PAGE TWO                   PAGE THREE                  PAGE FOUR



Allan Judd was a life - long friend of the late Ken Wood.
Allan was inspired by the Ken Wood page to contribute the following recollections and
photographs, in memory of his old friend.





The story begins around 1960/61 with my uncle, John (Jack) Thomas, who lived at Min-y-don in Llanfair PG
and who worked at Bangor No2 box as it was then.
I was 12 or 13 years of age and on one of our family holidays to
Anglesey, we had travelled to Bangor from Middlesbrough, a journey which took most of the day, often with
several changes - Darlington, sometimes York or Leeds, always at Manchester Exchange where we often had to
wait at least an hour, occasionally at Chester and usually Bangor.
On arrival at Bangor we alighted to await the local service calling at Llanfair PG.

   It just so happened that Uncle John had finished his 6 till 2 shift and had awaited our arrival so he could
accompany us to Llanfair.

   Whilst we waited for our train we were shown round the signal box, treat number 1.
   When our train drew into platform 3 we took great interest in the engine, it was either a Patriot or a Jubilee, unfortunately
I can only remember the first 3 numbers ‘455’.

   The driver was a friend of John's and incredibly invited him and me to join them on the footplate
to Llanfair, through / across the Britannia Tubular Railway Bridge ‘the Tube’.

   The thing I most remember was the very strong smell of sulphur in the tube, also the
loud echoing noises as we ran through.

  What a privilege, especially considering the bridge was all but destroyed in the devastating fire of May 1970 (see photo below from 1963).


The interesting photo below shows the entry in the Llanfair PG signalbox register the night of the
devastating fire that destroyed the original bridge.

The signalman on duty that night was Alan Carr, who was a colleague of Ken Wood's.
The entry by Alan, can clearly be seen, after a member of the public reported seeing smoke coming
out of the tube, on Saturday May 23rd 1970.

 Alan Roberts  who edits the Signalling pages on this website tells me that Alan Carr worked at Gaerwen box
and then Penmaenmawr before moving on to light duties at Llanfair P.G crossing, due to ill health.

Alan Carr's entry above reads :
  Reported by member of the public that smoke coming from tube @ 21-46.
Bangor informed and instructions sent and received from Bangor .


When we arrived at Llanfair PG the duty porter, Hugh Jones, another friend of John’s, greeted us
and after seeing the train on its way spent a few moments chatting with us, then we were off to Min-y-don.

   I was allowed to keep my ticket as a memento of the journey, the beginning of a lifelong interest collecting railway tickets.

    The next day I was back at the station, again Hugh Jones was on duty as lead porter.
   The station master was also there, Gwilym Owen (of ‘Running to time’ fame)
Mr Owen gave me a very informative talk about the station and its staff, then left Hugh to show me around.

   At that time Llanfair PG station was quite a busy place it had a busy yard comprising of goods shed, radial warehouse
containing mainly animal feedstuffs and sacks of flour, there were coal drops and cattle pens, there was even
a facility to allow the movement of motor cars by rail to or from the local garage – Automobile Palace as it was then.

   I was shown the path down to the signal box and told to go and meet the signalman who just so happened
to be Ken Wood, yet another friend of John Thomas. This was the beginning of my friendship with Ken.

   I was to spend much of my holiday over a number of years
‘at the box’, ‘round at the station’ or ‘on the wagon’.

On the wagon was time spent travelling round with the railway delivery lorry (see photos below from July 1963)
distributing the animal feedstuffs to local farms, flour to local bakeries and also parcels.

Lanfair PG radial warehouse covered deliveries around the eastern side of Anglesey.

Some of the staff of Llanfair PG station with the Fordson Thames railway wagon based at
Llanfair PG. This vehicle delivered parcels, animal feed to the farms and flour
to the bakeries of east Anglesey.

A young Allan Judd on "the wagon"

My contact and friendship with Ken Wood followed his moves from Llanfair PG to Gaerwen
then on to Bangor Box and lasted for 40 years, quite special.
The photo below shows me (right) with my great friend at Gaerwen box, on Sunday June 28th 1987.

   As mentioned elsewhere on this website, throughout Ken’s signalling career he would note in the
respective column of the signal box register, the number of any ‘special’ locomotive or train
he was interested in – (see photo below)

Ken recorded 71000 "Duke of Gloucester" passing Llanfair PG box in the register above at 12.21.
There is a photo, on the Ken Wood page, of the "Duke" at Holyhead during 1961.
I wonder if this photo was taken on the same visit as the one recorded by Ken above.

Hugh Jones moved to Llangefni station in about 1962 but unfortunately we lost contact when the branch closed in 1964.
   I last saw Hugh in 1963 when I spent a day with him at Llangefni station (see photos).
Both photos taken on Friday July 16th 1963.

Hugh at Llangefni station.

Allan Judd (right) with Hugh Jones.

   Another lasting memory of Hugh was his car, he had a red Bond 3 wheeler (no reverse gear), he had
to lift the bonnet and put his leg in to kick start it.

The three shots below show 47289 with the "Amlwch tanks".

The first shot was taken from Parys mountain showing the train at Rhosgoch, en route to Amlwch on June 28th 1993.

The next two show the same train passing through Llangefni en route to Gaerwen.
The second shot shows the guard at the rear of the train casting a suspicious eye over the photographer.
Anybody recognize him?

John (Jack) Thomas (see photo below) was a relief signalman on Anglesey and along the
North Wales Coast until he took up a permanent position at Bangor No 2 Box in 1957.
Sadly he died in 1965. (circa 1961)

"Princess" class 46203 'Princess Margaret Rose' passing Bodorgan station en route from Holyhead to Bangor with
"The Shamrock", on Sunday September 17th 1995.


Type 4 D236 pulls away from Llanfair PG station with a London Euston service.
The man standing near the gates was my father. (circa July 1963)

D235 standing in Llanfair station with a London Euston train. (circa July 1963)

Black Five 45277 (6G) at Llanfair PG station with a train for Manchester. (circa July 1963)

Black Five 45021 pulls away from Llanfair PG station with a Manchester train. (circa July 1963)

Ken Wood at work in Bangor box on September 28th 1989.

PAGE TWO               PAGE THREE             PAGE FOUR