Featuring the L.T. Catchpole and P.B. Whitehouse collections.
Opened in 1865 to link Bryneglwys Quarry with Tywyn, by 1950 the quarry was ‘worked out’ and its 2ft 3in gauge railway was barely able to function. However, 1951 saw the Talyllyn Railway become the FIRST preserved railway in the world. This programme relives the pre-preservation days through 20 minutes of 1938 to 1950 cine film, and personal memories of those days, and recalls challenges and successes of the preservation era.
Our opening section covers the years until 1950, when owner Sir Henry Hadyn Jones died. After considering the route, locomotives, passenger stock, and the workings of Bryneglwys Quarry, we return to Tywyn Wharf to witness wagons arriving by gravity with slate destined for the main line. Dai Jones, one of just two employees on the railway in 1950, talks about his first firing days and his family’s long association with the line – stories of gallant efforts to keep the service running include patching-up Talyllyn with oatmeal, and stopping Dolgoch when it had no brakes! Patrick Whitehouse’s colour cine of 1949, and B&W scenes of 1950 illustrate the desperate state of the railway.
Then came resurrection: Dai Jones and civil engineer John Bate lead us through over 40 years of preservation highlights, including getting the line up and running, mineral line track lifting, re-opening, the Corris engines arrive, derailments, overhaul for No 4, the arrival of the original No 5 and Douglas, overhauls for Talyllyn and Dolgoch, the army assist, Penrhyn coaches, live BBC coverage in 1957, a Giesl ejector for Edward Thomas, the Tea Van, Wharf rebuild, Centenary celebrations, Abergynolwyn’s new station, the Nant Gwernol extension, the Prince and Princess of Wales visit, and Tom Rolt into service.
We conclude with a trip up the line across seven decades, starting with steam ups at Pendre, in 1950 and 1993, before a trip along the 7¼-mile route from Tywyn Wharf to Nant Gwernol. Beyond Abergynolwyn, we visit Ty Dwr, the village incline and the streets of Abergynolwyn, where a horse-drawn railway once delivered coal, before watching Talyllyn pass through the winding house in 1938. Scenes of No 4 in Corris Railway livery at Nant Gwernol precede our return to Tywyn with Talyllyn, featuring more classic archive.
Produced by - Oakwood Video Library
Running time - 97 Minutes
Aspect Ratio - 4:3 (Colour/B&W)
EAN: 5 030095 100012 0
Released - 2015