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Page last updated at 09:07 GMT, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 10:07 UK
Memories of Rhyl

Rhyl funfair sign
Twilight years... Rhyl funfair prior to being demolished in 2007

Whatever your views of Rhyl, many people have been writing fondly of the resort and the memories they have of growing up or holidaying there.

Here's a selection of some of the many contributions we've received. You can add your own memories by using BBC Memoryshare , a place to share and explore memories.

Many of your memories are of holidaying in Rhyl. Like a lot of visitors, Janice stayed in one of the resort's holiday camps, and her memories hark back to a simpler time:

"We loved it - especially the penny slots and the entertainment in the 'club'… Walking along the sea wall to the Black Cat amusement arcade, finishing off with a Horlicks before bed and lying in the caravan listening to the 'pop pop' of the gas lights - happy days!"

Many of the buildings Alison refers to sadly no longer exist but her memories of them persist and paint a picture of a very different Rhyl:

"I still remember it as it was and mourn the loss of all those wonderful childhood memories. The pier (I think the fortune teller was Petulengro?), the swing boats near the lifeboat house, the Floral Hall, the Pavilion (knocked down because it was unsafe, yet the dome fell in one piece!), the open air pool, the illuminations (the Pavilion had lovely coloured lights across the dome), the fair with the Mad Mouse and the Caterpillar."

An alternative perspective is given by Glyn, who lived in Rhyl and whose mother ran a guest house which welcomed some (soon to be) well known guests:

"During my time there, my widowed mother ran it as a boarding house and she, my brother and I would sleep in a shed in the yard so as to utilise every possible room. Many of our guests were entertainers from the circus or theatres and we once had a young and upcoming comedy duo called Morecambe and Wise!"

More of Glyn's Morecambe & Wise memories

Sidoli's in the 50s
Sidoli's in the 50s

For visitors and residents alike, Sidoli's cafe has always been a draw. Run by an Italian family, the cafe's ice cream and 'frothy coffee' have often been mentioned in your memories. Here, Dominic Sidoli remembers when the cafe was open till 10pm, seven days a week:

"The 1950s and 60s were also boom times. The cafe was refurbished with a different counter, new tables and chairs, and new lighting. The opening hours in the 50s and early 60s were 10am to 10pm seven days a week. Customers would come in the evening after going to the cinema and have a hot chocolate, Horlicks or Ovaltine before going home."

Read more about Sidoli's

Over the years the town's Little Theatre, the first theatre purpose-built for children in the UK, has provided opportunities for countless young people to perform onstage. The experience hasn't been forgotten by Tommy:

"Tonight I am mawkishly listening to 'Consider Yourself' and remember as a little boy being in 'Dick Whittington' in 1968, and the joy and wonder that made it feel as if it was all really happening around me."

Another attraction was the miniature railway which still runs today and claims to be Britain's oldest miniature line. Roger remembers it as a highlight of his holiday:

"I used to come from Wrexham to Rhyl on the Sunday School Trip every June and a ride on the Marine Lake Railway was always the highlight. I used to like it when a main line steam train raced past us at the far side of the Lake on its way to Rhyl Station."

Finally, Bill's description of a week in Rhyl in the 1950s makes it sound more like hard work than a holiday, but enjoyable all the same:

"The one-week holiday was really looked forward to, and I was ready to leave Acrefair [Wrexham] at 8am, but mam had to clean the house first (why?). So we left at about 11am, through Llangollen and up the Horseshoe Pass.

Young Bill
Young Bill and the Austin 8 on Rhyl front

"We would get to the top by lunchtime and have to stop to rest the car (Austin 8). We would get to Rhyl by tea-time. Sunday was spent cleaning the caravan (why?) then unpacking, and if I was lucky, a visit to see the sea. Monday we went into Rhyl to buy postcards, and spend all afternoon writing them. Tuesday - the big day - we could go to the beach!

"Wednesday was a trip to the Marine Lake amusements and Thursday, the beach again. Friday, well we had to pack up and clean the caravan (?) ready to set off on Saturday back home. Still it was great."

Share your memories: BBC Memoryshare


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