Weekly Exhibit

This Sunday marked the anniversary of the opening of the Nant Gwernol Extension on the Talyllyn Railway on 22nd May 1976. One of the issues that needed to be addressed was the fact that the original 1865 Act, only covered the line to a point just East of Abergynolwyn Station. To cover the line from the end of the Statutory Railway to Nant Gwernol, an application was made for a light railway order which was granted fifty years ago in 1972. The Light Railway Order is shown below, and our post from last year, the 45th anniversary, shows other items connected with the opening.

Weekly Exhibit

Continuing the theme of timetables, the Talyllyn Railway started the world’s first preserved railway passenger service on 14th May 1951. The date chosen was Whit Monday, a public bank holiday at the time. Whit Monday falls seven weeks after Easter, so 70 years ago services started on 2nd June. The timetable shows the service of two trains a day, with an evening train on Wednesdays and weekdays in high summer.

By 1964, Easter train services were operated, continuing with a Friday only service until Whit weekend.

Weekly Exhibit

One of our larger exhibits, currently out on loan, is metre gauge locomotive L. Corpet and Cie. of Paris No. 493 of 1888, “Cambrai”. The locomotive worked at Waltham Ironstone Quarry in Leicestershire, which unusually had a metre gauge railway, whilst others in the area were 3ft gauge. The railway was used from 1885 to 1958.

The photograph shows “Cambrai” outside the original museum, shortly after repainting in the early 1960s. The locomotive is currently on display at Irchester Narrow Gauge Railway Museum.

Weekly Exhibit

An advertising handbill for the Manx Electric Railway, unfortunately undated. Frank Edmondson was the manager from 1908 to 1936.

Weekly Exhibit

Those of you following the weekly working party news will have seen that we have updated the display of our fish-belly rails. We currently have two on display. One from the private Belvoir Castle Tramway, and a replica shown here from the Mansfield and Pinxton Railway.

The Mansfield and Pinxton Railway was built in 1819 to a gauge of 4ft 4½in and connected Mansfield with the Cromford Canal at Pinxton. The line was purchased by the Midland Railway in 1847, and converted to standard gauge, and is still in use.

The rail was cast to celebrate the bi-centenary of the railway and exhibited at an exhibition in Mansfield to mark the event.

Weekly Exhibit

A representative of one of the lesser known railway systems. The Porthywaen Lime Quarry opened in the 1800s, and was one of several industries based to the south of Oswestry. The Steetley Lime and Basic Co took over the quarry in 1932 and expanded the output from Porthywaen. New plant was installed including a 4ft gauge railway into the Whitehaven Quarry.

Bagnall locomotive 2466 of 1932, which was built for the 4ft gauge railway, had a fairly short life as by the early 1950s, the line was abandoned in favour of dumper trucks.

Weekly Exhibit

The museum is delighted to host an exhibition of artwork produced to commemorate the granting of UNESCO World Heritage Status to the Slate Landscape of North West Wales. Our designated area listing in the south of Gwynedd includes Bryneglwys Slate Quarry, Abergynolwyn Village and the Talyllyn Railway.

The exhibition includes an impressive artwork created by pupils of six secondary schools in Gwynedd, including Tywyn, under the guidance of the artist Catrin Williams. The work was commissioned as part of the Llechi project and financed by the National Lottery Heritage fund and Creative Gwynedd.

The exhibition runs until 13th May, when it will then move to another of the six designated areas.

Weekly Exhibit

The 2nd anniversary of the start of the 2020 COVID lockdown, and six month temporary closure of the museum falls this Friday. With no other activity possible, this series of weekly exhibit posts was started.

So this week, two anniversary items in our collection. In 2006, we achieved the 50th anniversary of the museum, and two plaques were unveiled. The first marks the event, and the second commemorates those original founders of the museum.