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Obituary – Richard Andrews

Richard and Joan joined the GVT group in 2003 after they bought a GVT wagon kit and became interested in the history of the tramway. Shortly after joining, they helped to provide the funds to secure the purchase of the coal wharf. Regularly travelling from their home in Surrey they joined the GVT Board with Joan becoming Secretary and Richard dealing with press and publicity. As a working volunteer, he worked with Peter and Mike on the battle to keep the loco shed waterproof whilst the hunt went on for funding. When the Chairman stood down for health reasons, Richard became acting Chairman and continued in this rôle to the end. He also became well known for his talks to local groups on the Tramway. Indeed, it was on one of these where he met Terry Waite, who became out president. Richard saw the group through the maze of grant and planning applications though, sadly, he did not see it open to the public.

As a person, Richard had a real dislike of conflict and aggression. Often, in meetings, he would attempt to find common ground. I only remember one occasion when he criticised me when I inadvertently called called Pont Fadog a ‘station’ on the web site, when it should have been a ‘waiting room.’ This showed his meticulous side which stemmed from his working life as a Chartered Mechanical Engineer.

When travelling to meetings, he would always bring a tool kit with himin order to fix domestic appliances at Riv’s house. This related to his other great interest at Brooklands Racing Club after taking VIPs for a trip round the remains of the circuit in his beloved Morgan. At his funeral, many of his friends from Brooklands came with their cars and paid respect forming a cortège, something he would have loved.

Richard died suddenly at home less than two weeks prior to the AGM. He had a number of physical health problems that could have contributed to his death. An hour before he died, he was talking to Joan about the AGM and looking forward to the concert afterwards. Following his death, some members felt that we should cancel the AGM as a mark of respect but Joan wanted it to go ahead as planned.

At the funeral, the Tramway was represented by Keith Eames and Martin Rowan with other long-standing members. Following the funeral, a collection was taken to be equally divided between us and Brooklands.

Richard and Joan always worked together and were a very close family. This makes his loss in some ways greater but, in other ways a little easier as the family can gain strength, support and comfort from this strength of family.

 I am sure the members will join me in offering our deepest condolences to a man of peace and a friend to many.

Chris Pendlebury October 2016

And the band (The Bushwackers) played on in the workshop part of the engine shed.

 Mr. Gwilym Hughes Vice President gave the welcoming speech, and invited the Past President, His Honour Geoffrey Kilfoil, to represent Mr Terry Waite our current President, to cut the tape.

Mr Keith Roberts our Chairman, asked The Mayor of Wrexham, Councillor John Pritchard, accompanied by the Mayoress, Ann Pritchard, to cut the cake.

The rebuilt platform complete with seat, lamp post and running in board

What a great day. TEAM G.V.T. Glyn Ceiriog, pulled out all the stops to get the Old Engine Shed looking its best. Early in the day, the boys were outside battling with the weather trying to put the marquee up, the weather had other ideas. They could not believe their luck when the SUN came out and stayed out for the ceremony.

 Mr. Gwilym Hughes Vice President gave the welcoming speech, and invited the Past President, His Honour Geoffrey Kilfoil, to represent Mr Terry Waite our current President, (who could not be with us) to cut the tape.

Once inside Mr Keith Roberts our Chairman, asked The Mayor of Wrexham, Councillor John Pritchard, accompanied by the Mayoress, Ann Pritchard, to cut the cake.

Chris P April GVT Newsletter

GVT April Web Update

First I must apologise for the very long gap since the last update due to health problems, which are now on the mend.

The last year has been a roller-coaster with so many things going on. Finishing off the shed and platform, the tragic loss of our Chairman, Richard Andrews, his replacement by Keith Roberts. Simon, Pauline and Edwin joining the board; the formal opening of the museum by our Vice President, Geoffrey Kilfoyle; Terry Waite becoming our new President and finally the shock of winning the HRA award.

This last item needs some explanation as we were not allowed to mention it until after the presentation by the Transport Minister. Over 12 months ago Joan, our Secretary, showed us the forms, which we agreed to complete and send off. With so much going on, we thought no more about it.

I was painting the platform fence when two visitors turned up from the HRA. I showed them round and emphasised that we were a long way from completion. Having shown them round the museum, I took them for a walk along the trackbed at the coal wharf. Perhaps the weather and the valley helped as it was a hot day with birds zipping through the trees chasing insects over the dancing waters of the river Ceiriog. They enjoyed themselves and talked about the Tramway and their own Severn Valley.

A few weeks later, I was asked to show another judge around. Luckily, we had Simon with us, so we repeated the tour. However, this time accompanied by a clip-board and many, many detailed questions, including, strangely, the subject of wood screws. Apparently, this is rather important as the use of slotted screws is viewed favourably. Luckily for us, my late father was a woodscrew magpie so all of the jam jars of screws were used around the site to save the cost of new ones. Having “grilled” us in the nicest possible way, the judge left. Simon and I then wandered around the site looking at screw heads and deciding that we had “cooked our goose.”

Weeks passed and I was asked to show another judge around. Unwisely, I decided to look him up. All this did was to make me very anxious as I realised how knowledgeable and qualified our visitor was! Having mentioned my concerns to Edwin, he very kindly agreed to come round with us. I think it was largely down to Edwin and his vast knowledge of the Tramway that we did win the award, together with Simon and the whole team playing their part. In many ways, beating 43 other projects to gain the award is perhaps the best memorial we could provide to Richard, our late Chairman, as he would have been so pleased and happy with it. As you can see from the events table (on the ‘Diary Dates and Events’ page – Ed) we have many things going on this year. Our President’s book launch will hopefully raise some much needed funds, so please try and support it if you are able.

Other tasks are going on at present. Malcolm Draper is putting together information for a grant to tackle the Horse Tramway crane from information from our ultimate source, John Milner, who has produced drawings and photos.

We hope to have some good news with regard to track shortly. But one thing is certain, it will be 28 ½ ins gauge, so watch this space.

Related to this is the favourite visitor question, “When are you going to get a locomotive?” The answer, hopefully, is ‘not too far in the future’ with a number of options being looked into. Again, it will fit our gauge.

Lastly, as we now have the museum open, in future all workshop activity will have to happen elsewhere. With this in mind, we have started restoration work on getting the main shed on the Coal Wharf ready for use. This project will take time, but we have made a good start. If you feel you can help, either practically or financially (or both – Ed) you will be very welcome. Just turn up on Saturday - 10 am onwards at the Engine Shed.

Many thanks for your interest – Chris Pendlebury – Publicity Officer.

APRIL Newsletter

WE WON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


We won the Supporter's Award. Well done team GVT.


There were three finalists in our group and a total of ten awards. A total of 43 entries had been received from all parts and sectors and the standard was high.

David and I received the award (plaque) on behalf of the Trust which was rather daunting as we were faced by a large audience and a sea of faces. Photos were taken which will become available to us. I have the plaque safely at home and very impressive it is too (and quite heavy!). We had the most amazing day.

Once again well done everyone!!


LINK To the NHRA website awards page

NGVT&IHT wins the NRHA Supporters Award

Joan Andrews receives the Supporters Award from the NRHA

Hendre Granite Wagon New GVT Exhibit for the Museum

PLEASE NOTE: This wagon loaned by Stephen Milner, John Milner and Denise Milner- Salvage and restoration courtesy Milner Engineering Services Ltd, Wrexham, timber supplied courtesy Theodore Davies & Sons, Glyn Ceiriog and salvage facilitated by the late Peter Farthing, Hendre Farm.

Pictures from the Wrexham Show