Dan Snow at Rhyl Pavilion Theatre

Dan Snow is appearing at our local theatre on Tuesday, January 29th and as part of the show  “Audiences are in for an additional treat as every show will have its own exclusive ‘local’ element that will see Dan present historical facts about each town and area on the tour.”



Dan Snow the ‘History Guy’ believes that history is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to anyone on this planet and on his best-selling tour An Evening With the ‘History Guy’ On The History Hit UK Tour, the historian and broadcaster will be telling audiences why! With 42 confirmed dates, Dan will make an appearance at the Rhyl Pavilion on Tuesday 29th January 7.30pm.
Dan who runs his own online TV Channel History Hit TV (https://tv.historyhit.com/) and has a regular ‘history’ slot on The One Show, will share memorable anecdotes from his career as a historian and broadcaster. Audiences are in for an additional treat as every show will have its own exclusive ‘local’ element that will see Dan present historical facts about each town and area on the tour. There will also be a chance at the end of the show to engage with Dan during a 20 minute Q&A. Dan’s tales will be enhanced with compelling digital imagery.
The son of legendary broadcaster Peter Snow and the nephew of Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow, Dan is the great great grandson of British Prime Minister David Lloyd George. Attributing his love of history to his childhood when he recalls spending weekends being taken to castles, battlefields, country houses and churches, Dan went onto study history at Oxford University. During his stint at Oxford he also rowed in the Boat Race three times!
When Dan left Oxford he started presenting history programmes with his father and their series Battlefield Britain went on to win a BAFTA. Over the years Dan has made programmes on a number of historical topics and has presented shows such as Armada, Grand Canyon and Vikings. Dan also hosts his own podcast History Hit and is part of the BBC Events team presenting anniversary programmes commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the landings at Gallipoli in 2015. He has written or contributed to several books including Death or Victory, the story of the siege of Quebec in 1759, The World’s Greatest Twentieth Century Battlefields and most recently The Battle of Waterloo Experience.
Tickets for the show Dan Snow – An Evening with the History Guy on the History Hit UK Tour 2019 will appeal to all age groups and are on sale now and can be purchased direct from the theatre Box Office 01745 33 00 00 or online http://www.rhylpavilion.co.uk. Priced at £26 no concessions.
Debbie Bennett
Bennett PR T: 020 8451 3661 M: 07534 927784 debbie@bennettpr.com


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Our year 2018

We have had, once again, a busy year.  Interesting speakers at our monthly meetings, a trip to the Terracotta Warriors in Liverpool, a visit to the new Rhyl High School and a wonderful Christmas lunch at The Bistro on Wellington Road.  Committee member Shirley Williams became a “Freewoman of Rhyl” and our programme secretary and past Chairman Rufus Adams presented a Centenary lecture “Lloyd George and the 1914-18 War”.

The website has had fewer “posts” this year but was still visited regularly.  We had over 50,000 views by 12,000+ visitors from 74 countries.  The U.K. topped the table with over 42,000 views, then came the U.S.A., Australia, Canada and New Zealand  – we also had views from unlikely countries such as Kazakhstan, Albania and Lebanon.  Our five most visited pages/posts were:

Photo Gallery
Rhyl in the 60’s
Kinmel Park Camp
Golden Sands
The Pier

The editor’s pick for a post to revisit from over five years ago is “Football by the Electric Light”

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.









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A Christmas Day Hockey Match at Rhyl

BFI Player introduces this wonderful film of a hockey match played on Christmas Day at Rhyl  in 1920 with: “Happy Festive Hockey” and the players do seem to be having lots of fun.

Click on the link to watch the film: “Christmas Sports at Rhyl, 1920

The site goes on to explain:

“The weather seems good, with no-one shivering in their kit – though the women do wear hats. There is no Christmassy setting of snow or any other seasonal prop in evidence at this hockey match for ‘mixed ladies and gentlemen’, where banter and banjo-mimicking seems to engage both sides’ participants as much as bully-off and dab-hand dribbling. Meeting, not beating, seems to be the point here.
This match took place on the site of the former Claremont Hydro hotel, along Brighton Road, Rhyl – a hydropathic hotel which had an indoor baths for relaxation and health treatment. The Claremont Hydro later became a men’s convalescent/retirement home called Y Gorlan, and the building was demolished in the early 1980s.”

