Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

21 October 2013

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Forthcoming events

This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page. For the current list visit our Calendar.

October 2013

Thursday 24 October  Locomotive Club of Great Britain  Noel Coates "The L&YR in B R Days"

Friday 25 October Great Western Society North West Branch The Corris Railway by David Coleman.

Saturday 26 October. Birkenhead Docks cruise. (see main text).

26-27 October  Llangollen Railway Days Out with Thomas

Wednesday, 30 October   Ffestiniog Railway Society Dee & Mersey Group Birkenhead Tramways & The Wirral Tramway by Rob Jones

Thursday 31 October  Llangollen Railway Ghost Train evening

Thursday 31 October  Richard Sant  Merseyside Railway History Group 'Building the new Patriot engine'

November 2013

Friday 1 November   Clwyd Railway Circle  Paul Davies   'The Buckley Railway and the Industries it served' The talk celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the railway.     

Saturday 2 November  Llangollen Railway Murder Mystery evening

Saturday 2 November  Wirral '0 Gauge' Group Open Day,  Unit 7, The Odyssey Centre, Corporation Road, Birkenhead  CH41 1HB British model trains running 13:00 to 17:00. Admission £2 - ample free parking. Nearest Station Birkenhead Park. Contact 0151 653 0637 or j.elliott37[at] for more information. 

Sunday 3 November Llangollen Railway Ride the Rocket evening

Friday 8 November  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society FREIGHT AROUND THE WORLD by John Ryan. Presentation is 90% steam

9-10 November Llangollen Railway Remembrance Weekend

Monday 11 November   Wrexham Railway Society. John Fry, North West Electrification, speaking on the electrification of a large number of secondary lines in the Northwest these and the forthcoming initial phase of the work across Chat Moss in particular.

Thursday 14 November Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society AGM 'American Wanderings Part 1' Gordon Davies

Monday 18 November  RCTS Merseyside, Chester & North Wales ‘Circular tour of North Wales from 1966 to 1980’ by John Hobbs. 

Thursday 21 November Locomotive Club of Great Britain  Steve Fort "Carlisle to Crewe " - mainly steam scenes

Wednesday, 27 November   Ffestiniog Railway Society Dee & Mersey Group George England Locomotives, by Chris Jones

Thursday 28 November  Geoff Morris   Merseyside Railway History Group 'The Many Varied Railways of Australia'

Friday 29 November  Great Western Society North West Branch Railways of the Iberian Peninsula, by Barry Rushton.

Saturday 30 November Llangollen Railway Santa Specials

December 2013

1 December Llangollen Railway Santa Specials

Friday 6 December   Clwyd Railway Circle   'Members Night & Christmas Celebration' 
Members are invited to give a 15/20 minute presentation of their choice (any format). This will be interrupted by festive treats (all high calories). Members must book their slot no later than 16th November by telephoning David Jones.

7-8 December Llangollen Railway Santa Specials

7 December Llangollen Railway Real Ale Train evening

Monday 9  December    Wrexham Railway Society. Stephen Gay, Railways in a Yorkshire Landscape,  from Sheffield, he specialises in researching and photographing railways, particularly the old lines and former features alongside current routes all over Britain by walking along them in the company of his dog.  He is a Yorkshireman and his presentation will be based on his home county, including the beautiful Settle to Carlisle line.

Thursday 12 December  Merseyside Railway History Group Geoff Coward 'Europe & The Old Buffers'

Thursday 12 December Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Xmas Social/ 'All Change at the Junction'  Local Speakers                   

Friday 13 December  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society STEAM SHEDS ACROSS THE YEARS By John Sloane

14-15 December Llangollen Railway Santa Specials

Monday 16 December  RCTS Merseyside, Chester & North Wales ‘Early Days’ by David Maidment, Formerly Operations Manager BR London Midland Region David  presents his early days at Swindon and commuting on the Southern and around the UK in the early 60s

Thursday 19 December Locomotive Club of Great Britain  John Ryan "Various Gauges in France and Spain 1966 to 1973"

20-24 December Llangollen Railway Santa Specials

26-31 December  Llangollen Railway Mince Pie Specials.

