cambrian Logo1

 

CHR Totem

at Oswestry and Llynclys

Cambrian Railways’ WW1 Rememberance

14th. December 2014

Sunday, 14th December, saw the 100th Anniversary of the death of the first of the 53 Cambrian employees who paid the ultimate sacrifice in WWI. Sgt. Henry Tudor of Coney Green, a labourer in the Loco dept and serving with the KSLI, contracted a disease as his regiment was being shipped out to India and died there. He was buried in Rangoon military cemetery (these days part of Burma).

To mark the event, the exhibition in the booking office was open from 11.00 to 13.00 on the Sunday. The first page was entered into our memorial book detailing his story and a lamp lit in his memory. We propose to do this as the anniversary of each death occurs over the next 4 years.

See here for more details.

Lamp lit for Henry Tudor

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Alun the Engine - Naming Ceremony

16th. August 2014

Naming Ceremony at Pen Y Garreg

Alun’s parents, Glyn and Ann, and his brother Gareth pose alongside the engine following the naming ceremony at Pen Y Garreg Halt

Cambrian Heritage Railways has named one of its engines in memory of a stalwart volunteer. The late Alun Evans of Llanfyllin, Powys, was a loyal member of both the CHR and Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways in Snowdonia. Almost five years have elapsed since his untimely passing at the tender age of 24.

Now Ruston & Hornsby 165DE-type 11517 serves as a living memorial to him. The locomotive is the mainstay of passenger trains at the CHR’s Llynclys operation, which run at weekends until the end of September. The 1963-built engine itself spent its working life in the Derbyshire coalfields, before entering preservation in 1979, moving to Llynclys in 2011. It has recently benefited from a repaint by CHR volunteers, which has included the addition of yellow ‘wasp’ stripes on the front and rear.

Alun’s relatives and extended family in the form of volunteers from both the CHR and Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways gathered on Saturday evening. After the train ride from Llynclys, the ceremony was performed at Pen Y Garreg Halt, which serves the Welsh border village of Pant. A buffet was served on the return to Llynclys.

Referring to Alun’s passion for vegetation management, his father Glyn mused at the ceremony: “I was pleased that the engine was painted black. Anything green and Alun would have cut it or sprayed it!”

Alun’s brother Gareth, who serves as the CHR’s press officer, added: “In naming the engine not only have we fulfilled one of his wishes, but it also serves as a fitting tribute to an individual who worked tirelessly for the benefit of the CHR.”

11517

The engine poses for the camera after returning the party to Llynclys South Station

“Alun was a highly popular volunteer who inspired others to get involved using a combination of charm and his blog, which charted his activities and efforts in railway preservation. He will never be forgotten.”

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Book Signing

28th. July 2014

Wreham & Shropshire Railway Book

With the news that Virgin Trains are now finally planning a direct rail service from Shropshire to London you can read about the story of a previous attempt to provide this service by the Wrexham and Shropshire Railway.

The authors of the the book will be at our Steam Weekend at Oswestry Station on 16th August (note the new date - watch for more details!) signing copies of the book following its official release at Marylebone Station the previous week, on 9th August.

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CHR host Civic Society visit

20th. June 2014

Members of the Oswestry and District Civic Society have spoken of their delight following a visit, on May 31st, to the Cambrian Heritage Railways (CHR) in Oswestry. After enjoying a trip on the popular train, which runs from the restored Victorian station on Oswald Road, members heard about the progress being made on the project. Refreshments were served in Buffers tea room inside the station. Of interest to CivicCivic Society members, the building once served as the headquarters of the original Cambrian Railways Company, the 150th anniversary of which is being commemorated this year by the CHR. A guided tour of the Cambrian Railways Museum by curator Lionel Wass followed. Housed in the 1860s-built goods shed, members viewed a collection of artefacts and photographs from across the old Cambrian Railways Company network, which once stretched from Whitchurch in the east to Pwllheli in the west, and as far south as Brecon and Aberystwyth.

Civic Society Visit

CHR train driver, Andy Rudd, is seen with Civic Society members Ann Boulton and Vannwye Civic *

Civic Society Visit

Civic Society members Brian Gresham, Gill Cripps, Elizabeth Gresham with CHR train guard Glynn Swift *

The final part of the visit was to the Cambrian Railways Orchard Project, otherwise known as ‘CROP,’ which is located right next to the line on Gobowen Road. After a successful grant application by CHR to the Big Lottery Fund, work began in November 2011 to build an organic Community Orchard in Oswestry. Now home to 140 trees, it also includes fruit, herbs and a beehive. The volunteer project has benefited from the invaluable assistance of local young people on the County Training scheme.