The local paper reported that a hockey match was played on Grange Road between Rhyl Mixed (five ladies and six men) and Grosvenor Ladies (assisted by four men) on Christmas Day, the score was 1-1.  Presumably this is the same match – take a look at the film, the Claremont Hydro (Y Gorlan) can be clearly seen and is that St. Winifred’s with the tower?  Is that the railway running between the pitch and the Claremont? So is this Grange Road, where Elwy Drive is today?

When did hockey begin in Rhyl?  This quote is from Hockey Wales : “The modern forms of Hockey that we know and love today really only began to grow from the English public school system of the 19th Century. The first recognised Hockey Club began in 1849 in London and it was only a matter of time until Wales became involved, with hockey introduced around the 1890s.”
Indeed, the first mention of hockey in Rhyl appears to be in The Rhyl Record and Advertiser on November 1st 1890:


“The practises of the Rhyl Hockey Club have so far been very encouraging, and it is hoped ere long to arrange a match with a Liverpool team. It is a game full of interest, and anyone can soon learn it which is certainly an advantage. I hope the tradesmen will support it, for I believe it has been formed principally to afford them recreation, and the half holiday can be pleasantly spent at the game.  I invite those gentlemen interested in the game of Hockey to send in a few notes on the game each week, but they must be strictly local.”

How nice to have local sporting fixtures arranged on Christmas Day.  A time when such simple things  didn’t have to compete with everything that is on offer today.

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Christmas at the North Wales Hospital

Local history of interest to us all. What charming and uplifting recollections, which will bring a lump to your throat and reminds us of what Christmas should be about.

Denbighshire Archives

From the onset in 1848, the festive season was duly celebrated by both patients and staff at the North Wales Hospital. The senior staff decided to organise a dance during the first festive season, as detailed in the first annual report:-

“At the commencement of this year, we indulged the patients with a dance – seventy of the patients, males and females, assembled, about six o’clock in the evening, in the corridor on the female side of the house, which was decorated for the occasion with evergreens, &c. A piano forte was procured, and dancing was commenced with great spirit and was kept up till nine o’clock. During the evening the males were supplied with a moderate allowance of good ale, and the females with tea and a little negus. It was truly gratifying and affecting to witness the decorum as well as the joyous delight of these poor…

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Rhyl Urban District Council

Rhyl Urban District Council came into being in 1894/5 and lasted for eighty years until 1974.  A Commemorative Dinner was held at the Westminster Hotel on Saturday, March 30th, 1974, to mark its dissolution.  The menu at the dinner consisted of chilled melon boats, cream of chicken soup, goujons of plaice, contrefilet of Scotch Beef Beaujolais and peach melba – the wines served were Sauternes and Burgundy.

Included in the programme was a selection of landmarks in Rhyl’s Civic History:

also a list of its “Chairmen” from 1895-1974











click on images to enlarge

Prior to the formation of RUDC in 1894, the town was cared for by the commissioners.  In her book “The Commissioners of Rhyl – the men who built the town”, Marjorie Howe says “The result of a ‘Local Government Act of 1852’ was the formation of a Board of Commissioners which should be responsible for the maintenance and improvement of Rhyl, and the well-being of its citizens”.  Also,   “In November 1894, the Improvement Commissioner’s Board held its last meeting, and when the local authority met for their monthly meeting in December, it was under the new name of ‘Rhyl Urban District Council’.

1974 saw the formation of Rhyl Town Council – click here for their website

There is a huge scarcity of women in the lists and photograph in the programme – thankfully women have come a long way in the last 40-50 years.

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Shirley Williams – the first honorary freewoman of Rhyl

Rhyl History Club are proud to report that one of our long term members, Shirley Williams, has recently been made an Honorary  Freewoman of the town.  Shirley is only the third person to receive the prestigious award, and is the first woman.  The award has previously been given to the late Roy Turner and Peter Robinson

Shirley has a very impressive list of community activities over the years, including involvement with Rhyl Youth Club, Rhyl and District Rounders League, Rhyl and District Operatic Society and the Nancy Clarke School of Dance. Shirley has fulfilled many and various volunteer roles, too many to mention, including thirty years for the Glan Clwyd Branch of the British Heart Foundation (she is now their Vice Chair) and “front of house” at Rhyl Pavilion Theatre. She was a founder member of Clwyd Coast Credit Union.  In 2017 Shirley attended HM the Queen’s Garden Party after being nominated for her long standing charitable work by Rhyl County Court, where she still works as a Court Usher.

Rhyl History Club sends Shirley many congratulations on this thoroughly deserved award.


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