South Wales

Wednesday 8th May 2019

‘The Railways of Glamorgan and the Valleys’.

Stuart Warr

Our May meeting coincided with the local Radyr & Morganstown Festival and the subject of the illustrated talk by our Branch Secretary, Stuart Warr was ‘The Railways of Glamorgan and the Valleys’. Stuart chose to confine his presentation to the area marketed by the former British Rail as ‘Cardiff Valleys’ starting and ending at the station nearest to our meeting place, Radyr.

The hypothetical journey covered the valley lines to Treherbert, Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney and included the freight branches to Ynysybwl, Hirwaun and Cwmbargoed, then the lines around Cardiff to Penarth, Barry Island and from Bridgend to Tondu and the lines that radiate from there. Radyr was then hypothetically reached via Coryton.

Stuart dug into his large collection of images that covered the area from the early 1970s to the present day, featuring timetabled services and excursions, both diesel and steam hauled.

The biggest surprise was the variety of liveries on locomotives and units seen, something that has largely disappeared in the area in recent times. Also of great interest was the way in which the infrastructure and greenery has changed over the years.

Wednesday 10th April 2019

'Charter Trains in the 21st Century'

Iain Pate

The April meeting brought Iain Pate’s humorous and delightfully illustrated talk entitled ‘Charter Trains in the 21st Century’.

He has been involved in the preservation movement for over 40-years and we heard about his involvement on the front-line since the Millennium. There had been many highlights during this time. He told us of some of them through pictures and anecdotes.

We started by looking at the S&C and how it copes with steam-hauled excursions, such as platforms that are too short or unsafe after dark and the logistical problems of watering and servicing steam locomotives. In Iain’s expert opinion, the ideal steam traction on the S&C is the LMS 8F, small driving wheels, never quiet and strong looking.

Other highlights included being involved with some of the last steam workings on the Folkstone Harbour branch and running three-day excursions to Scotland.

We heard of the foibles of human nature on excursions, that brought much laughter from the audience.

Iain spoke at length about 34067 ‘Tangmere’ and its support crews. They are often forgotten, but we saw pictures of the inside of their coach, heard about the characters and admired the unstintingly long hours they devote to their part of this hobby.

Superb presentation!

Last updated: 16th May 2019