January 2014

1 January 2014 Llangollen Railway Mince Pie Specials.

Friday 3 January   Clwyd Railway Circle  David Rapson  'Wrexham to Bidston Line' A history of the route illustrated with pictures covering the last 70 years.

Thursday 9 January  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'From a Driver’s point of view' Dave Trains

Friday 10 January  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society HISTORY OF BOLTON TRAMWAYS by Derek Shepherd (Vice-Chairman, Heaton Park Tramway)

Monday 13 January   Wrexham Railway Society. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND RAIL REVIEW ENTERTAINMENT Annual General Meeting will be followed by various  members’ own presentations.

Monday 20 January  RCTS Merseyside, Chester & North Wales BRANCH A.G.M  Followed by Alan Donaldson ‘Around Britain 1983 to 2010’

Thursday 30 January  Merseyside Railway History Group   David Rapson 'Seacombe to Wrexham'

February 2014

Friday 7 February    Clwyd Railway Circle   Brian Bollington & Peter Hanahoe  'Polish Steam' The presentation is a mix of slide shows and video showing steam on the national network, including shed scenes, taken in the 1990’s.  

Monday 10 February   Wrexham Railway Society. Fred Kirk,  A Scottish Trip 60 Years On. The results of  a week long trip to Scotland, shed bashing previously not seen, black and white images of long gone shed scenes, Princes Street station etc.

Thursday 13 February  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'A short history of Crosville & my time with it' Clive Myers                        
Friday 14 February  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society A JOURNEY FROM MANCHESTER TO EASTLEIGH WORKS IN 1910 By Mike Hayward (Secretary, Manchester Locomotive Society)

Monday 17 February  RCTS Merseyside, Chester & North Wales Barry Shore ‘BR freight in the post steam era 1967 to 1979’

Thursday 20 February Locomotive Club of Great Britain  John Sloane "BR Scenes from the 60s”
Thursday 27 February  Merseyside Railway History Group Allan Lewis 'Union Pacific Steam'

March 2014

Friday 7 March    Clwyd Railway Circle    The Committee & David Southern AGM followed by the talk 'Railways of the Wirral'    After the formality is over, we can look forward to Dave sharing his railway experiences of 60 years living on the Wirral.

Monday 10 March   Wrexham Railway Society. Geoff Morris- Railways of New Zealand a digital presentation based on two steam-hauled trips around New Zealand in 2011 & 2012 including both preservation activities and the rapidly-changing current railway scene on the other side of the world.

Thursday 13 March Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'The Dinorwic Quarry Railway & its locomotives' Eric Lander

Monday 17 March  RCTS Merseyside, Chester & North Wales ‘The Ugly Duckling’: Bob Casselden looks at the transformation of B.R.’s ‘Other Provincial Services’ via ‘Regional Railways’ into today’s privatised railways
Friday 14 March  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society A Selection of Doug Darby's UK PHOTOGRAPHS by Paul Shackcloth (Photographic Officer, Manchester Locomotive Society)

Thursday 23 January Locomotive Club of Great Britain  Neville Bond “From Sea to Shining Sea” 30 years of North American scenes

Thursday 20 March Locomotive Club of Great Britain  Dr Michael Bailey "The Manchester Ship Canal Railway"

Thursday 27 March  Merseyside Railway History Group AGM & Members Slides

April 2014

Friday 4 April    Clwyd Railway Circle   Ron Watson-Jones   'The Irish Mail Train Crash at Penmaenmawr Aug 1950' Ron’s account of the accident on 27th August 1950.

Thursday 10 April Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'Welsh Wanderings in the 1980’s & 90’s' Geoff Morris   

Thursday 10 April  Merseyside Railway History Group Ted Lloyd 'Quiz and informal evening'

Friday 11 April  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society Slides from the Manchester locomotive society collection by David Young.  Mainly steam locomotives taken 1950s and 1960s

Monday 14 April   Wrexham Railway Society. Jon Penn.   Railway Pictures From the  1960’s –scanned black and white negatives and vintage colour slides, favouring the Cheshire and surrounding areas.

Monday 28 April RCTS Merseyside, Chester & North Wales ‘South of the Border steam in the 50s and 60s’ by David Kelso, David travels from Kent to present a follow up to his  earlier North of the border presentation, including a period when he was resident in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Thursday 17 April Locomotive Club of Great Britain  Norman Matthews "Steam in Central America"

May 2014
Thursday 8 May Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'The Deganwy Dock Story' Eric Smith

Thursday 15 May Locomotive Club of Great Britain  AGM and Members/Visitors Slides & Digital Photos.

47 805 John Scott 12-5-45 to 22-5-12 on the rear of the 'Northern Belle' passing Wrexham on 18 October. Picture by George Jones.

Ringo (not Starkey)

Ken Robinson writes: John Hobbs' photos, especially 80097 at Criccieth with 'Ringo Special' on the smokebox (last issue) made me think about a railwayman from Machynlleth by the (nick) name of Ringo, could he have been this one? However I do remember Ringo as a Guard and Chargeman at Machynlleth but he could have been a fireman early on in his railway career? My photograph of 76079 after arrival at Pwllheli in 2008 shows it adorned with references to 'Ringo's' 60th birthday - is he the same one I wonder? (He'd be 16 years old in 1964.) If I remember correctly he was given a footplate ride on 76079 that day and was sweating like mad!

Runcorn East celebrates - report by John Hobbs

The 30th anniversary events at Runcorn East on Friday went well with the Lady Mayor, Councillors and Council Officials etc in attendance. The Railway Chaplain oversaw events while the Salvation Army provided a bugler, and the British Legion a Colour Party. The seeds were broadcast in the flower beds and a prayer of dedication made over the garden before we all went to the Murdishaw Community Centre for cake, tea and speeches.

In the picture above, Kerry Ramsbottom from Halton Borough Council & John Hobbs from the North Cheshire Rail Users Group cut the cake at Murdishaw Community Centre, near Runcorn East Station. The miniature railway failed to materialise due to ill health, and logistic and financial problems caused a failure to procure a Crosville bus.
If you anyone should find themselves at Runcorn East, it's worth a walk to the Murdishaw Community Centre, on the car parking side of the station turn right; go up the hill the centre is on the left after 300 yards or so. Breakfast is available and other items, tea etc., all at great prices.

Runcorn East station has had over 200 hours of work undertaken in the last three weeks by the Probation Service - Community Payback Scheme, the North Cheshire Rail Users Group and Arriva Trains Wales. As a result it currently looks fantastic. A programme of Environmental and Social Interaction is proposed over the next five years and should lead to an even better environment for passengers.

Ruabon views - by Martin Evans

On a dull and misty 18 October (above) 47 810 Peter Bath MBE leads a 'Northern Belle' from Swansea to Chester through Ruabon...

... with 47 805 John Scott on the rear.

On the same day,  66 176 powering through Ruabon with the evening steel coils to Shotton.

The Birkenhead Docker

A Birkenhead Docks cruise is on offer for Saturday 26 October, as organised by the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society. A Mersey Ferry will depart from the Duke Street bridge, after participants have been brought round by bus from Seacombe Ferry commencing 11:30. After the cruise of the dock system ferry will exit into the Mersey for two hour river cruise which will terminate at Seacombe at 15:30. Cost £27 - booking via 0151-330 1444.

Tender at The Junction - by John Wilkinson

I recently found these pictures I too at Llandudno Junction in the summer of 1976. This tender was originally parked for many years at the bottom of the siding below the entrance to the Conwy Castle rail bridge on the Junction side of the river. I was amazed to see it had been moved for cutting up in the summer of 1976.

 For some reason it was never offered for preservation and was cut up the following week I was there. (The actual date I do not have.) The tender is a standard Stanier tender fitted to Black 5, 'Jubilee', 'Royal Scot' or 8F 2-8-0. 

An interesting thing I noticed was the old BR logo can be seen under the later one and I was sure it was a maroon colour under the weathered black, but this could have been an undercoat I suppose. Do readers have any ideas why it was dumped originally, which loco it came from and why?

Oliver Cromwell in Chester - pictures by Roly High

On 19 October 'Britannia' pacific 70013 Oliver Cromwell worked into Chester (above)  with an excursion which has started at Cleethorpes at 06:05.

At a stand in platform 4. The station management have wisely taken precautions against anyone hoping to sneak down the ramp.

With no diesel loco on hand, 'Oliver' had to do his own shunting. Above, the coaches have been moved to the sidings and the loco and support coach head for the triangle of lines west of the station to turn ready for the return trip.

Now on the connecting chord line, out of sight behind the tree behind the trees, as
it waits for 175 102 to enter the station with the 11:44  Llandudno to Manchester Piccadilly.

The turning move completed ....

... meanwhile, even with the sign saying 'clearance' on the wall of a local store,the driver of the wagon with its load of coal for the tender, finds the entrance to Alstom's yard a tight turn.

Coaling in progress outside the Alstom Class 175 depot.

Past Times with John Hobbs - One, Two, Three

LMS class 5 4-6-0, 45316,  leaves Prestatyn with 1T50, the Sundays Manchester (Exchange) to Llandudno excursion which gave many Mancunians an early season trip to the seaside; this is a rather damp 26 April 1964.

Two:  LMS class 8F 48181 heads "Down"  the coast, on freight, while LMS Class 5 4-6-0 45111 heads "Up" with the 12.10 Bangor to Manchester(Exchange) on 4th May 1964, at Rockcliffe Hall; the old Connahs Quay Power Station of the late-lamented Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) looms in the background.

Three: a trio of LMS Class 5 4-6-0s at Prestatyn. 45184 is just leaving Platform 1 with the morning 'Down' parcels service, 45270 is coasting to a halt with the Dyserth Goods (before setting back across all the roads), on the 'Up' slow;  while 45277 is on the 'Up' fast with 1X74, a special. All on Saturday 12 September 1964.

Thomas in Europe

After a very successful series of 'Days Out With Thomas at Llangollen' during August the star of the show set off via the Harwich - Hook ferry on a Continental visit. After a successful repeat visit (30 August - 1 September) to the railway Haarksbergen - Boekelo line in the Twente region of The Netherlands where he has his own website, the famous engine No.1 was transported to the Stoom Centrum Maldegem near Bruges. Appearances on Belgian regional television ensured a record crowd turned out to see Thomas perform in a set piece demonstration. Mike Pearce, the owner of the Llangollen based Thomas, travelled out to Belgium to be with the famous engine and was very impressed with the reception he was awarded by the Belgian railway volunteers.

Later in September the engine moved on to Spontin in the province of Namur in southern Belgium where it was a guest on 14-15 September at the Chemin de Fer di Bocq, a line which is being restored by volunteers as a tourist railway in the very rural setting of the Walloon Region. Although the region is less populated then the Bruges area, many fans were attracted to see the famous engine in action here too.

Back in Britain, he performed at the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway (21-22 September), the Kent and East Sussex (28-29 September), and the Spa Valley Railway (5/6 and 12/13 October) arriving back at Llangollen on 18 October for a check-over in time for the 'Days Out with Thomas' on 19-20 October.  There are two more Llangollen  'Days Out' on 26 and 27 October. Thomas now has a new, smaller, face (above) as issued by the copyright holders. To fit it to the smokebox a new collar was required.

The two-day event on 19-20 October attracted good attendances despite the wet weather. As always, support came from a 50-mile radius catchment area and some from even further afield, including Ireland and visitors from Switzerland, Denmark, Germany and Gibraltar. There a surprise visitor when 'George the steamroller' (above) turned up on Saturday while appearing in Llangollen. NX 3974 is a 1923-built Fowler machine

Ffestiniog '1863 weekend' views: a second helping

Replicating a 1930s era Welsh Highland service, Prince heads through the Aberglaslyn Pass with the 11:30 Beddgelert-Porthmadog on Friday 11 October (Ian Pilkington).

With late afternoon sun on the Moelwyns, the same combination leaves Pont Croesor with the 17:00 Beddgelert-Porthmadog, Friday 11 October (Ian Pilkington).

arrives at Minffordd with slate empties on Saturday 12 October (Ian Pilkington).

The 'Boat' in sailing mode gets a helping hand away from Boston Lodge, Saturday 12 October (Ian Pilkington).

The two cosmetically-restored George England-built locomotives at Porthmadog; Welsh Pony, now subject to an appeal for restoration to running order, and Princess with a display of superbly
restored quarrymen’s carriages. Saturday 12 October (Ian Pilkington).

Handing in the single-line staff at Minffordd, 12 October (Peter Basterfield).

The gravity-powered train of slate wagons, as use in pre-locomotive days on the Ffestiniog, rolls through Tan-Y-Bwlch, 12 October (Peter Basterfield).

This artwork by Malcolm Rose is based on a picture of Merddin Emrys at Porthmadog on 12 October.

Rail Head Treatment Train scenes

The Rail Head Treatment Train passes Sandycroft on 17 October, with 97 302. The high-pressure water jets to clean the rail heads don't seem to be working (Tim Rogers).

Ther are working at Colwyn Bay on 19 October, with 97 302 leading, running 84 minutes early ...

... and 97 303 trailing. 175 113 looks on while calling with the 09:50 Manchester - Holyhead (both: Darren Durrant).

Chester (Roly High). The coating of dirt on the yellow livery is developing nicely.

On 21 August, the train headed down the coast with 97 302 alone, minus tail-end loco, seen at Bangor by Alan Crawshaw.

Mystery painting

We've received an email from a Mrs Schofield, who writes: 'We have an old painting of a mystery mountain, a small village with a church and a railway. Our family has many links with Wales and we think it depicts what could be a scene in front of Snowdonia. I have been searching on the internet and only guessing the location of the picture from similar images. I wondered if your extensive knowledge of the railway may shed some light on the scene.

'The key clues:- (1) an old steam train - detail view above - with two covered front carriages and what appear to be four other non windowed carriages. Possibly freight. I looked this up and the early trains had canvas covered carriages behind the front ones, so that is possible and would date the painting. (2) the railway bridge over water.

'(3) the small village with a church. Of course this might be a huge town by now. (4) the mountain shape. There cannot be many mountains with a train in front at that sort of time.'

So what do our readers think? Any thoughts are welcome and will be passed on.

Class 37 Farewell, May 2000 - pictures by Ian Bowland

The item about the use of 37 612 and 37 038 on the Radio Survey train prompts Ian Bowland to remind us that these were two of the locomotives used on First North Western's 'Class 37 Farewell' celebration weekend of 21-22 May 2000, which saw pairs of 37s reach various extremities of the FNW network. Above, on the Saturday, 37 612 stands at Llandudno Junction in the rain: this pair took the train to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Back at Llandudno Junction ...

... and arrived at Holyhead.

The next day's tour started at Crewe and covered north-west England and featured 37 038, still in tatty BR 'Dutch' engineers' livery, and 37 029.

Ready for departure at Crewe.

Preston. FNW manager Tim Brawn and colleagues did a fine job in organising this weekend, with the blessing of Managing Director David Franks, who in 2013 is in the top job at Irish Rail, and encouragement from  railway journalist Tony Miles.

Blackpool North...

... and Southport. For a detailed report of the weekend, see Ian Bowland's website. Ian is one of the small band of 'early adopters' of the North Wales Coast site without whom we would not be here today...

Barmouth bridge from the Mawddach Trail, 16 October (Ian Wright).

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