The Bee Hotel is soon to be redeveloped by Denbighshire County Council. Many people remember it as the home of Rhyl Folk Club, but how many remember The Jazz Club? Pat Brooks evokes happy memories of the club from fifty years ago:
“How sad The Bee Hotel is soon to be no more! I have so many happy memories of the early sixties when The Jazz Club held its weekly jazz sessions on Tuesday night with a regular local Jazz Band (I cannot remember who they were but hope someone can help me on this) and the nights when they had guest players ie The Wall City Jazzmen and The Merseysippi Jazz Band. It was the place to go. Had to get there early because it was always packed and we had to get our drinks in the front bar before going along the hallway to pay our fees to the man on the door (his name I forget, hope someone can place it) to enter the back room with its little stage and its brass ornaments and the dingy lighting to hide the dated décor but so what – it had great atmosphere (hardly healthy)as the majority of the members were staunch drinkers and smokers but most of all everyone knew everyone and even if they did not at first they soon did when the music started, usually far too loud, and we jived ’til our feet were sore.
Jazz was not every persons cup of tea but it did not matter because we just wanted to be there, to meet up, shout over the music, enjoy the company and to feel like one of the “in crowd”. Girls dressed in their high heels and full skirted dresses, back brushed hair or their slinky tight outfits and their chignon hair dos. The air laden with the smell of the girl’s Tweed perfume and hair lacquer and Old spice and hair gel from the smart lads. Enough to get high without any help from anything else!! Many of us met our future halves there – or lost them – either way there was always something going on. People came from near and far for a good night there. Along the North Wales Coast to Chester there were regulars and sometimes you would meet people who were starring at the Pavilion or other local theatres. I know that John Thaw the actor came and also Lonnie Donegan’s band enjoyed a night or two there when they were appearing at The Gaiety Theatre.
I know that there are many people who will have memories of this great time and I know that looking back with rose coloured spectacles will have different memories for each and everyone but no-one can dispute the fact that The Bee Hotel has played a good part of many people’s lives whether it was as a Jazz Club, a Twist Club or a Folk Club. So lets remember it with fondness, not a run down place, neglected and in disrepair but a place where people from the 60’s, 70’s , 80’s and 90s had a great time full of good times and they will always have those memories even when The Bee has gone. I hope others will write about their times at The Bee, be them happy or sad it will make interesting and nostalgic reading and that is not a bad thing as we get a little older! Happy days.”
For information on what is planned for “The Bee” see this link: