We all love looking at old photographs, but written reminiscences can often paint a picture of the past just as effectively. Rhyl History Club member Beryl Worthing (nee Hodgson) has written her memories of Morfa Bach Chapel. If you also have memories of Morfa Bach, please post your comments. We would also welcome other written reminiscences. Included in this post are some photographs of old Rhyl chapels and a link to an interesting fact sheet on Rhyl chapels.
Memories of Morfa Bach Chapel
Our family came to live at 3, Williams Street, Rhyl about 1950/51 when I was about 6 years old. The long back gardens of Williams Street led from Vale Road up to Morfa Bach.
The chapel was exactly where it should be, in the heart of the community. It was surrounded by tiny two-up two-down terraced cottages filled with large families. Some were headed by widowed mothers, the fathers having been killed in the 2nd World War.
We were lucky our father came home.
Morfa Bach played a large part in our lives. We went to services three times on a Sunday, and confirmation clases once a week, there was also a social evening held once a week for us teenagers.
I remember the Minister, – Rev. Owen with his huge bushy eyebrows, but however stern he appeared in his sermon he always had a twinkle in his eye !
We were mischievous as all children are ! I recall, when a visiting preacher came, Rev. Owen would sit at the end of a pew when all of a sudden, when agreeing with a point in the sermon he would boom out Amen ! Amen ! Of course that gave us such a fright and then we would have the giggles until one of the ladies would tell us to hush.
Most of the families were poor just as we were. There was still rationing and little work to be had, but as everyone seemed to be in the same position I don’t think it made much difference to us children.
The names of some of the families of Morfa Bach, Victoria Road were-Parry, Bamber, Ingram, Soloman and Jones (one of whom became a missionary, Richard Jones). He always paid us a visit when he was home from abroad and we would enjoy the interesting stories he had to tell us, about the children of the poor families he worked among. He also told us about countries that we could only dream of in those days.
Of course ! one of the best things about Morfa Bach was the Sunday School outings to far away places like Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay and Penmaenmawr-such excitement waiting for the charabanc to arrive. Then again there were the Christmas parties we used to look forward to, dainty sandwiches, home made cakes and jelly !
Eventually, sadly, all the little houses were condemned (we only had a cold water tap and no gas or electricity). All the families were moved to lovely new council houses on the fringe of the town-and the chapel stood empty.
However, they did build a new chapel in the hearty of the community in Kingsley Avenue, it stood at the bottom of the garden of our new home. Naturally I carried on attending and eventually got married there in 1970-the second wedding to be held there.
Sadly Morfa Bach is no longer a chapel, but is now a children’s nursery.
I will never forget people like Mr. Hamer Jones, Miss Miriam Lewis, Miss Thomas, Miss Nona Jones, Sister Mair and many others. They gave their time and their guidence to shape our characters, and I hope we all became better people through them.