What we wouldn’t give to have a photograph with which to illustrate this little article. Having said that, the author, William Davis, gives us such a wonderfully descriptive account that we hardly need one.
The extract is from a book that Wm. Davis wrote in 1852 called “A Guide to Rhyl and the Surrounding Country. What to do and where to go; with Excursions suitable for the Pedestrian, Equestrian, or Locomotive Tourist”.
A Sea-Side Frolic
“Notwithstanding the excellency of the sands for sea bathing, danger attends foolhardiness. During the summer of 1849, a somewhat laughable circumstance occurred at Rhyl. A party of young clergymen arrived one morning to enjoy the benefit of the sea-breeze; after partaking pretty freely of the good things of this life, it was proposed to take a drive on the beach; and mine host was ordered to ballast the carriage with a quantum suff. of brandy, soda water and cigars. With a full cargo they proceeded on their drive, amusing themselves amazingly on their passage by shooting the promenaders with the corks from the soda-water bottles. At length it was suggested by one of the party, that a wash in the salt water, as the tide was turning, would be an excellent thing for the feet of the young carriage horses. No sooner proposed than acceded to, and the coachman was ordered at once to proceed into the ocean. The order was obeyed, and the horses for a time proceeded very quietly; but, suddenly, the carriage wheels sunk up to the axles, probably borne down by the extraordinary weight of theological knowledge the carriage contained. All the efforts of coachman and horses to extricate the carriage were without avail; and the latter, possibly not liking their bath, began to plunge fearfully, and at length walked off with the pole of the carriage only. This was not much annoyance to the black-coated gentlemen, as they thought the tide was turning, and the carriage would soon be left high and dry: consequently, the brandy, soda water, and cigars, were called into requisition, to while away the time. In the midst of their mirth at the odd circumstance that had happened, they were struck with astonishment by shouts from the shore, and at finding themselves floating in the carriage out to sea. The tide certainly was turning; but it was, to their no small surprise, returning. Napoleon’s cry was the immediate order of the moment, each one precipitating himself into the water just in time to be able to walk on shore up to the neck, amid the loud laughter of the spectators onshore.”