The Cut.

The cutcut 2 is as much a part of Rhyl as the sea and the sand.  Rhyl would not be here without it.

Rhyl started to grow in the early nineteenth century.  Prior to this the area, known as Morfa Rhuddlan, was a marshland prone to flooding.  In 1794 an Act of Parliament was passed detailing the need for “embankment” and “fencing” to protect the land from the sea and to “cut” the marsh to improve drainage.
The Marsh Embankment Trust which had been set up to carry out the work then started selling plots of land.  Rhyl  began to grow.

The cut in Rhyl runs from the east at the River Clwyd, across town via Vale Road and Grange Road and then out towards Prestatyn.

In 1909 Rhyl Council began legal action against local butcher E.P. Roberts, who owned land alongside the Cut, to force him to clean the channel. Magistrates agreed that the Cut should be cleaned within 21 days but said all owners of land abutting the channel were defendants in the case, not just the butcher. This meant that Mrs Rowley Conwy of Bodrhyddan Hall and the Vicar of Rhuddlan had to do their bit, as did Rhyl Council – which found itself prosecutor and defendant in the same case!
Apparently, this idea of those whose land abutted the cut having to take responsibility for it arose again in the 1950’s, when the council decided to increase the rates for those affected.  It was met with vehement opposition and the idea was eventually dropped.  Can any of our readers expand on this story?

In a previous post “Newspaper snippets to make you smile” we included this piece from The Manchester Guardian of July 14th, 1932:

“Rhyl has been visited by a plague of frogs, after the heavy thunderstorm.  Residents in the neighbourhood of the Botanical Gardens were surprised yesterday morning to see a ‘procession’ of thousands of frogs moving in the direction of the Rhyl Cut, a stream to the east of the town”

Many Rhylites have happy memories of playing in the cut as children.  We fished for sticklebacks, collected tadpoles, tickled eels, observed newts, made dens and often fell in.  Those seeking short cuts across town would often take the precarious route over one of the many pipes that intersect it.  The daring would traverse the pipe like a tightrope walker, the more cautious would straddle it and pull themselves along.

The cut has an affectionate place in the psyche of many Rhyl people – we’d love to hear your memories of the cut.

History Points,which have QR codes across Rhyl, also features the cut – for those unable to scan the codes, browse the website to learn more about the history of Wales.



Filed under Buildings/Location

7 responses to “The Cut.

  1. ola66

    For me as a child the cut was part of the adventure playground that was Rhyl………when I think back all the parts of that adventure playground are still there whatever Rhyl’s put downers want to say…..I hope that todays kids make use of it.
    For me the marvellous thing about the cut was the length of it …….you have mentioned the things that a child could do at ‘the cut’ but you don’t mention that there were multiple places along its length where children could gain access to the water and play to their hearts content…… out of sight of adults and except for the inevitable possibility of getting your shoes wet, in relative safety………what an asset!

    Peter Finnigan

  2. Alice Harrison


    Go to the top of our avenue,
    turn left and you’ll come to
    the Cut where we gathered
    blackberries and frog spawn,
    and once, memorably, duck eggs,
    where we punted
    Heath Robinson rafts,
    fell in occasionally
    and always got our socks wet,
    where we pretended we couldn’t hear
    mothers yoo-hooing
    us for tea.

    Cross the Cut and the railway,
    the embankment where we sledged
    in fairy-tale winters.
    Along the cinder track
    is where the farm used to be
    with its duck pond, its hay
    to make dens in, potatoes
    we were paid for picking
    and a barn that, spectacularly,
    burned down.

    Go to the top of our avenue,
    turn right and you’ll come to
    the beach where we swam
    and played cricket and then
    moved on to the shelters
    where we told truths, dared much
    and promised little,
    where we gasped at Hank Jansen
    and woodbines, where we were
    sometimes disturbed by
    men in macs.

    Follow the path from the prom,
    through the sand dunes,
    skirting the marram grass.
    Here is where the bolder or cheekier
    paired off to explore
    the shifting humps and hollows
    until the boys
    were called for National Service
    and the girls also
    expanded their horizons.

  3. Glyn Conway

    I really appreciated the recent contribution about The Cut. Many memories flooding back; eg. collecting frog spawn, eels and newts. These were my first educationalist experiences. Also the first sight of Mr.Water Rat! The most abiding memory of all is my ‘running away to Tarzan’ aged 10′! . I sent a postcard to the famous one from John Brookes Post Office in Vale Road to ensure my safe passage and never expected my upturned pram to capsize and my family tc come rushing to my aid!

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