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GVT Website update June 2018

Having looked at the last update, I realise that I only covered the Christmas trees and the replica coaches. The Christmas Tree is seasonal, so an update on the coach project seems to be a good place to start.

Simon has now brought the wheel sets back from our contractor, re-gauged to 2ft 4 ½ ins. The journals have been polished and greased for protection. The next stage will be to move the underframe to a private site with workshop facilities so work can start in earnest. As usual, progress is dependent on time and money, so, if you can help with either (or both – Ed) of these, then please get in touch. Remember, if you do not have any spare time, you can help the project by joining the group using the PDF form on this site, or filling in a membership form from the museum.

This sends me on to another matter, the new journal, which has been well received. So, if you would like to get a copy, either join the group or we have a limited number left for sale in the museum – price £2. The great thing is that the standard must be kept up and, as the next one will have more pages, we are going to need more content.

You will notice that our webmaster, John, has put more pictures of recent museum interior changes and group visit pictures on to the site. We have broken our daily record of visitor numbers with the 58 shown in the picture, plus an additional 14 which takes us to 72. This has given us a terrific boost to our confidence and morale. It also made our treasurer, Riv, very happy as we received a very generous donation from the group, together with sales. Our visitors were very complementary and many are keen to make future independent visits.

There are changes to the displays in the museum as we now have proper document storage drawers. We have also started to upgrade some of the displays. This is to keep the museum interesting for our visitors.

The largest artefact the group has in its care is the original horse-tramway crane, one of only two surviving examples made by H. J. Ellis of Salford in 1870. We now have measurements and details of the original jib which is going to be made for us by a local joinery firm. Being nearly 16 feet long and hexagonal in section with a taper at each end, it is quite a challenge to make.

H.J.Ellis shut in 1886 so the crane survival is almost miraculous. The ironwork will need careful cleaning and conservation work, however, the repairs done during its working life are part of its history, so will be retained. The crane will never be used to lift anything again as it is too fragile and would be impossible to certificate in any case.

I hope this report is of interest and I would like to extend an invitation to you to visit our museum. Many thanks for taking an interest in the GVT and for viewing this website. Please keep visiting to see our latest news. If you have any questions, observations or criticisms, please get in touch.

Chris Pendlebury June 2018 – Publicity Officer.

Directions to the museum:

From the A5 (from the south) or Chester/Wrexham from the north (take the A483) follow the signs for Chirk. Once in Chirk Village, look for the sign to Glynceiriog (towards the south end of the village).

Turn down the lane (B4500) and follow it for 6 miles through one of the most picturesque valleys in the area. The river Ceiriog flows almost all the way alongside the road. The tramway once occupied the south side of the road, but the trackbed has mostly disappeared under various road-widening schemes.

Once in the village of Glynceiriog, look on the left of the road for the GVT museum in the old engine shed.

There are many other places of interest in the valley and, after visiting the museum, a further drive up towards Llanfair DC will be rewarded with views over the valley and the quarries (now overgrown and naturalised) which the GVT used to serve.

See also ‘Location’ Page of this website

JR - Ed

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

GVT Website update for November 2018

Welcome to our latest update. In our last report I mentioned about making a new jib for the crane. Well, we now have the finished product on display in the Museum yard. The jib is nearly 17 feet long, hexagonal in section with a taper at both ends to fit the cast iron sockets. The best way to describe it is as a ‘masterpiece of wood machining,’ done in the Village Wood Yard by Pont Bell. Much information for the project came from John Milner, without whose invaluable help it would not have been possible. The jib was off-loaded by crane on to its temporary storage site thanks to Edwin and Riv. Meanwhile, Keith and Eunice have been hard at work restoring the castings.

Once the jib was on site, we started clearing the intended location for the crane and with help from Gwil and his Landrover, we moved the stored timber. The Owen family digger and dumper were then used to remove the 20 tons or so of ballast off site for storage. We will now be able to look at the ground to see what foundations will be needed to support the crane. Once we have the plans drawn up, we can submit them for planning consent. It is encouraging that there is a great deal of support locally to put back something that has been a feature of the village for 147 years. Hopefully it will be finished in time for its 150th anniversary and that of the Tramway opening.

The AGM of the Trust has now taken place with no change to the team. We were delighted to welcome Susan Ellen Jones MP as Guest of Honour. It is good to welcome several new members. It would be wonderful if a few of the new members could become active in the group.

As you are aware, we launched a new journal this year. Due to health and technical reasons, there has been a delay with the next issue, however this should be available shortly as Simon and Roderick have been working hard to make up for lost time.

The number of visitors has increased and is well past last year’s total. This proves that the whole museum project is a success and rewards the trust placed in us by WREN, who provided he grant for the work to be done.

As you can see from the website calendar, we have a big event coming up in December. I would like to issue and invitation to everyone who follows the website to visit us and see what we do.

On behalf of the group, I would like to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a Great New Year.

Chris Pendlebury

A few pictures in the Museum

Downloadable PDF version of this form

NL Page 3 PDF version.pdf

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