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A few pictures in the Museum

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GVT Website Update March 2019

It’s now quite a while since we updated the website so here goes.

The big event was the Christmas gathering when we opened both the museum and the Waiting room. This year we had our largest number of visitors ever with over 100. We have come a long way since opening over three years ago and, at the time, worrying that we did not have enough artefacts and no-one would come.

For 2019, we had several group bookings of 20 or more visitors. If you would like to bring a party then please get in contact with Eunice via Email or phone. With two to three weeks notice we can open the museum on any day, Monday to Friday, if pre-booked.

Edwin has also been out on the road again with a new and greatly enhanced presentation and talk on the GVT. This has been given at several venues across North Wales and resulted in some group bookings and new members. If you would like to book a presentation, Edwin can be contacted through the museum phone number or email address.

We have now started to tackle the vast amount of historical documentation acquired over the years. Initially we started by cataloguing and indexing all known images of the tramway and its equipment. This totals nearly 600 items and once completed will allow visitors to computer source images of track, buildings, locomotives and rolling stock. The images themselves are protected by copyright; the catalogue will identify who is the copyright owner. This mammoth task is being undertaken by Edwin in accordance with registered museum standards as we are working towards this.

In other areas work has continued with getting ready for the new season. Building maintenance has been a priority with a new door for Pontfadog ordered from Theo Davies and built to the original drawings in John Milner’s book. Also a flood screen will be fitted to stop water from the road washing in. We have received a donation and some grant aid from the local council thanks to some serious form-filling by Pauline.

Some damaged slates on the museum roof will be replaced and we will be repairing the shed roof on the Coal Wharf to provide more storage.

Obviously, all this costs money in addition to the Insurance, Utility Bills and so on which always need to be paid. A big chunk of this money comes from membership fees and by selling things such as souvenir clothing, books and craft. The latter are made by Eunice who also doubles up as Membership Secretary. She works incredibly hard and without this we would be finding it difficult to keep running as we are not allowed, by law, to charge for admission. In fact, with Keith as Chairman, their home in Warwickshire has become the GVT power station!

Following on from this I would like to thank all our visitors who put money in the tins.

Moving on to our journal, the second issue is now out and has been very well received, a great credit to Simon and Roderick who are now working on number 3. Roderick is the Editor with Simon doing the compilation and technical element as he has a background in the printing industry. Roderick is a professional writer having had many books published. To help with the cost of producing the Journal, we now have a number of advertisers, many of whom are local Pubs, B&Bs, Hotels and Restaurants. This makes the magazine a useful reference if you are visiting us for the day or longer. The easiest way of getting a copy is to join the group. You can do this electronically through this website or pick up a membership form from the museum.

(See Membership page - Webmaster)

I realise that I have not provided news on the coach project, the crane or other activities. However, there are some important developments which are at a critical stage in negotiation. Also, most exciting of all is news regarding locomotives, however, all will be revealed in due course so please continue watching this website.

With many thanks for your interest in the NGVT and IHT.

Chris Pendlebury March 2019

GVT Website Update July 2019

Welcome to the latest update. I will start by looking at the museum area. If you look back at the restoration of the Engine Shed, you will see one of the major tasks was replacing the corrugated asbestos roof with slate. This was an expensive part of the project as the asbestos, being a hazardous substance, had to be removed by a specialist contractor and disposed of under council supervision. The new slate roof looked great and the slate is from the same vein as the Cambrian Quarry. However, it does mean that it is prone to cracking. This has happened to a number of slates near the apex. Whilst it was not leaking, it did look unsightly. Fortunately we received a donation to help with this so a local roofing contractor, Chris Hughes, did a great job for a very reasonable price. Chris has close links with the Tramway as his father was the foreman of the Cambrian Quarry, where most of the family worked.

Local member, Ralph has been looking for ways to help the Group. Normally, he looks after Pontfadog Waiting Room, he also runs the village tidy-up group. A friend offered some unwanted paving slabs to the village group. They did not have a use for them so could we use them? The smaller shed on the Coal Wharf has no floor so I helped him move 30 slabs up to the wharf. This will cover1/2 the floor area with more coming from other sources, we should be able to put a solid floor in as we already have sand there from a previous job so it has cost nothing.

Whilst on the subject of the Wharf, Scottish Power requested to change the transmission poles. With Edwin and Riv on site, they have been repositioned slightly to give clear access to the sheds.

We had a stand at the Bala Lake Railway Gala; this was a fantastic venue with thousands of people looking at our display over three days. We met many of our old friends and supporters there. One of the stars of the show was an exquisite model of Pontfadog which may visit the Museum at some point. Keith, Eunice and Simon did a great job with the stand. I covered the Museum so Edwin could have a day off. This is a rare event as he is there every Saturday, Bank Holiday and Wednesday in high season. He also shows booked groups round and does talks all over North Wales.

There at present four other major projects on the go, one being the restoration and reinstatement of the original Horse Tramway crane. The second is the replica coach project, this is moving forward steadily with new volunteers Norman and Judith recently getting involved with the project.  They are also working on one of the other projects which is very exciting but has to remain confidential for the present. The fourth project  is the largest but for legal reasons, has to remain out of the public domain for now. Both projects should be disclosed before the end of the year.

On a final note, the number of visitors has almost doubled and we are not yet half way through the season. Also more of our visitors are becoming members, often as a result of looking at the latest Journalon our sales counter run by Pauline and Linda. So, positive progress on many things, thank you for your interest in our website.

Chris P – July 2019

GVT Website update Nov 2019

With Christmas coming an update was overdue so, here goes!

Firstly I am now, as promised, able to go public on the “big project.” At present, we hold a lease from Wrexham MBC for the Museum site. However, following two years of complicated negotiations by our Vice President, Gwillywm, we have now been offered ownership of the site at a price the Group could afford. We have signed up for this meaning that once contracts have been exchanged the site will be saved for future generations. The result is a testament to Guillywm's perseverence and determination to see the project through. Wrexham MBC have put their faith in the project so now it is up to us to honour this trust by making the project a success.

Secondly, progress with the crane project has taken a big step forward as Peter has returned to do battle with the four and a half ton monster which is now planted in its permanent location. This was achieved by Peter 'H' Mal and Keith spending an exhausting day moving, positioning and levelling with the result that work can now start putting the 147 year old machine back together. The Group owes a massive debt of thanks to Peter and his team. Also, the project would have been impossible without the help of the Owen family and their skill with diggers and loaders.

Thirdly, conservation work has now started on the Baldwin Components to initially prevent further deterioration.. This is a delicate task as the 100 year old steel is more like paper in places, so initial stabilisation has to be done, prior to rust prevention paint being put on. Norman and Judith are working on a long-term restoration plan which could form the basis for a grant application. Also they are looking at building a replica GVT brake van to provide some much needed site storage.

Meanwhile, over in Warwickshire, Keith and Eunice are working away producing craft work to sell in order to raise desperately needed funds. As well as dealing with emails, correspondence and membership matters. This is absolutely vital as without it the projects would not move forward.

Back in North Wales, Edwin has been talking to groups. These seem to average out at one per week. The groups are usually local history or museum organisations.

Simon has been hard at work on the Journal with help from Judith and Norman.

On behalf of the team, I would like to wish you all a Happy Christmas and say thankyou  for your help and interest and hope you will enjoy a visit to the museum in the New Year.

Chris Pendlebury Nov 2019