Timber and the Foryd.

The original timber yard at the Foryd was founded by a Mr Evans just after the middle of the 19th Century.  In Slater’s Royal National Commercial Directory, 1868, under “Timber and Slate Merchants” an entry reads:

“Roberts and Evans, Voryd and at Denbigh.”

On February 11th, 1875, the Liverpool Mercury reported:

“Heavy Failure at Rhyl”

“A meeting of the creditors of Mr John Samuel Hugh Evans of Voryd, nr Rhyl, timber merchant trading as Evans & Co. was held at Chester on Tuesday.  The liabilities were £19,481 3s 1d.  It was agreed to wind up the estate by private liquidation.”

In his book “Maritime History of Rhyl and Rhuddlan” (1991) D.W.Harris states that the firm of Charles Jones and Sons was established in 1878 but also that another source, an advertising postcard of the Foryd, gives the date as 1870. (see below)

In her book “Welsh Sail” (1976), Susan Campbell-Jones describes the scene in the postcard above:

A party seems to be in progress aboard the heavily laden barquentine in the centre of the channel, on the left people queue for the ferry, and the lady with the parasol on the beach, the crew of the little Bermuda-rigged dinghy and the boy sculling his boat and his companion seem equally fascinated.  On the right alongside the timber wharves a large fore-and-aft rigged schooner has discharged her cargo; the barquentine ahead of her is still unloading – a spar has been rigged with a gin block and the stacks of timber on the quay are growing.

Timber was imported from Scandinavia, the Baltic Countries, Russia and China.  Sailing ships were still bringing timber into the Foryd in the 1930’s although no more were seen after the second World War.

D.W. Harris describes seeing the ships:

Frequently as a boy in the 1930’s, I would be intrigued to find one of the sailing ships carrying timber to the Foryd, stranded on the shore often quite close to the promenade.  With their black tarred timbers, graceful masts, weather beaten canvas and aroma of pitched seams and Stockholm tar, they stood on the sands, objects of absorbing interest to local boys standing staring upwards in open-mouthed wonder at these high sided “castles” of foreigners from far across the sea.

In July 1966, a 300 ton cargo ship the  “Hanne Moeller” unloaded a cargo at Charles Jones Timber Yard.  One of the last, as by now the harbour had silted up and was full of small craft, making it difficult for cargo ships to enter and manoeuvre.  The Timber Yard finally closed in 1988 after 110 years of business.


1 Comment

Filed under Maritime, Work/Business

One response to “Timber and the Foryd.

  1. Dennis Parr

    My dad Reg Parr came from Manchester in 1935 to take a job as foreman at Charles Jones. Our family stayed with Mrs Williams and her son John (had a crippled foot)in River Street until we got our own house in Aquarium Crescent – and later at 30 Aquarium Street.

    My Dad was apparently the “stairs” expert and was always sent to measure and fit new stairs in the many new houses being built at the time.

    Although I was only five + at the time I do remember the schooners delivering timber from Scandinavia and even at that age being impressed by the precision with which they stacked the timber so that air circulated efficiently .

    Ah !!!!!! Happy Days now long gone – and hasn’t Rhyl changed ? Not for the better I might add so much so that we avoid visiting the town if possible. This also seems to apply to holidaymakers ! I’m an old fogy and sentimental but wish that the town had developed in a different was ‘a la’ Llandudno, Some of the ‘developments’ leave me gasping at their expense and crudity,

    Good to get that off my chest!!

    By the way, have a look at ‘Abergele Post.com’

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