Guess the weight of the Marrow - L to R: The marrow dressed for the occasion, the marrow with Pauline: and the winner is!
The New Glyn Valley Tramway & Industrial Heritage Trust had a stall held at the Canolfan Ceiriog Centre on the 26th November 2017 selling GVT Sales items and Christmas gifts. The stall was manned by Sue Howell and Eunice Roberts
As we reached the end of another year in the valley the team put the finishing touches to the final events for the old year and pre-planned, if possible, for 2018
Firstly we had the battle of the Christmas Tree, no, we all get along great but trying to put up an exterior tree is difficult, particularly in a valley with its own micro-climate and winds. However, eventually, success and the lights worked so we had the group picture taken. By Wednesday the tree had blown over bending the steel tripod base: back to the drawing board. So, Saturday dawned and with much help from Simon, a new timber crib base was built, the decorations that had survived the valley hurricane were replaced and it stayed intact until the Christmas season was finished.
Apart from recalcitrant conifers, we have started preparatory work for the new coach. Yes, you did read that right! Many years ago the group acquired a steel chassis for the basis of this, however, up to now, no progress has been made. Initially, work centred on measuring and cleaning. The decision came down in favour of building a centre door coach. The reasons for this are practicality. It is simpler to construct and stronger with only one door. Secondly, they are not like anything else and thirdly, they were the earliest coaches of the steam era.
The steel underframe will form the core of the coach but will need changes to wheel base, springs and axlebox alteration. The first task was to check the wheel sets and bearings. This involved the use of jacks, timbers, spanners and an angle grinder as a last resort. Having removed the keeper plates from the ‘W’ irons, and checked the wheel set, we carefully jacked up the frame, following up with timbers, leaving the wheel sets on the track. We were pleasantly surprised as the condition was excellent with plenty of oil still in the bearings and minimal wear. Having photographed and measured them, we then reversed the process. By this time we were working by the light of the platform lamp and being kept from freezing solid by relays of tea from Pauline. The information we obtained was needed by the company doing the regauging.
We also visited Hendre Quarry to measure the flange clearances on the only surviving piece of GVT left after closure. Luckily this is part of a point with check rail and, with manual ‘mud-grubbing’ we found what we needed. So, after a heavy day we returned to our respective homes tired but happy.
The wheelsets have now gone to our contractors. Their return journey will not to be empty as we will, hopefully, have several sacks of rail spikes so we can make a start on putting the station siding back in. This is a project that will take place later in the year when the weather warms up. The initial trackwork will be putting original GVT rail from the engine shed to the edge of the turntable pit site.
We have made a start on clearing out the larger of the Coal Wharf sheds. Much unwanted material has been removed thanks to Mal, Pete, ‘H,’ Adam, and Noel, ably assisted by Roger with his Landrover and trailer. A further session should have the shed ready to start some urgent repair work.
I apologise for the delay with this update, as I have recently become a father for the first time. (I will have to talk to Eunice about family and junior membership!)
Chris Pendlebury March 2018
May 2018 Bank holiday Monday visit from the Railway & Canal Historical Society coach party of 58 who visited the yard and museum, had lunch in the Glyn Valley Hotel and a stroll on the coal wharf.
7 ¼ inch gauge track donated for use in the shed yard.
Both pictures - Simon Newton
Front cover of Issue 1 of the re-launched journal of the Trust