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20 August 2010
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Sunday 22 August Steam on the Coast. Railway Touring Company. The North Wales Coast Express. Liverpool - Holyhead
Wednesday 25 August Conwy Valley Steam: Railway Touring Company. The Welsh Mountaineer Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Thursday 26 August: talk by Larry Davies at Glasdir, Llanrwst - see item in main text.
28 - 30 August Corris Railway Model Railway and Toy Exhibition
Monday 30 August Excursion Compass Tours to DURHAM + optional add-on tour via Hartlepool to Newcastle (routes covered include Cumbrian Coast, Tyne Valley, ECML, Aire Valley & Hellifield to Carnforth) Picks up: Crewe, Hooton (after runnning round), Ellesmere Port, Frodsham, Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western, Preston, Lancaster & Carnforth This train is booked to feature D1015 Western Champion throughout.
Friday 3 September Clwyd Railway Circle Larry Davies: British Rail in 1987. In the first half of the show, Larry will present a variety of slides taken in 1987 of his travels that year. These include a Scottish Rover, when there was a variety of motive power that we would die for today. In the second half, 'Lost lines in North Wales' we are taken on a trip down memory lane from Prestatyn to Dyserth, Rhyl to Denbigh and Ruthin to Corwen.
10-12 September. Llangollen Railway Autumn Steam gala celebrating 175th anniversary of GWR and 35 years of Llangollen Railway reopening with expected return of 7822 Foxcote Manor after ten year boiler overhaul.
Monday 13 September Wrexham Railway Society Rocket 150: the Final Great Cavalcade of British Steam? Thirty years on from Rainhill 1980 a review of the celebrations of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway including a Super 8 colour film of the famous Cavalcade.
Tuesday 14 September. 8E Association Glynn Parry: Under, Up & Over. Merseyrail, Overhead & Snowdon – A Connection?
Tuesday 21 September North Wales Railway Circle Garry Hughes: Wartime Locomotives, courtesy of B & R Videos.
Friday 1 October Clwyd Railway Circle Edgar Richards: Freight in North Wales and the North West. A combined collection of slides taken by Dave Airey and our well respected speaker.
2-3 October. Llangollen Railway Diesel weekend. Intensive service by the mainline diesels supported by one of the railcars.
Sunday 3 October: The annual Tram and Bus show at Pacific Road Birkenhead
Monday 4 October: RCTS Port Sunlight Harry Madden: MERSEYSIDE TRANSPORT. A miscellany of trains, trams, buses and shipping from both sides of the River Mersey.
Tuesday 5 October North Wales Railway Circle David Lindsay: Statfold Barn Railway visit.
Monday 11 October. Wrexham Railway Society Preserved Steam on Video - the 2010 mainline steam action with PSOV.
Tuesday 12 October. 8E Association Charles Roberts (RCTS): 80s and 90s Irish Railways.
Saturday 16 October Llangollen Railway: Growler Group Members' Day. 6940 (37 240) will be making six return trips between Llangollen & Carrog. Tickets are available for non-members of the Group.
Monday 18 October RCTS Chester Tony Keeley: 50 YEARS BEHIND THE LENS. Tony’s presentation covers his career working for Beyer Peacock in South America and Europe through to the present day.
Tuesday 19 October North Wales Railway Circle Bill Rogerson :Sardinia Railways.
23-31 October. Llangollen Railway Day out with Thomas. the half term event featuring No.1.
29 - 31 October Merseyside Model Railway Society exhibition at the Pacific Road Arts Centre, Birkenhead. Trams will be in operation on the adjacent tramway.
See the Calendar page for more details.
57 309 Brains at Colwyn Bay station with the afternoon Holyhead - London train, Saturday 14 August (Darren Durrant)
The transaction now having been approved by the European authorities, the takeover of the Arriva by the Deutsche Bundesbahn (which is, of course, a nationalised railway!) will be officially completed on 27 August. Arriva shares will be de-listed from the London Stock Exchange and Arriva will become a wholly owned subsidiary of DB UK Holding Limited. There is no suggestion at the moment of any Arriva Trains Wales stock appearing in DB livery, or any other immediate drastic changes; DB are required to sell off the Arriva operations within Germany, which include some interesting diesel loco-hauled workings in Bavaria.
Merseyrail Electrics have applied for track access to run run a 15-minute frequency service 'between the peaks' Monday-Saturday between Liverpool and Chester in place of the current half-hourly service, from December 2010. These will be worked by the existing fleet of trains (all of which are now back from overhaul) and the application says 'It has been confirmed by the respective Train Planning Unit that sufficient capacity exists in platform 7 (the only one with electrified track) at Chester station to facilitate all the additional services' which is interesting, as that line has been used by excursion trains from time to time. The east end of the platform will still be available for use, but paths from the west, or use by longer trains, will surely be restricted if the change goes ahead. Alternate trains will not stop at Capenhurst.
175 011 is now out and about after its time at Alstom Longsight, with new seat covers and carpets, and what our contributor describes as a 'slapdash paint job.' Pictures of this unit are welcome.
A river taxi service has begun operation on weekends and bank holidays across the lower Conwy river 'for the first time in 180 years.' The fare is £3 between Conwy and Deganwy and vice versa. There are four ten-seater boats, and operators say one should reach callouts within five minutes, to stops at Conwy Town Quay, Conwy Marina, Conwy Beacons, Deganwy Beach and Deganwy Quay Marina. One of the boats is Stockport-based Robinson’s Brewery, whose sponsored boat, Old Tom, got a champagne launch at Deganwy Quay. To book a River Taxi call 07512 218003; does this offer any opportunities for train photographs?
The picture of the signalbox-like structure (2 August issue) raised several interesting replies from readers. It stands alongside the A470 road in the village of Llanelltyd, just north of Dolgellau. The picture above is from 'Google Streetview' and is a link to the online view. A picture can also be found on Geograph.
The house to which the building belongs, seen in the left background of the picture, had previously been the local schoolhouse, built in 1907. Converted to a house, it was named 'Curfew' by the owner, John Roberts, in view of the fact that the school bell had been used to toll curfew. Official records still refer to it as Yr Hen Ysgol - The Old School.
John Roberts blasted the rock out of the face at road level, and it was excavated to create a garage. Above this was constructed the 'signal box' which was a summerhouse, and used by the family to play music and to have gatherings of friends. His son Quentin Roberts, who grew up in the house, recalls: 'A local resident of Llanelltyd who was known to the family simply as "Parry" helped with the work. Parry was very handy with a shotgun and sold my father pheasants shot on our own land! We owned down to midstream of the Mawddach and Sir Robert Vaughan owned the other bank.'
Mr Roberts sold the house in 1940 to Guy Lee; the Lee family had some prominence in the area as is shown in various memorials in St. Illtyd's church.
Around 1951, 'Curfew' became the home of Kenneth Vincent Trubshaw (1876 - 1958), who, after a career as a surgeon in Chester, in 1930 became consultant surgeon to Dolgellau Hospital until he retired in 1939. 1940 directories show him living in Criccieth, but he was living at 'Curfew' when he died in 1958 aged 81; his widow continued to live there into the 1960s. His obituary in the British Medical Journal tells us that '... he enjoyed occupying himself in his workshop and garden. A skilled mechanic, his handling of all sorts of tools and instruments was exceptionally dexterous.'
His father, Alfred Trubshaw (1843-1911), born in Newcastle-under-Lyne, Staffordshire, worked as a 'surgeon and apothecary' in Mold, Flintshire. Alfred was the younger brother of none other than Charles Trubshaw (1841-1917), an architect who did much work for the LNWR and the Midland Railway. The 1861 census shows them living in Castle Church, Staffordshire with their mother Anna and their father, also Charles Trubshaw (1811-62), who was the the County Surveyor, as well as two other brothers and a sister, plus three boarders who, like Charles junior, were pupils of Charles senior, and a team of servants. Alfred is recorded as a 'medical pupil.'
The 'signalbox' has changed somewhat since Shane Conway took his picture in 1988: the tudor-style pattern on the upper panels has gone, and the garage doors have been replaced by a wall with windows, perhaps since 'Curfew' last changed hands in 2009. The current owner of the main house is a company specialising in residential care for adults with learning disabilities and/or mental health problems.
The railway from Dolgellau to Bala took a course well away from this location, on the other side of the Mawddach river. Thanks are due to everyone who contacted us about this interesting building, especially one-time resident Quentin Roberts who kindly corrected our earlier speculations.
Tea Time Lecture at Glasdir
The summer programme at the Glasdir Conference venue in Llanrwst includes on Thursday 26 August a talk on the Conwy Valley Railway by our contributor, and community rail officer, Larry Davies. The time is 5.30pm - 6.30pm and admission is £4. Booking is advisable: 01492 640640.
Ribblehead to Chirk timber
We previously mentioned the possibility of a trial train working from Ribblehead-Chirk, and this occurred on 13 August with 47 739 Robin of Templecombe working 6Z41 Ribblehead-Chirk. The train arrived exactly on time at 23:56! We think this was the first visit of a Class 47 to the Kronospan Plant.
Above, 47 739 stands in the yard in almost total darkness! One can just see in front of the 47 the area which is being prepared for the new siding as was seen in George Jones's photos last week. There used to be a tower with a floodlight here. Now that is gone, the only light is from the loco headlights and vehicles in the yard! (Mark Riley)
The train is is unloaded. Mark Riley writes: 'I used a high ISO, wide aperture and the fastest shutter speed realistically possible - 1.6 secs (well there was hardly any lighting!) - to try and freeze the grab lifting the logs from the wagon. Although the image is a bit grainy despite noise reduction, it shows what modern cameras are capable of.'
The following day, 14 August, and the emptied train approaches Gobowen at 14:14 (Stavros Lainas)
In brighter conditions, after runnning round at Gobowen, the train passes Dunham-on-the Hill at 16.02 heading for Warrington. (Stavros Lainas) The curious white thing on the front is a ram, apparently. Why, we wonder...
Colwyn Bay scenes
37 601 and 37 604 with a rake of 3x FNA flask wagons pass Colwyn Bay station on the 6K41 Valley - Crewe flasks, 13 August (Stéphanie Durrant)
57 309 emerges from the foliage at Colwyn Bay on 14 August (Darren Durrant)
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