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PGH's photographs of British Railways from c1960


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You think the views can't get any better and they just carry on. Wow, thanks for sharing. I really hope that you have got it sewn up so your lovley collection goes somewhere like the Kidderminster Railway museum when the time comes as so many wonderful archives like yours are split up via auctions and ebay.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some Hay and Brecon soon.

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The next 6 posts cover the Central Wales (or Heart of Wales Line as its now known) and the Mid Wales Lines.

 

In compiling this topic its been interesting to try and work out what I actually did when riding on some of these lines over 50 years ago, as I didn't make any notes and the photo taking was rather spasmodic.  The Mid Wales and Central Wales Lines were first covered with a school mate during 4-5 days of travel, presumably using one of the rover tickets then available, all done on a daily basis from home on the North Wales Coast.

The first day we travelled through Caernarfon - Afonwen - down the Cambrian Coast line to Dovey Junction - Moat Lane Junction, then down the Mid Wales Line, presumably all the way to Brecon, although for some reason I didn't take any photos there.  The few photos I did take on the Mid Wales were only blurry views from the train.  Return to North Wales would probably have been via Oswestry and Chester.

The second day we did Bala to Wrexham, the photos taken on that trip were covered in Post #49.  I haven't a clue how we got to Bala, presumably via Afonwen and Dolgelley, but the return would have been via Chester.

The third/fourth day we travelled to Shrewsbury, then by the Central Wales Line to Swansea (taking the few photos in this Post), up the valley lines to I've no idea where, except that we must have passed through Abercynon where I took a solitary photo, to Cardiff, then returned home overnight via Newport and Hereford, arriving back in North Wales on the morning of day 4.

The next day (day 5) it was down to Hereford and as far as Fawley on the Gloucester Line (the photos taken were in Post #30), but this was a solo trip as my mate must have had enough travelling by day 4.

 

The next trip covering these two lines was in October 1962, down the Central Wales Line from Craven Arms to Builth Road, then up the Mid Wales Line to Moat Lane Junction.  Quite a number of photos were taken on that trip.

 

The last trip was on Saturday 29th December 1962, which I believe was the last day of scheduled passenger services for the three remaining lines to Brecon (officially closed on 31st January).  We travelled overnight via Crewe and Shrewsbury, down the Central Wales Line, arriving at Builth Road in the early hours.  Then down the Mid Wales Line to Brecon; down the Newport Line as far as Pentir Rhiw; then returned north up the full length of the Mid Wales Line to Moat Lane Junction.

 

 

attachicon.gif9A.17B.jpg

 

I'm not sure of the merits of this view, but it's the Swansea train at Builth Road High Level Station.  On the left is the luggage lift down to the Mid Wales Line's Low Level Station with the footpath down alongside.  The bridge over the Mid Wales Line is just in front of the loco.  Above the footway in the distance is the small single road loco shed with steam visible from a loco standing outside.

 

 

attachicon.gif9A.19B.jpg

 

Crossing 48706 on a northbound goods train at Garth

 

 

attachicon.gif9A.20B.jpg

 

Llandovery Station with a variety of wagons in the yard - 3 steel 16T minerals, a van, a cattle wagon and a tank wagon

 

 

attachicon.gif9A.21B.jpg

 

I've no idea where this is, except it must be between Llandovery and Swansea, and where the Central Wales Line connected with a local service.  This negative was never printed so when I recently scanned these negatives it was the first time I'd seen this view since I took it over 50 years ago !

 

attachicon.gif9A.22B.jpg

 

5699 at Abercynon.  The disc above the front buffer with the lettering "C 02" might give a clue as to what it was doing there ?

 

First of all -  thanks for yet more excellent and evocative photographs (especially the mid-Wales ones).

 

Until recently, I had not really noticed these target boards or discs, but since the recent excellent article by D.K. Jones ('Abercynon Locomotive Depot and its Duties'; Jan 2014 Steam Days magazine), I have been keeping an eye out for them.  From Jones' article, Abercynon workings were 'J' prefixes, but checking through Derek Huntriss' 'The Heyday of Steam in South Wales', there is a photo of a pannier at Quaker Yard Low Level in 1964 on a down mineral with 'C13' on the disc, attributed to Cardiff Cathays.  In an earlier photo, another pannier leaves Nantgarw Colliery with 'H25' on its disc and this is attributed to Cardiff Canton.  Perhaps someone, somewhere, has compiled a list of all these reporting discs?

