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Wrexham Show Report from Eunice

We had a fantastic day in Wrexham, never had chance to sit down, so many requests for speakers for 2018 programs. Also requests for groups to visit the Engine Shed Museum.

 The leaflets were a star turn, everyone commented on the fact that they were coated to keep them dry. It is definitely not just a leaflet, but something that will be kept as a souvenir.

We took the sales table, which was an added interest and did very well; Jack the Railway Cat books sold out.

Joan, our Secretary was keeping a list of groups that wanted to visit, but at times it was so hectic we did not have time to pass all the information to her. That's if Joan had, had time to write everything down, and answer questions at the same time. (Please contact Eunice again if you would like a speaker or to visit the Shed at Glynceiriog – Ed)

Thank goodness Linda can speak Welsh, her knowledge of who got married in which Chapel, then moved on to goodness knows where, was invaluable. Linda was representing the GVT as archivist and also the Ceiriog Memorial Institute and Museum.

Linda was able to explain about the GVT items which have been donated to the Museum and where they have come from, also the restoration work that is involved.

Keith was asked about the future of the GVT and told the visitors how we will lay the Sleepers and Rail Track on the Coal Wharf to display restored wagons and trains on open days.

We all spoke about Terry Waite our President, coming to give a talk at the Oliver Jones Memorial Hall the following night. The Mayor, John Pritchard, and his Lady came to see us, we all said we hoped they will visit us again in the Valley, even when their term of office is over.

We were asked about the Pontfadog Waiting Room and Keith said that a group of friends were going to tackle the Tidy up at Pontfadog Waiting Room, so we can open to the public again.

The knowledge and interest that the visitors had about the GVT was fascinating to listen to.

The sun shone all day and the help from the Wrexham Heritage Show people was great.

Eunice – Membership secretary.

GVT&IHT President - Terry Waite

 - at the Oliver Jones Hall, Dolywern

 on 2nd July 2017

Much has happened since the last update, so here goes.

The good news I mentioned in the last update happened with the delivery of enough rail to lay 200 ft. of track with 126 full size sleepers, needing to be halved. This, together with transport was generously funded by our chairman, Keith. In addition, Joan, our secretary, very kindly provided the funding for the rail fixings as we already have fish-plate bolts. We just need to manufacture the plates so we can make a start on putting the siding back.

Transport was provided at cost by member Mark Chetwynd and unloaded by our good friend Roger Paine with his digger, assisted by David, Dan, and Keith. Mark loved the valley so much that he came back two weeks later with his family!

In the museum, Mike and Margaret Rowan helped Edwin show visitors round. Edwin has been incredibly busy and has now labelled and catalogued the Wynne Collection and other exhibits.

More artefacts keep appearing at the shed including loco, coach and wagon parts also tools and items from different local quarries. In addition, more documents have appeared including letters from Henry Dennis which will eventually be stored and displayed in the museum.

The past weekend (1st & 2nd July) was the busiest in the group’s history. On the Saturday, Keith, Eunice, Linda and Joan had a stand at Wrexham Museum Festival, which generated much interest and some funds.

Last year our president, Terry Waite, offered to launch his new book and give a talk, for which we could sell tickets. So for the Sunday evening, we booked the Oliver Jones Hall at Dollywern, however, we had to set the hall up and produce enough food for 100+ people. Linda, Pauline and sisters, Joan, Eunice, Simon, Keith, Edwin, Riv, Dianne, Mike and Margaret all rallied round and the evening went really well. Terry Waite spoke about his many years as a hostage and how he survived in truly horrific conditions. After speaking for an hour, we had an interval for refreshments followed by a question and answer session. The evening finished with a standing ovation and a very happy audience.

To finish, I would like to welcome Roderick who has kindly offered to collate the quarterly magazine, also Ralph who is going to look after Pontfadog waiting room.

Thankyou for your interest. Chris

JULY Newsletter

I will try and work through recent events that have taken place since the last update.

First was the unveiling of the NHRA Plaque. It was great to have a big turnout of board members from both organisations that spearhead railway preservation. I will let the pictures (above) do the talking. It is thanks to Keith, Eunice, Linda, Edwin, Simon, Joan, Riv, Pauline and David N. that we managed to beat 43 other entries and were able to do so before the museum was officially opened! Our visitors were amazed at the finished building and the artefacts we had on display.

The next thing was very much saving something from the original GVT in the form of the 1886 iron hurdle fencing. Having done the job for over 130 years, we thought it would be right to put it back round the museum yard, so far Simon and myself, with help from David Andrews, have put 10 panels back following welding and other repairs. We are gradually replacing the wooden fencing which is starting to rot. We are hopeful of getting enough to go round the site as we have located more in the valley.

Following on from this was the sheep-dog trial, this is the biggest event in the area as it is the Welsh semi-finals. So, having worked out how to put up a 6M marquee and staffed it by Keith Eunice, Linda, Edwin and Pauline, yours truly retreated to the museum where I had a constant stream of visitors. The stand generated much interest, some new members and an amount that brought a smile to Riv, our treasurer.

After a few weeks break to get ready for the AGM, which followed the coffee morning in the Institute and before the concert in the evening. The AGM was remarkable for the vast distances travelled by members to attend. There are no changes on the board and a much brighter financial situation. Also, membership has been going up and at the time of writing stands at 170. The financial improvement is largely down to the hard work put in by Riv, our Treasurer and the ’faithful few,’ who work incredibly hard to make sure our events work well.

To round off, I should mention that two months ago we received our 500th visitor to the museum. Much of this is down to Edwin who has opened up on Wednesdays during the season.

The other dramatic news is the very recent release of the cine film of the tramway, this being only the second to emerge in over 80 years.

One final point to finish, we are desperate for more working members of any age or ability. Please try and help us as we have achieved much but we could do so much more. Just turn up on a Saturday or contact Eunice.

Many thanks for your interest in our website, so please keep watching this space.

Chris Pendlebury – Publicity Officer NGVT&IHT

October  Newsletter


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

Christmas Sales Stall at the Canolfan Ceiriog Centre in the village of Glynceiriog on 26th November 2017

GVT Web Update December 2017 to March 2018

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