In 1935 King George the Fifth celebrated his Silver Jubilee (1910-1935), it was an occasion of great public rejoicing. Rhyl hosted a whole week of celebrations, for which an official souvenir programme was published. In the Programme of Festivities W.J Rees J.P., C.C. writes:
The townspeople of Rhyl in common with millions of other subjects of His Majesty King George the Fifth will join in celebrating the completion of the tweny-fifth year of his reign; and pray that both He and His Gracious Queen will long be spared to “reign over us”…
Despite mistakes – we have a record of Municipal progress of which we are justifiably proud; some things attempted and done are as follows: ….nearly 300 Council houses built; the beautiful Botanical Gardens acquired and developed; reconstruction of Gas Works; and the purchase of the Abergele Gas Works; solving our water problem for half a century; reconstruction of the pier; layout of the Sunken Gardens; children’s paddling pool; a dozen tennis courts and four bowling greens; extensive promenade improvements; a magnificent open-air swimming pool…
By voluntary effort we have built and equipped “The Prince Edward War Memorial Hospital”; the County Council lent a hand with a “Modern Elementary School”; a new highway at the East End, and a beautiful bridge at our Western Gateway.
The list of accomplishments is by no means complete, and remember there was an Armageddon that occupied us for over four years.
The photograph below shows the crowd on Rhyl Promenade during the proclamation of King George V, May 12th, 1910.
There was an ambitious week of festivities planned for the week beginning on Sunday, May 5th until Sunday, May 12th.
On the 5th the Rhyl Silver Band (Conductor Mr Tal Morris) performed at The Rhyl Pavilion Gardens. In the evening there was a Musical Programme at The Pavilion Theatre.
Monday started with a Fanfare of Trumpets at the Town Hall, followed by The Silver Band again at the Pavilion Gardens and a display by the “Dagenham Girl Pipers and Dancers”. There was also an Inter County Lawn Tennis Match between North Wales and Notts., an Old Time Ball and Whist Drive, a Confetti Battle on the Pier, and the Official Opening of the Illuminations. All this was followed by a Bonfire on the Sandhills at 10pm.
Tuesday saw an Open Bowls Tournament, an Open Lawn Tennis Tournament, display by the Dagenham Girl Pipers, Swimming Gala and Polo Match and a Firework display.
There was a Grand Jubilee Open Show at the Town Hall on the Wednesday featuring a Cage Bird Show organised by the Rhyl and District Cage Bird Society – “Canaries, Mules, Hybrids, British and Foreign Birds”. The Belle Vue Football Ground hosted the Rhyl Elementary School Sports preceded by a display by the Dagenham Girl Pipers and Dancers. A Folk Dance Display was held during the Interval (Music by Foulkes Radio, Rhyl). Wednesday also saw Infant School Sports and a Window Dressing Competition.
The May Day was held on the Thursday, including a large Procession. The Jubilee May Queen was Miss Eilene Jones who was crowned by the May Queen of 1910, Mrs S. Evelyn Thomas (Miss Nancy Thomas). There was more tennis, bowls and also an Open Golf Competition.
There were more bowls and tennis on the Friday, also a Children’s Carnival at the Pavilion Gardens in the afternoon. In the evening a Grand Jubilee Carnival Ball was held at the Pavilion Ballroom 8p.m-1 a.m (Fancy Dress optional).
Rhyl Golf Club organised an “Open Sealed Holes Golf Competition” on the Saturday. There was more tennis, more displays by the Dagenham Girl Pipers and in the evening a “Supreme climax to the week’s Jubilee Festivities- a Grand Musical Festival (Eisteddfod)” at the Pavilion with £150’s worth of prizes.
Sunday, May 12th – Civic Sunday. The Chairman and Members of the Rhyl Urban District Council attended Divine Service at Christ Church, Water Street at 11am. In the evening “Roy Fox and his Band” played at The Pavilion.
What a week!
Mr Rees concluded his piece in the Programme with:
“The best is yet to come”. Rhyl is definitely on the Map. Sunny Rhyl becomes more popular each year. We want more elbow room, and if we may add without appearing conceited – we deserve it. We provide essential commodities like water and gas, for large areas outside our Urban Areas; a Municipal Golf Course; anew central school; a £16,000 extension scheme to our secondary school, and substantial addition to our open spaces are practically accomplished facts.
Private enterprise has set the pace – our places of entertainments, shops and garages are modern. We have a first class bus service; on the horizon there is a new G.P.O. The L.M.S. Railway company have their eye on the town and developments will inevitably follow; the potentialities are endless. Every improvement enhances the prospects, and will bring grist to the mill of our hard-working apartment-house keepers.
We have the goods. It would be superfluous to write on the charms of the Vale of Clwyd. Every ratepayer must not only realise “that it pays to advertise”, but that it is vitally essential to advertise. We are fighting for a place in the sun.
One of our poets described Rhyl as: “Yr Hafan deg ar fin y don”, and where is the man or woman who would quarrel with so concise and true a picture in words?
So here we invite all and sundry to arise to the Royal Toast King George the fifth and his Royal Consort, Queen Mary.
“Long Live the King!”
To view footage of the Dagenham Girl Pipers 1932:
To view footage of a Jubilee Party in London in 1935:
For more information on King George V: