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LOCAL RAILWAY NEWS PAGE (1)

(ARCHIVE)

October 13th 2010 - October 4th 2012


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COMPILED AND EDITED BY GEOFF POOLE.
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This page is a follow-on to the original NEWSPAGE which can still be accessed as an archive HERE.

The original NEWSPAGE has been running since the site was launched and is now so full that it has become
necessary to create this new page and LOCAL RAILWAY NEWS PAGE (2) to make download speeds faster.

Submissions of anything newsworthy would be appreciated and can be sent through the email link on the HOMEPAGE.

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October 4th 2012.

An email and an appeal for help with the location, in the photo below from Nigel Bown, is reproduced below.
The engine is an LMS 4P Fowler 4-4-0 (3-Cylinder) compound numbered 925 (BR No. 40925) built 1927.

If anyone can help please use the email link on the HOMEPAGE.


Hi Geoff.

Is this pic of interest ?

It`s another " mystery " from North Wales or so it seems because the loco was apparently shedded at Llandudno Junction [ 6G ] pre WW2.

Would John Powell or anyone be able to determine the location?

Many thanks in anticipation and Best Regards, Nigel.




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October 4th 2012.

An email from Michael Henney is reproduced below. Many thanks for the detail Mike.


Hi Geoff.

The next Great Central railwayana auction at Stoneleigh Park on October 13th, has the
following 'North Wales' items entered:


1) BR LMR carriage print titled 'Abergele Denbighshire'

2) Cast iron 6G shed plate.

3) A 'Junction' totem.

4) A BR maroon enamel street direction sign 'British Railways Bodorgan Station' with arrow.

5) Signal box name board (metal letters on wooden board) 'Prestatyn'

6) Another box board as above from 'Nant Hall'


Cheers, Mike.


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October 4th 2012.

An email and appeal from Josie Jones for help with identification of a location are published below.

If anyone can help please use the email link on the HOMEPAGE.


Hi there

I am hoping one of your site visitors could help me with this picture below.

It was taken when I was about 10 so about 1959/60. I believe it was in N Wales, I lived in Wallasey Cheshire
at the time and we had a holiday at Butlin's Pwllheli.

I have been trying to find out where the photo of this strange dome with a mountain sculpture inside was taken, and why it
was there and what it was for.

As it is alongside a railway track which curves round to a platform, I was hoping someone would recognise the stop
to give me an idea of where to start my investigation of the dome!

I have tried sites on google - like Where is this- but no-one seems to know.

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Thanks. Josie Jones.




(October 5th 2012)
An email from Alan Roberts, reproduced below, solves the location query above but still no answer to the dome query.

Alan has identified the location as Penychain Halt  Which was known as "Butlins Penychain Railway Station" and almost
universally referred to as "Penny - Chain" by non - Welsh speaking holidaymakers.





Geoff,
The mystery location on your website which was sent in by Josie Jones with the station on a curve
appears to be Penychain (which was the station for Butlins Pwllheli) - can't help with the dome though.

Regards
Alan Roberts


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GEOFFREY GRIFFITHS (Geoff)
27/07/1923 - 10/09/2012


Derek Williams has informed me of the passing of 6G driver Geoff Griffiths on September 10th 2012 aged 89 years.

Geoff entered service on the railway on April 8th 1940 aged 17 years.

The funeral service was held at Colwyn Bay Crematorium on Friday September 21st 2012.




The funeral order of service sheet is reproduced below.





Two photos by Alan Hayward are below showing Geoff doing the job he loved.

Geoff pictured with Eryl Hughes.




Geoff and colleague Norman Read undergoing Class 31 training at 6G






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August 22nd 2012.

An email from Mike Henney is reproduced below.


Hi Geoff.

SHEFFIELD RAILWAYANA. DERBY SEPTEMBER 8th

There are totem signs from Prestatyn & 6G included in above sale, plus a wooden sign 'HOLYHEAD' cast letters on wooden backboard.

Mike.


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August 15th 2012.

Mike Henney tells me that Derek William's book on 6G

The men of 7A and 6G loco shed - Llandudno Junction 1920s till 1966.
Gone but not forgotten.

 can be purchased at Conwy Visitor Centre at a reduced price. 


(See Mike's email below)



Hi Geoff,

Managed to get a copy of Derek's book from the Conwy Visitor Centre for £3.00.

This "visitor centre" is now just a shop. You will know which one I mean.

If anybody needs a copy there were 3 or 4 still available last Thursday (09/08/12)

Regards Mike.



Read a review of the book on the DVD and Video review page HERE.



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August 6th 2012.

A4 No. 60009 "Union of South Africa" failed and was substituted by a Class 47 on yesterday's North Wales Coast Express.

According to Network Rail the engine which was on standby , 6233 "Duchess of Sutherland", was out of gauge for part of the route
so the tour operator had to hire a diesel at short notice or cancel the tour.

NR didn't announce which part of the route 6233 was out of gauge for.


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I can recommend a handy website for asking questions or finding out anything to do with railways is RAILUK Forums.

Details of yesterday's North Wales Coast Express problems were discussed in several posts.
It's free to register and I find it an invaluable source of information for anything to do with railways.


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July 18th 2012

NETWORK RAIL ANNOUNCE BAN ON FUTURE TRAIN EXCURSIONS TO LLANDUDNO.

Future steam and diesel excursions to Llandudno are now at risk of disappearing due to a change of ruling by Network Rail.

Trains of ten carriages or more are too long for the signalling system and platform.

Last Saturday's  "Statesman Rail" excursion, which departed at 06.40, will probably be the last excursion train to run in or out of the
resort for the time being.

Statesman Rail's operations director Keith Watkinson stated that network Rail have informed them that the trains are now deemed to be
over - length by their new area signalling manager despite running many trains of similar length in and out of the resort over many years.

He also stated that next years "Victorian Extravaganza" will now have to be cancelled.

Other operators will probably have to follow suit unless they can reduce the length of their trains. But this may make them economically unviable.


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July 15th 2012.

An old photo of Bangor station from the 1920's has been sent in by Dave Wood.
The photographer is unknown.




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EDWIN HALL OWEN. (Eddie)
Nickname on railway (HANK)
1932 - 2012.

July 12th 2012.

Derek Williams has informed me today, of the sad news of the passing away of yet another 6G man.

Eddie or "Hank" as he will be remembered by his railway colleagues was the last man at 6G loco shed to be made a passed fireman.

He left the railway 1962/63 and went to work at Chester Engineering in Colwyn Bay as a car salesman and ending up as Sales manager.

In 1975 "Hank" had the option of going back on the railway as a guard at Llandudno Junction eventually leaving on ill health in 1993 after
another good eighteen years back on the railway that he loved so much.



The funeral was on June 20th 2012 at Gloddaeth Church, Llandudno followed by
Committal at Colwyn Bay Crematorium.

The funeral order of service sheet is reproduced below.




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July 2nd 2012.

Conwy County Council have completed improvement work to Ffordd 6G (6G Road) and Llandudno Junction station.

2011 - footway widening scheme Ffordd 6G Road which involved widening the verge to provide a new pavement on the
eastern side of the Ffordd 6G Road (which runs over Llandudno Junction and Conway Road Railway bridges) to make it easier
and safer for people to visit the cinema/leisure area and for those employees to walk to and from work.

2011 - improvements to Llandudno Junction train station (TAITH/Arriva Trains Wales). Improved cycle access, parking and signage.



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June 21st 2012.

Ieuan Wood caught this rare visitor to Holyhead on June 3rd 2012.



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June 19th 2012.


Two recent photos by Dave Wood are shown below.


New build A1 60163 "Tornado" tackles Red Bank en route to Wigan on May 31st 2012 with the Cathedral Express.




The "Green Duchess" 46233 "Duchess of Sutherland" with the Citadel Express, at Winwick Junction on May 26th 2012






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April 25th 2012.

46233 "Duchess of Sutherland" with support coach, at Winwick earlier today with a Butterley - Cadder Yard movement.





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The Llangollen Railway becomes the epicentre of live steam in Europe for nine days from Saturday April 21st to Sunday April 29th, when
‘Steel, Steam & Stars III’ – the biggest event of its kind in the 2012 railway calendar - is rolled out to an audience expected to exceed 10,000.



April 24th 2012.

A general view of the Llangollen depot today with some of the "stars" resting and waiting for their next duty.





April 23rd 2012.

Dave Wood took the three shots shown below at the event today.

Pete Waterman's 70000 "Britannia"





Black Five No. 44801.





Blue Caledonian Railway ‘Jumbo’ 0-6-0 No.828 normally based at the Strathspey Railway in the Scottish Highlands





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March 28th 2012.

The photo below shows LNWR Tank engine No. 2068.

It was sent to me by the owner of the postcard view, who is in the process of offering it for sale on Ebay.

It is thought that the engine is possibly standing at Llandudno Junction station with the carriage shed sidings shown in the faint background.

There are no details available on the date of the shot or any details on the engine.

The owner of the postcard would be grateful for any information about the photo so as more detail can be added for the sale on Ebay.

NOW AVAILABLE ON EBAY  - HERE -

Any information can be sent to the email address below.

info@poole57.freeserve.co.uk



John Powell writes:

"I have had a good look at and compared it with the photo below. The photo of 2068 above, must have been taken during
the first world war as I can find no reference at all of it.
It looks like Llandudno Junction station, but the background is very faint, and yet it could be
a loco shed. I would say it is quite possible"






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March 19th 2012.

Further evidence to reinforce the opinion of Bob Barnsdale that the station that displayed the carved wooden animals and insects that Jean Harris of Canada
asked for help with on the original NEWSPAGE (June 19th 2009)  was in fact Llanfairfechan.

Derek Williams Ex - 6G passed Cleaner and author of the book "The men of 7A and 6G Loco Shed (Gone but not forgotten) tells me that
he clearly remembers steaming through Llanfairfechan station during his working days and seeing the unique carved wooden animals
and insects that Jean Harris mentioned in her email.

He particularly remembers seeing a bird attached to the Llanfairfechan station sign and other carvings on the station including a cat, a snake and
an ostrich along with a large sunflower.

He distinctly remembers a spiders web made of rope with a fly entrapped in it.

I can't imagine any modern day station, on our railway, employing staff who have pride enough to take the time to decorate their workplace in such a unique way.

"Health and safety" would probably have something to say about it anyway!


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VERNON GRIFFITHS.
May 8th 1932 - March 8th 2012.

March 19th 2012.


More sad news has reached me today from Derek Williams,  that Vernon Griffiths, Ex - Fitter at 6G,  passed away
on March 8th 2012 at Stoke on Trent aged 79 years.

Below is a photo of Vernon working at 6G. (date unknown) : PHOTO NORMAN KNEALE.



Vernon was born in 1932 and entered railway service in 1948 aged 16 years.

He served his apprenticeship at (6G) Llandudno Junction Locomotive depot.

The funeral will be a cremation in Stoke on Trent (date and location not known)

Vernon's daughter Wendy is to hold a memorial service in his memory at
Henley Baptist Church, Regent Road,  Stoke on Trent,
at 1.00 pm on Wednesday March 21st 2012.

 Below is a photograph of Vernon, taken from the order of service leaflet for the above Memorial service.






Michael Henney has sent in the following newspaper announcement from the "Sentinel" local newspaper in Stoke on Trent.



GRIFFITHS, VERNON.
Passed away on March 8th 2012 a private cremation service has taken place at Carmountside Crematorium.
Vernon is now peacefully at rest.
Any donations would be appreciated for the Douglas Macmillan Hospice.
Enquiries to Williamson Brothers, Funeral Directors, Birch House, Birches Head Road (Stoke on Trent). 01782 212880.

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Vernon's father W.O Griffiths (Will Bettws) was a driver at 6G.
He was born on December 3rd 1898 and entered railway service aged 16 years on June 3rd 1914.



        

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March 19th 2012.

An email from Phil Bartlett is reproduced below.


Hi Geoff
Thought I'd drop you a line to let you know of a discovery in my family tree! Which is relevant in a small way to your site.

My great uncle Walter Rimes was born in Oundle in 1874 but moved to Conwy in the early 1890s as a telegraph clerk for the GPO
Married Jane Roberts and had 2 kids. When Jane died in 1919 Walter took the offspring "back home" where they both met and married.
Daughter Gladys moved to Brighton but son Robert Rimes moved via Birmingham back to Conwy where they lived until 1985 and 1988.

Walter appears to have had a connection with Birmingham because he married Gertrude Dilks in Kings Norton in 1924 and died in Edgbaston in 1930.
Widow Gertie who was born in Smethwick in 1885 married for the 2nd time in 1935 in Smethwick, one Charles Whitmill.

Charles was born in St Pancras in London in 1866 and married Kate Ward from Long Buckby.
He joined the LNWR as a calling up lad at Willesden in 1880, becoming fitter, then moving to
Watford, then Crewe, finally retiring from Llandudno Junction shed in 1931 as District Superintendent.

Kate passed away in a nursing home in Llandudno in 1934, so Charles made the journey to Smethwick to marry Gertie.

The Rimes family must have known the Whitmills in Llandudno. For Gertie to marry Charles so soon after Kate had passed away I imagine.

Imagine my surprise though when I found the scanned record of Charles service, along with dates grades and wage / salary.
It seems that Running Shed Foreman was the move into the salaried grade.

Anyway. Twice widowed Gertie obviously made her home in the Conwy area because my father remembers visiting her at the age of 15
in August 1950, because he remembers hearing the crash from across the bay in Penmaenmawr when the Up Irish Mail
slammed in to the back of the crab on 27th August that year.

Keep up the excellent work Geoff.

Kind regards
Phil Bartlett



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JOHN HENRY WILLIAMS (John Marl)

March 5th 2012.

I have been informed by Derek Williams of the very sad news that Ex - 6G passed Cleaner / Fireman
John Henry Williams (John Marl) passed away on February 21st 2012 aged 70 years.

The funeral was at Colwyn Bay Crematorium on Thursday March 1st 2012.


A photograph of John on the families Funeral Service leaflet is shown below.






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February 27th 2012.

An email from David Hughes of Old Colwyn is reproduced below with some detail on the appeal for help by Steve Morris regarding the
class 20 Transformer out of gauge workings to Bleanau Ffestiniog in the early 60's, which was published further down this page (02/01/2012).



Hello Geoff.

RE the e-mail from Steve Morris of Jan 2nd 2012.

 I have no information to add regarding the second transformer but maybe some
intrigue about the film that Merfyn has (Jan 12th).
I have not seen either film mentioned in the e-mails so I might be barking up the wrong tree.


Using the title of the film that Merfyn has, Measured for Transport, and according to The Pioneer report of 17th Feb 1961, test trips
were made up the branch with a wooden mock up of the transformer to check clearances.

No dates are given but notice the word trips.


Another lead for Steve to try would be Ferranti. Big companies tended to photograph their new or unusual products for publicity purposes.
Did it go by road from the Hollinwood, Lancs, factory to the nearest railhead? A local paper may have covered the movement.


The driver of D8036 on the Feb 1961 trip was John McGrath of Crewe, he started his railway
career at Llandudno Junction, and the pilot man was 6G driver Elias Williams of Llandudno Junction.


The above information was taken from copies of the North Wales Weekly News dated 16th & 23rd Feb 1961 and The Pioneer dated 17th & 24th Feb 1961.
I got my copies a few years ago from Conwy Archives in Llandudno, unaware at the time that there was more than one transformer
to Blaenau otherwise I could have done a bit more searching.


Hope the above is of some use.

Regards
David Hughes
Old Colwyn




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February 28th 2012.

A reply by Steve Morris regarding the detail above is reproduced below.


Thanks Geoff

As far as I can see there were 2 different transformers moved. The film shows a fully completed transformer as do the photographs taken during the Feb 1961 trip.
Whether a 20 was also used during gauging trips is of course another point!

David's information is interesting. I will do some digging in archives and see what can be found, after all it was not all that long ago!

All the best

Steve




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THOMAS ARFON HUGHES (Tommy Bodorgan)

February 25th 2012.

John Kirwood has informed me of the very sad news that Ex- 6G driver Thomas Arfon Hughes (Tommy Bodorgan) as he was known to everyone at

6G, passed away on February 13th 2012 aged 84 years.
During steam days he was a driver and deputy running shift foreman. Tom was supervisor at Llandudno Junction station before retiring.

John tells me that there were quite a few Ex - Junction men at the funeral service on February 23rd 2012
at Colwyn Bay crematorium.


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February 23rd 2012.
An email from Phil Bartlett with some interesting detail is reproduced below.


First of all Geoff, a cracking site with all sorts of snippets in it which make it all the more interesting and exciting to view.
An example being the class 155s stored in the shed, then a photo of what looks like the Great Marquess in 1964, then a new 7 & 1/4 loco being built etc

Just wanted to comment on the broadside shot of 45282 on the Welsh Metals page. I'm guessing the loco was possibly the inside loco of a pair of black fives
working the Royal Train judging by it's very clean state, but also by the telephone cable strung from the tender, over the cab and down the boiler handrail.
I know that a small number of diesels were modified to carry this telephone cable between the inspector in the cab, and the officials on-board the train.
These diesels could be distinguished by a small circular disc on the nose or cab front on classes 25 and 40. One example was 25245.

Thanks again for the site

Regards
Phil Bartlett.

PS, I meant to mention that you have an admittedly distant shot of 25245 on the shed at 6G.
The loco is square on but you can see a pin prick mark right in the centre of the loco around a foot above the buffer beam.
That is where the circular Royal Train blanking plate is for the telephone connection.


This is the photo Phil refers to above, taken from the "Welsh Metals" page






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February 22nd. 2012.

Details of latest happenings on our local network are provided by Alan Roberts below.


Deganwy : New crossing facilities provided at Deganwy which includes new barriers, lights and control unit in the signalbox.
Commissioning date 5th March 2012.

Glan Conwy AHB level crossing : New crossing equipment replacing the original installed in 1981.
Commissioning date 25th March 2012.

Also the footbridge at Deganwy is due for a refurbish. Apparently the bridge decking will be temporarily removed for a
refurbish, replaced by a temporary footbridge?

The EWS wagons formerly stabled in the yard at Llandudno Junction (to prevent Network Rail from lifting the sidings !) were pushed
through to the former
Glan Conwy Freight Terminal on Wednesday 8th February and are due
for scrapping as they are not rail worthy to go on the main line any more.


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February 12th 2012.
An email from Alan Fishel, and an appeal for help in finding a missing family are reproduced below.



11 Feb 2012.

Dear Mr. Poole,

I just came across your website - very interesting historical railroad photos. For this reason, I would very much appreciate your checking the Facebook site I set up to help in a missing persons search.
There is a link to railroading - model and commercial. I am hoping this will mean something to you, or that someone you know will either recognize or remember the family and help me to contact them.

The site is:
hopetofindthem@facebook.com

The information is either in one of the PAGES (e.g., "Missing Family"), or in the Information/Profile section.
If you do not have access to Facebook, please let me know and I will send you the information via email.

Thank you very much!

Sincerely,
Alan Fishel



The following text is an extract from Alan's Facebook appeal.


Key Words: Missing Persons, Vietnam, Southeast Asia, Saigon, Dalat, 1956, 1957, 1958, Kidnapping, POW, Prisoner of War

I am searching for a family that vanished suddenly from South Vietnam during the period 1956-1958, with the most likely period being the
months July 1957 – April 1958. This is a very urgent matter, and I am requesting your assistance in solving this mystery.
These were personal acquaintances of mine when I was a very small child in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City). Kidnapping was a part of the situation at that time.

I hope someone will recognize the boy in the photographs from about 1957 and be able to identify him.
Although the photographs show a blond-haired boy, depending on when they met him in Vietnam (or earlier) he may
have had dark brown hair. Age in this photograph: about 2.

I am hoping someone will recognize him and/or have a photograph of him amongst their own photographs, and be able to identify him and his parents.
All of them vanished suddenly from the Saigon area – exact date unknown, but this may well have been in early 1958
or perhaps during 1957 (and was definitely before 1 May 1958).

I have only sparse information regarding the parents, their possible occupations and origin. Father: possible engineer, knowledgeable of
shipping, ships, heavy equipment, aircraft, railroads, locomotives. Mother: concert pianist. Both parents were multilingual. My guess as to their
ages is difficult – perhaps 26 – 34. Very articulate and well spoken. Industrious, very active, good humored, good natured.
They lived or visited near what had been (or may still have been used as) the old British Officers Barracks in Saigon, on about
#260 - #270 Phan Thanh Giang Street (also known as La Grande de la Liraye Street under French rule).

I am also trying to determine what type of building (e.g., house) was to the left of the house at 267 Phan Thanh Giang Street, where there was
only a large vacant lot as of my visit to Vietnam several years ago. Also, what was behind 267. If you have a photograph of either structure, or know of
anyone that does, I would very much appreciate a copy.

What might also be helpful would be if anyone who visited or worked in Vietnam at about the same period have photographs of their time in Saigon and
would be willing to share copies of them with me. I would be particularly interested in any photographs of houses along Phan Thanh Gian Street.
This is a long shot, but worth pursuing even at this late date, due to the urgency of the matter
.



February 14th 2012.

An email of thanks and further information has been received from Alan and is reproduced below.

Dear Mr. Poole,
Thank you very much for taking the time to do so, and for relaying my request to the readers of your news page.
The father of the family I am searching for was an avid rail enthusiast, including elaborate model railroads and building engines, etc.
I am hoping someone reading the description of the parents and/or viewing the face of the child will remember them.
Again, many thanks!
Sincerely,
Alan Fishel

P.S. I just clicked on the link you sent me in your email, and thank you again for your efforts in my search!
I have been getting many responses from the French version of the page I posted on Facebook.
An additional point that may be helpful, and I would welcome your thoughts on: there was a connection between this family and people in Norway.
Part of my search has focused on that region, but it is a very slow going. I have been trying to locate groups in
Scotland, Wales and Ireland that had links to Norway dating back to World War II (or before).
If any of this jogs your thinking, please let me know! Thanks!





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January 14th 2012.

With regard to the query by Steve Morris on January 2nd 2012 below, John Powell has provided this shot below of the first working of the
class 20 Transformer on February 19th 1961.

John tells me that if somebody could provide him with the exact date of the second working he could look through some of his
old railway issues which may throw up some details.




A comment from Steve Morris regarding the above details from John Powell is shown below.


Many thanks Geoff,

 the above image is on page 34 of my latest book – “English Electric Traction Chester to Holyhead volume 1 1959-1983”.
It seems as if John may have the same collection of images of this working that I have.

Steve Morris.


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January 12th 2012.
An email from Merfyn Jones (S&T) retired, is reproduced below in response to the query by Steve Morris on January 2nd 2012 below.

Hello Geoff.
Re. Steve Morris comments on the transformer workings.

The branch is my particular interest and the same has intrigued me for years.

I have the B T film ‘Measured for Transport’ which , I assume ,  is the same one Steve has.

It certainly is not the same train shown in Trains Illustrated as being the one in Feb.1961.
One had an LMS type inspection saloon in the train , the other not.
One has a 4F following, the other something else (black 5 ?)
And the loco was the other way round.

One thing is certain, there were just 2 transformers. You can still see them today looking down from a Ffestiniog Railway train
passing the power station, and the shape is distinctive, being made to fit Llanrwst Tunnel.

I hope somebody can provide us with the date of this second train.

Merfyn Jones (S&T retired)




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January 2nd 2012.
Steve Morris has asked for some help with details on the class 20 Transformer out of gauge workings to Bleanau Ffestiniog in the early 60's.
If anybody can help please use the email link on the HOMEPAGE.


Dear Geoff

I am doing a bit of research on the class 20 Transformer out of gauge workings to Blaenau Ffestiniog in the early 60’s.

Looks as if there were actually two of these. The first was D8036 on 19/2/61 as per relatively common knowledge and as shown on a number of images

I have in my collection and reported in the press at the time. However, the working shown on the BFI "Points and Aspects" DVD is different.

For a start the loco is working "slab end first" whilst the images I have show the loco nose end first.

Also, the season is definitely not winter - more like late summer.
The date of the film is given as 1962 so it looks as if the 19/2/61 working was repeated the year after.

Difficult to see the loco number but in a scene of it leaving The Junction it looks like D8036 again, possibly due to it being wired up for communication from the first working.

Anyway, apart from the BFI film I have no other information on this second working.

Can anybody out there help, perhaps there was even more than two??


Many thanks
Steve Morris.



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December 11th 2011.
46201 ' Princess Elizabeth' with today's Liverpool Lime Street - York  -----   The York Yuletide Express, only one minute late passing Whiston.

PHOTO : DAVE WOOD



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December 11th 2011.

Mike Henney tells me that the nameplate for LNER Thompson 4-6-0 No. 61662  'Manchester United' was sold yesterday at the Railwayana auction at
Derbyshire County Cricket Ground.
The price plus VAT and buyers commission of 10% was £44,800.



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November 22nd 2011.

Alan Roberts has sent in this undated newspaper cutting (circa 1990's)
showing local railwaymen honoured with long service awards.

Back row left to right :
[Eddie Owen Guard (ex-Fireman 6G)]     (Don Simpson Train Crew Supervisor ex-6G Driver)     (Myfyr Jones - Admin Office)
(?
Driver 6G)          (Raymond Roberts 6G driver)       (David Savage-Carriage cleaner)


Front row left to right :
(Tom Harvey - signalman Rhyl)      (Dai Rowlands - Shunter 6G)      (? Carriage Cleaner?)     ( Ken Jones 6G driver)
(Gwyn Davies Relief Signalman Rhyl)      ( David Holland- carriage cleaner)


CORRECTION : The unidentified driver in the back row is Derek Gibb, an ex Southern man.
WITH THANKS TO BARRY TAYLOR FOR THIS INFORMATION.



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September 26th 2011.

John Powell tells me that a 6G shed plate was sold in the September 2011 sale at Sheffield Railwayana Auction for £140
and a Llandudno Junction totem reached £500.




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September 25th 2011.

Two emails from John Steven are reproduced below. Thanks for your kind words John.

It's nice to know that the site is still attracting new visitors after all these years.


14/09/2011.    Hi Geoff,

Just found your web site and wanted to say how much I have enjoyed looking through the contents of it.
You have some stunning photographs sir,
I have only scratched the surface of it so far but look forward to delving deeper,
Quite brilliant.

Regards John.

-

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21/09/2011.     Hi Geoff, Apologies for interrupting your holiday, hope it was somewhere nice.
The web site is just incredible, I have spent some time on it both reading and looking at the photographs;
think it will take me some time to get through it all.

As an admirer of steam trains from as way back to my childhood days in the 50’s it is amazing to see the photographs in your collections.
I made one trip to
Cardiff with my father in, I think about 1964, to see Wales taking on Scotland at football, and I remember
the trip by steam train vividly even now.

I have a small photographic business doing mainly horse events and the occasional wedding, but on my travels I do take photographs
of trains which I contribute to the Railbrit web site.

I much prefer the steam trains of days gone by.

Keep up the excellent good work.

Best Wishes, John Steven.


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August 31st 2011.

A shot of 8F 48151, by Mary Hinde, is shown below departing Chester with the "Welsh Mountaineer" on Tuesday August 23rd 2011.




August 23rd 2011.

8F No. 48151 with today's Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog "Welsh Mountaineer" after entering the Conwy Valley branch line and skirting the
picturesque Conwy RSPB nature reserve on the approach to Glan Conwy station.




This distant shot shows the 8F with today's above train running along the bank of the River Conwy, after passing through
Glan Conwy station, en route to Blaenau Ffestiniog.




August 23rd 2011.

This photo of today's "Welsh Mountaineer" by Dave Wood was taken early this morning on Red Bank, which
is between Newton - le - Willows and Warrington.



The two evening shots below, by Dave Wood, show the return leg of the above train.
The first one shows the 8F arriving at Frodsham station and the second shows the train
leaving for Preston.





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August 21st 2011.

Britannia Class 70013 "Oliver Cromwell" approaches Deganwy station with today's North Wales Coast Express.




Another earlier morning shot of the same train at Whiston station by Dave Wood.







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Saturday August 20th 2011.
Castle Class No. 5043 'Earl of Mount Edgcumbe' earlier today at Pensarn Bridge on it's approach to Llandudno Junction
with the "North Wales Explorer"




Saturday August 20th 2011.

GWR Castle Class 4-6-0 No. 5043 'Earl of Mount Edgcumbe' with today's
"North Wales Explorer" Tyseley - Llandudno Jct - Langley Green
At Beeston Castle. This early morning shot is by John Frodsham.




August 31st 2011.

Another shot of 5043 with the "North Wales Explorer" on August 20th 2011 at Llandudno Junction.





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August 10th 2011.

Stéphanie Durrant has provided this atmospheric shot below of 8F 48151 with yesterday's "Welsh Mountaineer" at Abergele.





This colourful evening shot of the same train , at Abergele, is by Darren Durrant.





August 10th 2011.
Two great shots of yesterday's Welsh Mountaineer by John Frodsham are shown below.
The first shows 48151 with the outward leg and the second is an evening shot of it's return
in the fields in between Frodsham and Helsby.






August 9th 2011.
8F 48151 storms out of Llandudno Junction station , 20 minutes late,  with today's
Preston  - Blaenau Ffestiniog  " Welsh Mountaineer"




The 8F leaves the main line and enters the Conwy Valley branch line en route to Blaenau Ffestiniog earlier today.




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August 31st 2011.

An evening shot of Britannia 70013 'Oliver Cromwell' by Mary Hinde, at Chester with the returning
"North Wales Coast Express" on August 7th 2011.





August 9th 2011.
Alan Roberts was working at Llandudno Junction signal box on Sunday August 7th 2011 and captured these four
shots of Britannia 70013 "Oliver Cromwell" on her way to Holyhead with the North Wales Coast Express.







August 8th 2011.
Britannia 70013 "Oliver Cromwell" passes Penmaenmawr with yesterday's  Holyhead - Liverpool
North Wales Coast Express. (PHOTO : Stéphanie Durrant)




August 8th 2011.
Britannia 70013 "Oliver Cromwell" emerges from the tunnel at Conwy station with the homeward leg of yesterday's
North Wales Coast Express. (PHOTO : John Frodsham)





August 7th 2011.
Britannia class 70013 "Oliver Cromwell" approaches Deganwy station, over the level crossing, with the return leg of
today's Liverpool - Holyhead - Liverpool  'North Wales Coast Express'.



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July 23rd 2011.
Black Five 45305 stands in for 'Britannia' 70013, which was unavailable, with today's Liverpool to Carlisle 
Cumbrian Mountain Express at Eccleston Park on the climb to St Helens.





July 4th 2011.
Dave Wood has sent in this great shot of Black Five 45305 at Rainhill on July 2nd 2011 with the
Coast to Coast Liverpool - Scarborough and return.
Dave tells me that it was a very early start for the special and he had to be
in position for the shot at 7.00am.




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June 29th 2011.

Ieuan Wood has sent in these shots taken at the East Lancashire railway on June 26th 2011.



Ex - NCB, Hunslet Austerity, 0-6-0 ST WD132  "Sapper" rests at Bury Bolton Street station.




Standard class 4, 2-6-4T 80080 is shown below light engine with a Lancastrian headboard.




80080 at work on the ELR.




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June 9th 2011.

Dave Wood has sent in this shot of 60163 "Tornado" on a loaded test run yesterday
evening, at Winwick Junction on the West Coast main line, after it's recent repairs.



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April 23rd 2011.

An email from Gamelyn Chase is reproduced below along with my reply and a further response from Gamelyn.
Gamelyn is the author of the novel Redemptor Domus which has
great local interest as the action is set along the North Wales coast near Llanfairfechan.

Gamelyn remembers with affection the carved animals on Llanfairfechan station which were the subject of a query
by Jean Harris of Canada.
(see NEWSPAGE June 19th 2009) 


Dear Geoff Poole,

 

Regarding the query from Jean Harris (Canada):

 

http://www.6g.nwrail.org.uk/newspage.htm

 

regarding carved animals at a station on the North Wales coast:

 

I came across your site when reprising an old search for Llanfairfechan station where I seemed to recall seeing the carved animals on
day trips ‘up the coast’ in yesteryear.

 

I seem to recall a bumblebee and a caterpillar on a wall. More pertinently, I distinctly remember being told off for hitting a low slung
housefly – or was it a bluebottle – with my wooden spade (as in bucket’n’spade).
Yes, I was very young at the time. It must have been Llanfairfechan because we never went to the other place mentioned, Pont-y-pant.

 

It’s good to know the carvings have survived. Maybe it could be arranged for them to be on public display somewhere (safe) rather
than hidden away in a back garden.

 

I’m the author of the novel Redemptor Domus, the action of which is set a mile or two east along the coast from Llanfairfechan
(locals can make informed guesses as to the fictional locations).
The timing is c.1950 when I assumed the carved animals would still be in situ.
I was going to give them a passing mention in the narrative but I couldn't track down any information on them at the time
(this would be back in 2007) so I had to forego the opportunity. It would only have been a makeweight.

 

I find it hard to believe there are no photographs of the station in its heyday. I revisited the station about twelve years ago
and it had been ‘redeveloped’ into some anonymous slum overshadowed by the A55. Heigh ho!

 

A very interesting site, seeing the old locations and motive power and the people involved. I’m still working my way through it.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Gamelyn Chase

 

www.GamelynChaseAuthor.co.uk



April 23rd 2011.

Many thanks for your email Gamelyn.
I have published it HERE.
 
I agree it would be nice if the carvings could be saved and put on public display. I’m afraid all of my detective
work never uncovered the exact location of the garden that I was told held the carvings,
after they were moved from the station.
As I have never had any more information on their whereabouts I can only assume that
whoever has possession of them today wishes to keep this private.
 
Many thanks for your interest and kind words.
 
Good luck with the novel as it sounds a very interesting read especially for people in this area.
 
Regards Geoff.




April 24th 2011.

Dear Geoff,
 
Quick work! I never expected such a swift response on such an old topic. I omitted to mention that my father was a railwayman
all his working life; he ended up as Chief Clerk at Chester Northgate.
He did occasional stints at Chester General. And one of my uncles was a top link guard working out of Crewe.

 
Regards,
 
Gamelyn





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April 22nd 2011.
An email from Ex - Signalman Vincent Cummings is reproduced below.
So pleased you enjoyed the website Vinny and many thanks for your kind words.



Hello Geoff,

As a first time visitor to your site, I would like to say how much these old eyes of mine enjoyed it.

As an ex -signalman, it's been said before but I'll say it again, " I shall return - too much for my first visit".

Please keep it going,

I'll be back soon & thanks.

V. Cummings (Vinny)
( last cabin, Ashton Moss North junction )

 Byeeee!



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April 8th 2011.
An email from Tony Crowther is reproduced below. Tony wishes to thank ex - 6G John Kirkwood
for his help with photos of his grandfather "Bob Bychan".



Geoff,
 
Can you please send on my sincere gratitude to John Kirkwood who gave me information on possibility that my
Grandfather Past 6G driver Bob Bychan (R V Jones of Rhyl) appears in photographs of two books on the Steam era in North Wales.
I can confirm and so with the help of my late Grandmother and Mother that they are photos of Bob Bychan.
I'm very humbled to know like so many deceased and living drivers, Signalbox men, Guards, Station staff retired
and still on the Railway, are remembered on this website 6G like my Grandfather.

When I look and read all the photos and emails from everyone who visits your site who were working on the Railway
with my Grandfather, their names like George Sheedy,Dai Llanwrst,John Kirkwood I remember Bob talking about these men
and on the last time I saw my late Grandmother I showed her the photo of all the drivers, firemen and
shed members of Rhyl of which John Kirkwood gave me the information.
 She looked at the photo and remembered all the men in the photo.

