The recent construction work at the Foryd and along the west promenade (West Rhyl Coastal Defence Scheme) has kept us interested and intrigued over the last few years.
In 1937 there was similar interest and intrigue over a project called the River Training Scheme, which dealt with training the mouth of the River Clwyd by constructing a groyne. This was necessary in order to solve the foreshore problem created by encroachment of the river in preceding years.
On examination of reports of Council meetings in the local press, during 1936-7, it appears that the project was riddled with setbacks, delays and spiralling costs.
In the report of the meeting of June ’37 consulting engineers Sir John Wolfe Barry and Partners stated that the length of the groyne was now “completed to its extremity” making a total length of 2,960 feet (902 metres).
Also, that over the months 63 anchor piles were driven, 650 feet of wallings and 900 feet of capping were fixed. They also reported that “excavation of the new channel was commenced on May 19th by hand digging”. At the September meeting the engineers reported that there were currently 94 men employed on the scheme, 89 of whom were local.
In a lovely anecdote a local resident recalls visiting the project, aged 10: “Whilst I was at Christ Church School we were taken up onto the promenade by our schoolmaster Mr Rodgers. The purpose of the trip was to explain the different speeds of light and sound. We watched as the piles were driven into the ground and then observed the delay in hearing the noise. An effective demonstration and one that I have never forgotten”.
It is not clear when exactly the project was completed but the Rhyl Journal of January 29th, 1938 reported that a portion of the newly erected training wall had given way during the recent storm. Mr Tilby, Chairman of the Road Committee said he had lived in Rhyl for fifty years and had never seen a storm like it.
To see an aerial view (1949) of the training groyne click here
To learn more about the current West Rhyl Coastal Defence Scheme click here