Civic Society member Ann Boulton said: “It was a trip back to my childhood. I absolutely loved it. I particularly enjoyed the chance the blow the engine whistle.”

Another member, Christopher Symons commented: “I am very pleased to see the station building being fully utilised. I thought the museum was smashing and the train trip was delightful.” Andrew Tullo, Civic Society member, who is also a CHR Board member said: “We were delighted to welcome members of the Civic Society to whom CHR Company Secretary Rob Williams had given a talk on the 150th anniversary celebrations only a fortnight previously. We welcome enquiries from other groups who wish to see more of what is being achieved and planned.”

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Museum News

* Photos: Gareth Evans

13th. June 2014

The CHR (and the CRS before it) runs a museum at its Oswestry Headquarters that over the years has grown to include an excellent display charting the history of the Cambrian Railways, GWR and BR presence in Oswestry and the surrounding area. We have recently been able, due to increased numbers of volunteers, to provide regular opening times (as detailed here) and consequently have been able to welcome more visitors than we have had in the past.

Visitors come from far and wide and, due to the new regular opening hours, are able to view the exhibits on display.

In the picture to the right you can see Mr & Mrs Duncan Wyse, Duncan hails from Oswestry but left for a new life in Sydney, Australia, over 40 years ago. He came to visit the museum, whilst on holiday in the UK, after he had

Australian Visitors

Duncan and his wife admire the advertising from his Great-great-great Grandfathers fuel business

discovered that we had a piece of advertising hoarding from his Great-great-great Grandfathers coal business that was once on our museum site. He also revealed that his Uncle was a regular driver, in the late 50’s, of the Oswestry to Gobowen auto-train. Duncan was able to take advantage of his ‘favourite’ Uncles generosity when travelling to and from school!

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Cambrian Heritage Railways Secure Lease

7th. May 2014

The CHR have today (7th May) issued the following Press Release:

Oswestry Station

Oswestry Station Building basks in the Spring sun

Cambrian Heritage Railways (CHR) has completed leases with Shropshire Council (SC) for the 8.5-mile Gobowen to Blodwell railway line. Prior to this, CHR and SC had entered into an exchanged ‘Agreements for Lease’ to allow CHR to proceed with certain aspects of its project. However, the completion of the lease now removes one of the few remaining obstacles to applying for external funding and, for the Transport and Works Order (TWAO).

Mr Roger Date, Trustee and member of the TWAO sub-committee said: “Securing the lease and full control of the land is a key part of us obtaining a TWAO which transfers to CHR the existing legal powers to run the railway. Without these powers we are unable to access large scale funding which we and others believe our projects can attract.”

Mr Romer Hoseason, CHR chairman said: “Signing of the leases removes one of the hurdles and it also brings us a significant step closer to the delivery of two separate projects we are working on. These are the ‘Community Railway’ between Gobowen and Oswestry with a public service which will improve local connections and transport links, and a ‘Heritage Tourist’ railway from Oswestry to Llynclys and Blodwell, which will bring significant visitor footfall to Oswestry and the area.”

He added: “Although it is not yet ‘full steam ahead,’ things are moving significantly in the right direction which is most appropriate as 2014 marks 150 years since the formation of the original Cambrian Railways Company, which located its headquarters and works department in Oswestry. Back in the 1860’s, Oswestry saw significant investment and growth thanks to the arrival of the railways - and we believe the revival of the railways will once again bring benefit to the area.”

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Press Release regarding Easter Operations

23rd. April 2014

The following release has been issued to the press:

A Successful Easter for the Cambrian

The CHR has enjoyed a fantastic start to its 2014 operating season at both its Oswestry and Llynclys sites. Trains ran at both locations over the Easter weekend, offering trips to tourists, locals and visitors alike.

A popular attraction at the railway’s Llynclys site on the Sunday was the presence of the Easter Bunny, along with an established favourite - the Easter egg hunt.

CHR_Cub

“Telemon” and the Leyland Cub sit in front Oswestry Station building. The Cub will be providing journeys between our two sites on the Transport Day.

Mr Malcolm Davidson, CHR Trustee and General Manager said: “Passenger numbers at both sites were significantly up on Easter 2013. We are most grateful to the 20 loyal volunteers involved with preparing and staffing the event.”

He added: “We are confident that this is the start of another good operating season, which will see our visitor numbers continue to rise. We are now looking forward to our next special event on the Saturday of the coming May Bank Holiday weekend (May 3rd) - our Heritage Transport Day at Oswestry.”

A selection of motorbikes and cars, including Morris Minors, is due to gather at Oswestry Station in the town centre. An added attraction will be the opportunity to ride a vintage bus between Oswestry and Llynclys railway stations, in the shape of Tanat Valley Coaches’ 1961-built Leyland Tiger Cub.

Trains will operate at Oswestry and Llynclys on all three days over the Bank Holiday weekend.

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Christmas Operations 2013

9th. March 2014

Apologies for the delay in providing this, but click here for a report from the General Manager of last Decembers’ successful Christmas events at Oswestry and Llynclys.

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CHR Annual Dinner

25th. February 2014

As in the past, to celebrate a successful year of operations, we have held a get-together of members. This enables members to meet in informal surroundings to fix all the worlds problems, or at least have a good meal, talk and drink!!

The meal this year is being held at The Dining Rooms Restaurant (more information here), on Saturday 5th. April 2014, meeting at 19:00 for a 19:30 start.

The cost will be 24 per head, with the full menu below (download here or select the menu below). Please provide your details if you wish to attend, along with the payment, by March 28th., to “c/o Richard Jones - Cambrian Heritage Railways, Suite 1, Old Station Building, Oswald Road, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 1RE”. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Cambrian Heritage Railways’.

Further details can be obtained from Richard, as instructed on the menu below

Spaces are limited, so it’s first come, first served!  

CHR Dinner 2014

For further details, Richard Jones can also be contacted by email.

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Christmas Draw

5th. February 2014

The Christmas Draw for 2013 was, as usual, well supported. After all costs had been deducted, nearly 900 profit was forwarded to the CHR funds.

The top prizes were distributed as follows:

  • 1st.   100 to Will Pulford from Oswestry
  • 2nd.  50 to the Mike Rowe from Whittington, and
  • 3rd.   25 to Rosemarie Pumford from Oswestry.

Many of the smaller prizes went far and wide, with all winners due to be contacted by Mike Rowe with news of their prizes. Thanks to everyone for their support.

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News Roundup

22nd. January 2014

Further to recent updates of activity in Oswestry Station yard on the Forum here the former Goods Depot, which houses the Cambrian Railways Museum, has also been undergoing improvements.

The contribution of students and staff from Oswestry School has been central to this. They have been attending on Thursday afternoons for nearly 2 years as part of their weekly Community Volunteer programme. They have been working with curator Lionel Wass inside the building, undertaking cleaning and tidying, and painting or varnishing selected artefacts. They have also painted individual wooden letters for the new exterior signs that have now replaced the degraded former signs on the building.

Lionel Wass talking about coal
Goods Depot sign about to go up

The Goods Depot sign about to be mounted on the depot wall

CHR was recently invited to present our project to the Town Council along with other initiatives in Oswestry which all, like us, have the potential to help reinvigorate the town. We are also working with one of the other presenters, The Project Group, in a joint grant application for funding to recruit young local students to research the history of railway signage and develop a computer ‘app’ to improve cataloguing of the Museum collection which would enable virtual visits to the Museum.

Lionel Wass talks about Coal to a group of visiting schoolchildren

The Oswestry Station sign has been removed from the Museum exterior where it was also causing some confusion to visitors! It is in need of conservation with the intention of re-erecting it in due course to its rightful place on the front of the Station Building. In its place, we have put up the ‘Goods Depot’ sign which previously graced the former GWR station on the site of Morrison’s supermarket across the road.

Meanwhile, the door to the Museum entrance has been stripped back and painted again in BR(WR) livery in keeping with the railings and gates (see below). We have worked with local company, Now Signs, housed in the Cambrian Buildings at Coney Green, to produce improved signage in the vicinity including Museum and Car Parking charges.

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View showing the repainted fencing and the new museum signage

The Museum, through Lionel Wass, David Owen and Roger Date is researching the role of Cambrian Railways and its staff in the Great War as our contribution to the town wide commemorations commencing in 2014. Oswestry Station foyer is to be on the planned Wilfred Owen trail which recognises the fact that this renowned war poet was born here in Oswestry in 1893 and into a railway family. Conservation of the Museum’s Roll of Honour of men from the Cambrian Railways who served in WW1 is planned.

July 2014 will also see the 150th anniversary of the Cambrian Railways Company for which an exhibition is also planned.

We need a sufficient number of volunteers to man the Museum and Car Park on a regular basis, something that is long overdue.

Would those interested in volunteering to ‘man’ the Car Park Office and Museum for one morning or afternoon a week please contact Carol Booth on 01691 661402 or via email.

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