse of her home in Crugan Avenue, Kinmel Bay by her niece, the cause of death was electrocution due to faulty/incorrectly installed wiring.  Mrs Turner was about 50 and Tony was 15.
We also now know where Tony worked before joining up, and some other details.  This is from the Rhyl Journal, July 6th, 1944:

“Killed in Action – News has been received that Sergeant Air Gunner Patrick Anthony Turner, the only son of Mr and the late Mrs Turner, Foryd Hotel, Rhyl, and who, since his mother’s death, had resided with his cousin, Mrs Owen, Ferry Hotel, Foryd, has been killed on active service.  The news is contained in a letter which Mr Edward Owen of the Ferry Hotel, has received from the War Organisation of the British Red Cross Society and Order of St. John of Jerusalem.  Sergt. “Tony” Turner, who was 21 years of age, was reported missing in February following his first operational flight over enemy territory.  Before joining up he was a bricklayer with Messrs W. H. Jones and Sons, Pen y Bont House, Abergele.
M. Cottel has photographs of four of the five brave airmen but not one of Sgt. Tony Turner.
The village of Marly never forgets.

Leave a comment

Filed under Military, People