Coronation Gardens, Rhyl
This is one of 471 playing fields for young people and children which were created in Britain as a memorial to King George V, who died in January 1936. The Madryn Avenue entrance to the playing field bears two tablets, as prescribed by the King George’s Fields Foundation Trust, with the inscriptions “King George’s Field” and “George V A.D. 1910-1936”.
Initially it was decided to call the field the “King Edward VIII Gardens and Recreation Ground” but the new king’s romance with Wallis Simpson led to his abdication. The resulting uncertainty, and the need to progress with the work, meant that the large Art Deco gates at the Vale Road entrance were simply inscribed with “R.U.D.C. 1937 Coronation Gardens”. (The initials stand for Rhyl Urban District Council.)
Hence the playing field has two different names, depending on which entrance you use! Coronation Gardens is the name which soon entered the local vernacular, affectionately abbreviated by many locals to “the Corras”.
George VI was crowned on 12 May 1937 as successor to Edward VIII, but Rhyl missed this deadline because the gardens were not ready. The original plan for a bandstand, playground and separate two-acre Garden of Remembrance was abandoned, and the start of the Second World War in 1939 diverted attention from the scheme’s further development. Nevertheless, “the Corras” has been enthusiastically well used over the years for football, cricket, rounders, hockey and other activities.
The future of the field is guaranteed by a covenant held by “Fields in Trust”, which is the successor to the earlier scheme. This body is the sole trustee and is responsible for ensuring that all King George’s Fields are preserved in perpetuity as open spaces for the purpose of outdoor games, sports and pastimes.
Rhyl’s Botanical Gardens adjoin the Coronation Gardens.
With thanks to George Owen