Rhyl

Rhyl

Rhyl, town (1991 pop. 22,714), Denbighshire, N Wales, on the Irish Sea at the mouth of the Clwyd River. A seaside resort, it was at its height in the 1960s and 70s, but suffered when British travel abroad subsequently increased.

Rhyl (Welsh: Y Rhyl) is a seaside town on the Irish Sea, in the county of Denbighshire (within the preserved county of Clwyd, and formally the historic county of Flintshire), northeast Wales, at the mouth of the River Clwyd (Welsh: Afon Clwyd). To the west is the suburb of Kinmel Bay, with the resort of Towyn further west, Prestatyn to the east and Rhuddlan to the south. At the 2001 Census, Rhyl had a population of 24,889.

Rhyl has long been a popular tourist destination for people all over the North West of England as well as those living in Wales. With good links between Manchester, Liverpool, London and Ireland, Rhyl is more accessible now than it has ever been.

Once an elegant Victorian resort, there was an influx of people from Liverpool and Manchester after World War II changing the face of the town. The area had declined dramatically by 1990, but has since improved due to a series of regeneration projects bringing in major investment. European funding, secured by the Welsh Assembly Government, has produced millions for the development of Rhyl's seafront.

It was in Rhyl that the infamous egg-throwing attack on John Prescott occurred, during campaigning for the 2001 General Election.

Etymology

The origin of the name "Rhyl" is not fully known. However, the name appears in old documents variously as Hyll (1506), Hull (1508), [Leidiart] yr Hyll (1597), Rhil (1706), Rhûl (1749), Rhul (1773) Rhyll (1830), and Rhyl (1840), all of which are variations (and some anglicizations) of an uncertain original form. One suggestion is that Y Rhyl derives from (Yr) Hyll, meaning "ugly" ; however the softening of final ll to l would be exceptional as would the blunt epithet as a placename. Other unsubstantiated and improbable suggestions have been made that it might derive from the similar sounding Yr Hill (as in "The Hill") or Yr Heol "(The Street)".

Buildings and landmarks

Rhyl's most famous landmark was the original Pavilion, an ornate building with five domes, which was demolished in the 1970s. Rhyl's top attractions on the West Parade are the high Sky Tower, which opened in 1989 and Rhyl Children's Village theme park.

On the East Parade, can be found the SeaQuarium and the popular Rhyl Suncentre - an indoor leisure swimming pool featuring an indoor monorail, as well as Europe's first indoor surfing pool. Next door stands the New Pavilion Theatre, opened in 1991. A small run of traditional beach shops runs alongside the sea front. The Carneddau mountains can be seen from the beach.

Marine Lake

The Marine Lake used to be a tourist destination, with fairground rides and a zoo. Rhyl Miniature Railway is the only original attraction remaining on the site, a narrow gauge railway that travels around the lake and is now based at the new museum and railway centre. There is also a playground and numerous watersports clubs based around the lake.

The Marine Lake Funfair was eventually replaced by the Ocean Beach Fun Fair and demolished in the late 1960s. Ocean Beach finally closed on 2 September 2007 to make way for Ocean Plaza, a development which includes apartments, a hotel and retail outlets, including a supermarket.

When Ocean Beach Funfair closed, the Jetstream Rollercoaster was dismantled as a buyer could not be found. There was a plan to remove the Water Chute log flume ride to Margate by the Save Dreamland campaign but the funding was withdrawn and the main structure of the water chute was dismantled, although the Dreamland Campaign managed to salvage the boats and key mechanical parts from the ride. The remaining buildings at Ocean beach were demolished.

In 2008, some rides from the former Ocean Beach site arrived at Ffrith beach in nearby Prestatyn. These include the spiral Slide, The Pepsi Loop coaster, The Nessi, Dodgems and Waltzers.

Regeneration project

In an effort to regenerate and boost declining tourism, a number of projects are underway or being proposed. As well as the £85 million Ocean Plaza complex on the site of the former Ocean Beach Fun Fair, projects include the Drift Park development on the promenade and the reopening of the town's miniature railway around the Marine Lake.

The West End of Rhyl is undergoing much rebuilding. One of the major investments is at Rhyl College, a satellite site of Llandrillo College., with the investment being worth approximately £4 million.

Ann Jones who was born and bred in Rhyl has been the Assembly Member for the Vale of Clwyd since 1999 whilst Chris Ruane has been the MP since 1997. Both politicians have particular interests in regeneration and are heavily involved in developments aimed at improving Rhyl.

Sport

Rhyl Football Club are a successful football team in the Welsh football pyramid. In the 2003-2004 season they won the Welsh Premiership Championship, the Welsh Cup and the Welsh League Cup, and were losing finalists in the FAW Premier Cup.

Transport

Rhyl railway station is situated on the North Wales Coast Line and is served by through trains to and from London, Crewe, Holyhead, Cardiff and Manchester.

Notable citizens

Former inhabitants of Rhyl include:

References

External links

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