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Myspace or Marubbi's | Facebook or Sidoli's?

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 09:48 UK time, Wednesday, 30 April 2008

There seems to be a lot of love for the good old caff. Whereas some so-called greasy spoons really are just that, others seem able to stand apart from that image.

Every town I've worked in seems to have had one of those traditional tea shops or ice cream parlours. In Wrexham there is Marubbi's and even on a mountainside in the middle of nowhere, the Ponderosa, Horseshoe Pass, has stood the test of time - reinventing itself over recent years. [Mind you some places are too remote - such as the caff on top of Dinas Brân.]

Anyway, photographer Michael Prince is the latest to be taken by such places.

cone boy

He has taken a set of impressive photos of Sidoli's cafe at Rhyl which he calls a time capsule to a bygone era. We've got a great set of old photos, c1920s, which contrast nicely with Michael's images.

Meanwhile, contributors like Mike Demack remember other cafes in Rhyl: The Roma coffee bar on the front with clear Pyrex cups and Wimpys - one cup to last all evening on a Sunday night.

Reflecting, Alun Salisbury can even remember the sounds of Mrs Bowen's Milk Bar, Cefn Mawr, Wrexham, way back one day in 1951: Continuing my journey, I pass Mrs Bowen's Milk Bar and hear the high-speed whine from the milkshake machine, interrupted occasionally as the blade contacts ice cream. Clearly someone is having a treat. For a moment I wonder what flavour they have chosen.

And last year there was a reunion for former regulars who, in the 1960s, met at Sam Jones' cafe in Wrexham. Says Paul: I can remember 50 plus bikes parked up outside some nights from all over and despite the throngs that congregated there I cannot remember even an argument taking place.

What are the local meeting places today that people will be talking about tomorrow - or do they only exist in the virtual world with websites like facebook and myspace.

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