 

Regards,

 

Steve

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I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some Hay and Brecon soon.

 

Blandford - please un-cross your fingers, unfortunately I didn't do the Three Cocks Junction - Hay - Hereford line 

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The next 6 posts cover the Central Wales (or Heart of Wales Line as its now known) and the Mid Wales Lines.

 

In compiling this topic its been interesting to try and work out what I actually did when riding on some of these lines over 50 years ago, as I didn't make any notes and the photo taking was rather spasmodic.  The Mid Wales and Central Wales Lines were first covered with a school mate during 4-5 days of travel, presumably using one of the rover tickets then available, all done on a daily basis from home on the North Wales Coast.

The first day we travelled through Caernarfon - Afonwen - down the Cambrian Coast line to Dovey Junction - Moat Lane Junction, then down the Mid Wales Line, presumably all the way to Brecon, although for some reason I didn't take any photos there.  The few photos I did take on the Mid Wales were only blurry views from the train.  Return to North Wales would probably have been via Oswestry and Chester.

The second day we did Bala to Wrexham, the photos taken on that trip were covered in Post #49.  I haven't a clue how we got to Bala, presumably via Afonwen and Dolgelley, but the return would have been via Chester.

The third/fourth day we travelled to Shrewsbury, then by the Central Wales Line to Swansea (taking the few photos in this Post), up the valley lines to I've no idea where, except that we must have passed through Abercynon where I took a solitary photo, to Cardiff, then returned home overnight via Newport and Hereford, arriving back in North Wales on the morning of day 4.

The next day (day 5) it was down to Hereford and as far as Fawley on the Gloucester Line (the photos taken were in Post #30), but this was a solo trip as my mate must have had enough travelling by day 4.

 

The next trip covering these two lines was in October 1962, down the Central Wales Line from Craven Arms to Builth Road, then up the Mid Wales Line to Moat Lane Junction.  Quite a number of photos were taken on that trip.

 

The last trip was on Saturday 29th December 1962, which I believe was the last day of scheduled passenger services for the three remaining lines to Brecon (officially closed on 31st January).  We travelled overnight via Crewe and Shrewsbury, down the Central Wales Line, arriving at Builth Road in the early hours.  Then down the Mid Wales Line to Brecon; down the Newport Line as far as Pentir Rhiw; then returned north up the full length of the Mid Wales Line to Moat Lane Junction.

 

 

attachicon.gif9A.17B.jpg

 

I'm not sure of the merits of this view, but it's the Swansea train at Builth Road High Level Station.  On the left is the luggage lift down to the Mid Wales Line's Low Level Station with the footpath down alongside.  The bridge over the Mid Wales Line is just in front of the loco.  Above the footway in the distance is the small single road loco shed with steam visible from a loco standing outside.

 

 

attachicon.gif9A.19B.jpg

 

Crossing 48706 on a northbound goods train at Garth

 

 

attachicon.gif9A.20B.jpg

 

Llandovery Station with a variety of wagons in the yard - 3 steel 16T minerals, a van, a cattle wagon and a tank wagon

 

 

attachicon.gif9A.21B.jpg

 

I've no idea where this is, except it must be between Llandovery and Swansea, and where the Central Wales Line connected with a local service.  This negative was never printed so when I recently scanned these negatives it was the first time I'd seen this view since I took it over 50 years ago !

 

attachicon.gif9A.22B.jpg

 

5699 at Abercynon.  The disc above the front buffer with the lettering "C 02" might give a clue as to what it was doing there ?

 

9A.21B is LLandilo, "Junction for the Carmarthen line", and the local on the left is the Carmarthen train. Its route will pass through LLandilo Bridge, Golden Grove, Drysllwyn, LLanarthney Halt, Nantgaredig and Abergwili. For anyone lucky enough to have "Steam in South Wales - Volume 2 North and West of Swansea" by Michael Hale, Plate 114 shows the Carmarthen local awaiting its connection in the bay at LLandilo on 29/08/1959. The makeup of the train is fascinating and I have attempted a re-creation using N gauge RTR, probably not the topic for this thread.

 

Plates 108,109 and 110 show three of the stations on the former LNWR branch and Plate 115 shows the train from Shrewsbury arriving at LLandilo and about to make its connection with the branch train.

 

As has already been said, this is indeed a marvellous collection, and thanks for sharing it.

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I joined the trackbed just a bit further down from where you took your picture, but visibly missing is the road to Bala on the right.....Not yet built I presume.

The Bala - Trawsfwynydd road was built in the mid 70s, the bit from Trawsfynydd as far as Arenig was already a track but the rest was new. Driving along it you can easily follow the course of the branch line cut into the mountainside, the area is one of the most other-wordly in the British Isles. I would love to have been able to travel the line and am grateful to the OP for sharing these views (and yes, I love the GW branch train-plus-Presflo shot too!) 

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I love these photos. I have the video "Four Ways To Brecon" (B&R 111) which gives a wonderful idea of the nature of the mid-Wales and its services. These pictures just to add to that atmosphere.

 

I am just sad that I never got to travel on the lines in question.

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Mornin' all,

 

I have 4 excellent B&R DVDs for that part of the world:

 

No 94 Steam North of Swansea for the Central Wales line, Carmarthen to Aberystwyth inc. Newcastle Emlyn & Aberaeron

 

No 19 Steam on the Cambrian Whitchurch to Pwihelli/Aberystwyth, Ellesmere, Oswestry amongst others

 

Another vote for No 111 mentioned above

 

Also No 120 for The Forest of Dean & Vale of Neath

 

You can't go wrong with these...all excellent

 

Dave

Edited by Torr Giffard LSWR 1951-71
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  • 2 weeks later...

The next posts cover a rather mixed bag of photos in the Oswestry Area.

 

 

attachicon.gif0.11.38B.jpg

 

I didn't usually bother with main line trains, but this was prompted by the surprise of seeing an ex LMS loco on the Shrewsbury-Chester line, marking the transfer of the line to the London Midland Region.  45691 approaches Gobowen station on a Chester train in October 1962.

 

Hello.

 

I can't thank you enough for sharing these wonderful photographs with us. I think that the 'Jubilee' in the first image may, however, possibly be 45699 'Galatea', not 45691. 5699 was one of the Bristol Barrow Road allocation which were transferred to 89A Salop en bloc when, as you say, the area came under the jurisdiction of the LMR.

 

7428 worked the Bala line for a while before becoming the small pilot at Aberystwyth. Rumour has it that she was kept away from Swindon in case the continually-touched-up 'GWR' was painted over, and Aberystwyth and Oswestry between them carried out work on her which should really have been done at Swindon.

 

And as for Pant, well, when the Stanlow to Aberystwyth oil tank trains finished in the 1990s (I think), Shell road tankers thundered throught this little village. Progress, eh?

 

Thanks again,

 

BR(W).

Edited by BR(W)
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Just a quick thought but I remember plenty of LMR locos through Wrexham in the mid/late 50's.  Black 5's, 8F's and even the odd Jubilee.  No idea what the workings were - they just appeared and we wrote down the numbers!

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Hello.

 

I can't thank you enough for sharing these wonderful photographs with us. I think that the 'Jubilee' in the first image may, however, possibly be 45699 'Galatea', not 45691. 5699 was one of the Bristol Barrow Road allocation which were transferred to 89A Salop en bloc when, as you say, the area came under the jurisdiction of the LMR.

 

BR(W).

 

I've had a closer look at the neg, which is a bit grainy but it doesn't look like a "1" and it could well be a "9", so I guess you are correct.  For some reason I wrote 45691 on the back of the print done at the time.  

 

Thanks for the correction, caption duly amended.

Edited by PGH
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Thank you for posting the pictures of the condemned wagons at Llanymynech. Not many people seemed to take pictures of the freight stock back then, concentrating on the locos and passenger stock.

 

Condemned stock is often of interest because it shows a mix of vehicles that weren't normally seen together, sometimes in areas that they didn't normally work in.

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Hi again,

 

Another great set of photographs and all the more so, for featuring subjects that many simply did not bother to record.  Those final Blodwell Quarry images, would be a fantastic source for anyone contemplating a small industrial layout, ala' Chris Nevard.

Thanks again for these postings.

 

Steve N

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Stunning shots, So much good stuff from my neck of the woods. I must admit I am very tempted to shift allegience from Cambrian to GWR and model something of the Bala-Ffestiniog line. Bala station with it's interesting goods shed in particular! 

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