We’re straying outside Rhyl and into Rhuddlan for this week’s post. The photographs below show two Winged Wheels in Rhuddlan – it is very unusual to see two Winged Wheels opposite one another in one place. There are none known in Rhyl and the nearest Winged Wheels to those in Rhuddlan are in Mochdre and Corwen.
What are “Winged Wheels”? They are artefacts from the Victorian era, more specifically from the brief period when bicycles were the fastest form of road transport, and before the dominance of the motor car. They are heavy, cast iron plaques, 24″ (61cm) in diameter – the badge of the Cyclists Touring Club, and they can be seen on buildings all over the country. The CTC was founded in 1878 as the Bicycle Touring Club and was subsequently renamed the Cyclists’ Touring Club, which is still in existence today.
In the 1880’s and 1890’s cycling became very popular with the professional classes with the invention of the new “safety bicycle”. These cyclists had influence and money to spend, and they demanded a grading system for Hotels and Inns, and also discount. Proprietors of such hostelries added “CTC” to their advertisements to encourage cyclists to patronise their hotels, cafes and shops. By 1888 the Winged Wheel became the official endorsement of the CTC, to have one adorning your premises was the ultimate accolade and it demonstrated that you welcomed cyclists and provided the facilities that cyclists might need. The Wheels were issued to be painted black with white wings and lettering.
One of the Rhuddlan Winged Wheels is on The New Inn, the other is on a private residence. Does anyone know the history of this building and why it might have displayed the Winged Wheel? Does anyone remember any Winged Wheels on buildings in Rhyl which have since been removed?
For further information: