published the photo-book above in 2010, through Ian Allen Publishing,
Steam Trails - North Wales.
This web page displays
the photographs in the book showing the Llandudno Junction interest.
I am grateful to
Michael for allowing me to publish these superb,
unpublished, records of the Junction.
Michael was fortunate
in having a father who, in addition to passing on his enthusiasm for
railways, also passed on his realisation
that the late 50's scene was changing so fast that he set out to record
these changes on cine film and on photographs throughout the UK
and also, luckily for local enthusiasts, the North Wales area including
Michael was also
fortunate in that his father included the young Michael on these trips
who also took photographic records
of these changing scenes and who maintains his interest in railways to
this day, as can be seen from his website.
Much of the
photographic records made centred around Wales as Michael's paternal
grandparents rented a holiday bungalow, twice a year,
in the Harlech area from the mid-1950's onwards, so the family had
ample opportunity to explore our area.
Sadly Michael's father, C.N. 'Jim' Clemens, passed away in 1987 aged
only 65, having left wonderful unique memories
of the changing railway scene from the late 50's until the end of steam
for many future generations to enjoy.
Michael and his father
were joined by 'Jim's' pals, Dennis Bath and Alan Maund on these
jaunts and in fact Michael tells me that he and his father had
problems with their shots around Llandudno Junction and the ones
shown below were taken by Dennis and Alan.
The publication that
the following photos are taken from is a superb record of the 'Glorious
Years' in the Wales area and is a recommended
read for anyone with an interest in the steam days.
As readers will see when visiting the Michael Clemens website there is
so much more detail including free
downloadable sound bites and video clips plus a vast range of
VHS video and DVD discs at reasonable cost.
COMPILED AND EDITED BY GEOFF POOLE
No. 73045 arrives hauling the 11- coach Summer Saturdays-only 9.15am
through train from
Cresswell, south-east of Stoke-on-Trent.
Although visually quite different from the famous Stanier 'Black Fives'
of the LMS, these British Railways-built locomotives were a development
No. 73045 is coupled to the first design of BR tender, with an inset
coal bunker; these proved to be excessively draughty in service which
one of the reasons why different tender designs were built in later
Although steam working declined at Llandudno Junction once the summer
Saturday workings finished in 1966, No. 73045 carried on operating from
shed (9H) for another year. By November 1966 the entire remaining stock
of LMR Standard Class 5s -- 52 locomotives -- was concentrated at Just
and Patricroft depots.
Facing east at Llandudno Junction on August 20th 1966 is Standard Class
5 No. 73073 with the 11.40am Llandudno - Manchester service.
Here the tender is one of the later type, the BR1C which overcame the
draughts associated with the original design, as well as having larger
and coal capacities, but at the expense of poorer rearward vision.
Also at Llandudno Junction on August 20th 1966 is 'Black Five' No.
45001, missing it's shedplate. behind to the left are the carriage
sheds and to
the extreme right can be glimpsed the coaling stage and the tracks
leading to the engine shed.
The London & North Western Railway opened the engine shed in 1899
and, coded 6G, it closed on October 3rd 1966; the final locomotive to
the shed had been No. 45050 on Saturday October 1st and can be
seen on the 'FINAL
However the carriage sheds took on the role as a depot in the diesel
era, but were finally demolished in 2000; today the site is occupied by
a multiplex cinema.
A new road has been built on the site of the steam depot named Ffordd
6G (6G Road) in honour of it's railway history.
Here is another view towards the carriage sheds at Llandudno Junction,
this time on June 15th 1966 as Stanier 'Black Five' No. 45042, one of
early versions of the class with a domeless boiler, shunts the
As previously mentioned, after the demise of steam the carriage sheds
took over the servicing role, and a notable event occurred on July 9th
Prince Charles and Princess Diana were touring Clwyd and the Royal
Train was serviced here before running empty stock to Rhyl.
Also both of the three-car prototype Class 151 'Sprinter' DMUs, built
by Metro-Cammell in the mid-1980s, were stored here after withdrawal.
On August 20th 1966 photographer Dennis bath visited Llandudno Junction
to observe the still mainly steam-hauled Summer Saturday workings.
Having travelled by car from Worcester , he left Chester at 10.23am
behind Stanier 'Black Five' No. 45001 on the seven coach through
train from Nuneaton (depart 8.18am) to Llandudno; having arrived at the
Junction at 11.27am the train is seen pulling away for the short trip
No. 45001 was the second of the class to be built at Crewe in 1935 and
is still running here with a domeless boiler.
Eventually 842 of the class were built, but as boilers took longer to
repair than the rest of the locomotive, 903 boilers were constructed to
ensure a float of spares.
'Britannia' Pacific No. 70026 Polar Star is backing off 6G shed at
12.30pm on Saturday August 20th 1966 before running light engine to
Llandudno to take up the 1.15pm service to Manchester.
On Sunday November 20th 1955 No.70026 was involved in a serious
accident while working an excursion from South Wales to London
Near Didcot the excursion was diverted to a loop line because of
engineering work; the crossover had a 10mph limit; but the engine took
it at 50mph.
The locomotive overturned and fell down an 18ft embankment, 10 people
were killed; Polar Star did not return to service until July 14th 1956.
As a result of this accident modifications were introduced to improve
Six rectangular cut-outs were made in the smoke deflectors and the
ejector exhaust was lowered; This can be seen at the rear of the smoke
deflector and was previously on the same line as the trunking along the
side of the boiler.
Under the water tower at the west end the Junction was a fire-devil in
which a coal fire was kept alight to stop the water in the tower from
As the date of this picture of Stanier 'Black Five' No. 45279 is again
August 20th 1966
and the steam depot was to close at the beginning of October it
seems unlikely that the 'fire-devil' would see further use.
However steam worked a return Llandudno-Manchester service until
December 30th 1966,and at least three steam locomotives were noted in
the area on
February 18th 1967, according to the RCTS Railway Observer.
Note the unusual signal -- the small subsidiary arm is a 'calling-on'
signal - and the whole assembly is kept stable with strong guy wires.
Only visible when the 'calling-on ' signal is off, as here, is the
letter 'C' indicating that the section ahead is occupied;
this applied on 'permissive block' lines, in station areas and
other special locations.
The following view west from Llandudno Junction on August 20th 1966,
with Stanier 'Black Five' No. 45405 heading through the station
with an express freight, it's headlamp code indicating that the
automatic brake is operative on not less than 50% of the vehicles.
No. 45405 was a Holyhead (6J) locomotive at this time, and the train
seems to be made up of demountable containers
on their way from Holyhead. The specialised container flat wagons --
'Conflats' -- were built from the 1930s, and at nationalisation BR
inherited about 20,000 of them. Construction continued apace, and by
the end of the 1950s more than 50,000 were in stock, many having
been built at Swindon and Wolverton Works.
From 1858 when the branch to Llandudno was opened, the original
Llandudno Junction station was located near the rear;
The current station opened in 1897.
having spent two hours at 6G on August 20th 1966 the photographer
returned to Chester on this train, the 1.15pm
Llandudno-Manchester, showing reporting code 1C77.
It is seen here arriving behind 'Britannia' Pacific No. 70026 Polar
Star which by this time had lost it's nameplate, the
name being painted on instead;
Some bright spark has added the name 'Dancing Dervish' and the word
'Dancing' appears also on the running plate.
Polar Star looks quite clean in it's 'economy' green livery with no
lining, presumably applied during a visit to Crewe Works for
a light casual repair between the 3rd and 26th November 1965.
No. 70026 was allocated to Stockport Edgeley (9B) at this time and was
not one of the many 'Brits' that
migrated to a final home at Carlisle; withdrawn from Stockport on
January 14th 1967, it was sold to
Cashmore's of Newport, South Wales, for cutting up on April 14th 1967.