Dark History Tour

Cllr Alan James begins unravelling some of Rhyl’s old mysteries

Rhyl Town Council’s Dark History Tour was launched at Halloween with three mini films providing a snapshot of key stories in the town’s history.

Kinmel Street’s Mummy in the Cupboard, the story of one of the last men in Britain to be hanged and the secret of the ghost of Bodfor Street are being told as part of a permanent, virtual history tour.

The films can be viewed on a smartphone in the streets where these stories originally unfolded and are the first in a series to be unveiled with other trails set to focus on Rhyl’s famous faces and sporting history.
Rhyl History Club opened its archives to help the project with a team from Barnardo’s working with TAPE Community Music & Film to shape the content and story-boards.
Rhyl Mayor Cllr Alan James said: “Rhyl is rich in history – from murder mysteries, strange happenings to a host of famous faces, there are stories to tell at every turn. These are woven into the fabric of Rhyl life and, bit by bit, we’ll be telling them in a new way, using the latest technology.

“The Dark History tour has been a cross-Rhyl project, bringing in the history club, and working with young people through Barnardos’ providing opportunities to learn about research, film making and development. This has been as much about supporting local groups and providing an educational resource as it has about preserving local history.  Dark History is something new to discover this Halloween but the films will live on for all time.”  People will be able to unlock the films by picking up a leaflet from Rhyl Tourist Information Centre, following the map and scanning QR codes.

The films will also eventually be available in full on the town council and history club’s website.  For a preview of the films click here
Ruth Pritchard of Rhyl History Club said: “Rhyl is full of legendary stories, such as Hanratty’s murder trial which has been the subject of much
discussion, debate and legal challenges and the ghost of Bodfor Street which is believed to have been sighted many times over the years.”

“By turning these stories into film, history is being made accessible and interesting, keeping myths, legends and questions of justice alive.”

In the case of the Mummy in the Cupboard, the remains of Frances Alice Knight were discovered locked away in a Kinmel Street house,
instantly turning a 65-year-old landlady into a murder suspect. The Dark History film covers the grim discovery and what happened next in a story which generated headlines around the world.

Neil Dunsire of TAPE Community Music & Film said: “Some of these stories go back decades but, by using new technology, we are retelling
them and making them accessible to current and future generations. Working with Barnardo’s in Rhyl gave us an opportunity to provide training
for the town’s youngsters too, making this new, if not slightly gruesome, project one that that the wider local community has been able to benefit from.”

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