My thanks again to John Kirkwood.
I still look at books on British Rail in North Wales at the time of when my Grandfather was a familiar face on the mainlines and the
branchline to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

I am always looking on the 6G website for more interest of the North Wales coast line.
 
 
Tony Crowther


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February 26th 2011.
An email and photos are reproduced below from Andrew Weare whose Grandad was local main line driver Hugh Owen Williams.



Geoff, Here are old photos of my Grandad Hugh Owen Williams, the driver;  and his Locomotive.  Of the two men, Hugh is on the left, the shorter of the two. 
Another is of him with my mother (Gloria). and another shot of the engine on its own.  If I remember right, The Irish Mail had two names !!?? at the same time..
I forward three pictures. Let me know if you get them all OK.
Andrew.

...eeh  what grand pieces of engineering motion these big beast were !!.. I can still smell the steam !!!  As a kid I stood on the "footplate" of this grand Locomotive with
my "Taid"  ( Welsh for 'grandad' ) ..born 1888 and died in 1967. 
Andrew.



Hugh Owen Williams is on the left of the two men in the photo below of 6127 "Old Contemptibles".



Andrew's mother "Gloria" with Hugh.



Royal Scot 6132 "The King's Regiment Liverpool" in April 1943 driven by Hugh Owen Williams.




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February 26th 2011.
A list of platform staff and shunters at Llandudno Junction in October 1980 is provided by Alan Roberts.

List of station staff who worked at Llandudno Junction station in October 1980 in a page in my notebook.
Please note that there may be some names missing !.
 
Alf Buckman : Station Supervisor/Chargeman
George Jones : Station Supervisor/Chargeman
Nefyn Hughes : Ticket Collector
George Blackburn : Railman
Harry Henson : Railman
Derek Jones : Railman
Sam Owen : Railman
 
Stan Jones : Shunter
Dai Rowlands : Shunter
Jim Rowlands : Shunter
George Hughes : Shunter
 
On a night turn (2115 - 0445) one of the Railmen used to join at Llandudno Junction and travel on the
Passenger/Mail train 1K89 (Holyhead - Crewe) assisting with parcel post.
The train would return from Crewe to Holyhead as 1D02 where the railman did similar duties.
 
Also the admin and area manager offices were located on platform 1 and the following staff were there in October 1980.
 
Mervyn Jones : Rosters
Myfyr Jones : Staff & Enquiries, Travel passes etc.
Emlyn Jones :  ?
Clive Berry : Commercial
Howell Jones : ?
?    : Stores
 
 
Area Manager's Office
 
John Dale : Area Manager
Jack Hayes : Assistant Area Manager
Beryl Lamb : Secretary
Alan Bullimore : Area Traffic Inspector
Dennis Norgrove : T.O.P.S Office ??
 

The Amenity Block used to have the Train Crew Inspectors (TCI) also staff of the Signalling and Telegraph Department (S&T).
Fitters and Carriage Cleaners used to have their own mess room at the Carriage shed.
 



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January 22nd 2011.

An email from Richard Roberts , who is a driver for DB Schenker, and who remembers Ken Wood with affection, is reproduced below.


Hi Geoff,
 
Firstly I must congratulate you on a fantastic web site.

I am a driver with DB Schenker and my family are all from Anglesey where my Uncle was a porter, porter/signalman, at Bodorgan and Llangefni.

My Dad did a year at Gaerwen station in the early sixties along with Mums uncle, being a guard, and some of Dads cousins at Bangor Shed.

Even though we moved to London we visited Gaerwen anything up to five times a year.                                                                                                                         
During these visits I met Ken Wood whilst he was working in Gaerwen box and spent many an hour chatting to him.  He showed me how Absolute Block worked           
as I came up to school leaving age, as I wanted to work on the railway.
The advice and knowledge he passed on to me was first class and I sailed through my interview!

I did not know until last night, reading your site, that Ken had sadly passed on with an all too common railwayman situation of a far too short retirement.

I have recently had some knee trouble that left me immobile for six months or so and I compiled my railway memoirs from my earliest memories
of Gaerwen, where Ken has a good mention , through my twenty seven years so far on the job.

I was wondering if you could contact Ken's son, who I've never met, or give him my email address as I've got Ken down in my memoirs as starting
as a box boy in North England, a signalman at Port Siding, Llanfairpwll and Gaerwen.

Also before my memoirs ever see the light of day I would like to make sure that my facts are correct.
 
I must say that I have never heard a bad word spoken about Ken Wood and I hold him in very high esteem as a man and a railwayman.

The other thing is, I have about fifty or so photos taken I think in the Summer of 1983 between Gaerwen and Llandudno, it was just before
the semaphores were done away with at Llandudno Junction and Deganwy.

Also some pictures Ken Wood took of me pulling levers in Gaerwen Box.

If these are any use I could scan them and send them to you.


                                                  
Many Thanks, Richard Roberts.




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December 19th 2010.
While I spent most of yesterday looking out of my front window at my car buried in a foot of snow and glad I was
in the warmth, John Frodsham decided to brave the elements and get some shots of steam at Llangollen.
The two shots below show that his effort was worthwhile.
They show Black Five 44806 near Carrog set in a magical snow covered scene.





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December 11th 2010.
An exquisite portrait by John Frodsham, of A1 No. 60163 "Tornado" earlier today with the London Euston - Chester
Cathedrals Express powering through the fields in front of Beeston Castle.




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December 1st 2010.
An email from M. Vincent Mcbride is reproduced below.

I'm sure many site visitors will understand the sentiments of Vin and if anyone can supply him with any detail
of the Welsh Dragon Push and Pull shuttle, please let me know and I will pass it on to him.


Good Afternoon Geoff.

I came across you site quite by chance, I'm hoping that you can help with some research that I'm attempting
to do for a series of short stories 'Childhood Memories'

Between the years 1956 & 61 my parents always took me on annual holiday to Winkupps Caravan Park, Abergele.
It became almost tedious, were it not for the fact that I got to travel on a steam train, from Manchester Exchange Station to Rhyl.

If you're at all familiar with the camp, you'll be aware that it backs onto the Euston / Holyhead Line, with a footbridge which
used to take you over the line and along a cinder path to the sea front, adjacent to what was Golden Sands.

Forget the sea, and making sand castles, I hated those knitted swimming trunks anyway, I would have been
quite contented to have sat on the footbridge for the entire fortnight with my Box Brownie, and Ian Allen to keep me company!

Anyway to cut a long story short on one of the return home trips (maybe 58), whilst waiting on the platform at Rhyl, A train appeared
from under the road bridge heading towards Colwyn Bay - Wow ! It was the 'Welsh Dragon' Headboard and Dragon Flags
(my trusty Brownie was packed so there was no hope of a picture),

This is where I need the help; It was unlike anything I'd seen before - it was (from memory) bright green (a bit like Malachite), with large
red Dragons on the side of the Loco, much like the 'Golden Arrow' had and name boards on the carriages.
Again from memory, It didn't look at all like a conventional/familiar train, could it perhaps have been a commemorative special
of some sort? (There was just too much to take in!)
Although one distinctive feature and probably the most notable, was the fact that it had an observation car on the end, I'd never
seen one before, not much call for them in 50's Manchester!
(I think Tri-Ang did one on the Santa-Fe model train set).

Then it was gone!

Any help you could give on this matter would be gratefully appreciated.

This little train has been in the back of my mind since I first saw it and keeps re-surfacing at more frequent intervals, the older I get.

Best Regards - Vin.





December 15th 2010.

John Powell has provided some detail below that could possibly be related to Vin Mcbride's "phantom" train.



I have been looking through old magazine`s around 1956 to 1959
but so far have not come up with any reports as to what he saw that day passing through Rhyl. 

One of my friends who lived in Abergele, who I went spotting with many times, had told me in

the summer of 1956, that a Western class "Hall" had worked to Llandudno on a special in

connection with some golf tournament, but apart from that, I have no record of what Vin saw.

But I will carry on looking through these old mags.



December 16th 2010

Thanks for your help John.
Vin has replied to John's suggestion below.


Many thanks for the reply, your efforts are much appreciated. I think '56' might be a bit early for my memory to have
taken it in, but you never know!

It's the observation car that sticks out the most, not unlike the Brighton Belle GWR Style not the LNER Coronation Type (to streamlined)
and the Engine was a real old clunker, well past it's sell by date, an 1800's type thing I'm not sure that it didn't have a large
driving wheel, like what I now know to be a 'Dean Single' perhaps?
Pity I can't ask my dad, and my brother was too little too young to remember even going to Rhyl!


We were stood on the station platform with the train to Manchester approaching from our right, the 'Phantom train' approached
from the left on the facing platform heading in the general direction of Llandudno
and all points East.
 
Sorry I can't be of more help, but I've looked everywhere I can think of apart from - "All Hail" - The National Railway Museum at York.
But those kind of places tend to be filled with stuffed shirts and text book enthusiasts, the kind that can
quote chapter and verse of boiler pressures and the like.
A last resort perhaps?

Many thanks for you and John for your time and trouble, long may the quest continue, what's that they say about a burden shared?

And a Merry Christmas to You and Yours!

Regards - Vin






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November 20th 2010.

Jim Fenton has sent in the following report and photos of his trip on the first public open day at the
Moorland & City / Churnet Valley line.
The Cauldon Lowe branch, eight mile long standard gauge track, re-opened to passenger traffic after 85 years.


Went on the Moorland & City/Churnet Valley line's first public open day yesterday  (19/11/2010).

Absolutely awesome!! The visual & audial assault on the brain as we climbed 1:45 with the "Duke" at the front and an
8F banking was out of this world.

Listening to the different exhaust beats was ace. Attached are some  photos I managed, being severely hampered by steam, fog
and a rubbish camera! I hope it gives a taster.

If you go, get to a door on the r/h side as you leave Leekbrook Junction going to Caulden and have your camera ready!!!

Take some sort of protective glasses as well, as there tends to be a "lot of clag" in the air as you pound up to Ipstones summit!!

On our second trip up I got the last door immediately in front of the 8F banker (almost a footplate experience!!). Brilliant.

Also good pub at Cheddleton called the Bridge Inn (next to the canal), about 2 minutes walk from the station.

All in all a superb day out. I felt about 14 again!!!

 Jim Fenton.


The "dirty"exhaust of the "Duke" floats past the crisp, clean exhaust of 8F No. 48624 during one
of the brief sunny interludes.




Black Five No. 44767 "George Stephenson" being watered at Froghall in between running the shuttle service.



The "Duke" ascending Ipstones incline. The incline can be seen in the distance.



8F, 48624 acts as banker for 71000 "Duke of Gloucester" from Leekbrook junction up Ipstones incline
which has a maximum gradient of 1-in-45.




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November 2nd 2010.
Dave Wood and his son Ieuan Wood were at the East Lancs Railway on October 27th 2010, and they have
sent in a few great shots which are shown below.



A1 new build 60163 "Tornado" is seen below coming off the Heywood line entering Bury.





This great dramatic photo below is by Ieuan showing "Tornado" against a beautiful evening sky.




This black and white shot shows Black Five 45237 climbing Burrs.




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October 13th 2010.
The first article on this new page is a request, for a date or details to a collision at Menai Bridge, sent in by Vic Smith of York.
Any help would be appreciated.



The photograph below, was taken on a very wet Sunday lunchtime.
The result of a  head-on collision between a locomotive hauled Holyhead bound express and a
class 25 hauled ballast train from Llanfair P.G., taken at Menai Bridge between 1984 & 1989.

The ballast train had left an engineering possession, travelled over the Britannia Bridge
and was incorrectly running wrong line to Bangor, when the incident occurred.

It may have been crewed by Llandudno Junction staff.

 
After the collision, the passenger train set back into Bangor and then continued
forwards (wrong line working) past the derailment to Holyhead.
The injured passengers were taken to Bangor Hospital.

I did have a copy of the official enquiry but unfortunately it was lost during a house move.

Can anyone supply the date, loco numbers or any further details of this incident?

Vic Smith.

York.





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