Corris and Talyllyn Railways in Mid Wales have rescheduled their 100th Anniversary Gala events for Kerr Stuart locomotive number 4 for September.
The Corris Railway’s Gala Weekend, originally planned for May, will now be held on September 4 and 5.
The gala weekend will see the return visit of the original Corris locomotive number 4 ‘Edward Thomas’ which will be heading passenger trains there for the first time since 1930.
‘Edward Thomas’ will work a mixture of passenger and freight trains over the two days of the event in company with Corris’ own number 7, a 2005 recreation of the 1921 design.
Following the gala, locomotives numbers 4 and 7 will make the short journey to Tywyn for a special birthday event on Talyllyn Railway on September 11 and 12.
The railways hope to be able to announce further dates when the locomotives will run before September 17 when number 4 is due to be taken out of traffic for statutory boiler week.
Ticketing arrangements will be dependent on pandemic restrictions. Announcements will be made via www.corris.co.uk and Corris Railway’s Facebook page.
Locomotive number 4 is a Kerr Stuart “Tattoo” 0-4-2ST built for the Corris in 1921 and it worked on the Machynlleth to Aberllefenni line until it was withdrawn in 1948. Shortly afterwards, Corris Railway Line closed in August of that year, apart from the horse worked Ratgoed Tramway.
Passenger services had ceased at the end of 1930 after Great Western had acquired the 2 foot 3 inch narrow gauge railway. Fortunately, the locomotive was not reduced to scrap after withdrawal.
After being stored in the yard at Machynlleth Station alongside the other extant Corris engine, Hughes 0-4-2ST number 3 of 1878, it was purchased and moved to Talyllyn Railway in 1951. Since 1952, it has been a mainstay of Talyllyn Railway’s operations.
As the revival of the Corris has progressed, number 4 has made one visit to its original haunts in 1996.
Locomotive Edward Thomas in steam on Talyllyn Railway this summer and at Abergynolwyn in 1952.
Multi-award winning Monty’s Brewery is bouncing back from the Covid-19 epidemic by rebuilding business with exports, supermarkets contracts and growing online sales, politicians were told on Monday.
The Montgomery-based brewery welcomed Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart and Montgomeryshire MP, Craig Williams.
The visit coincided with Monty’s Brewery preparing to ship its first order of gluten free beers to the biggest gluten free distributor in Holland, a contract secured recently.
The politicians discussed the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund plans to bring business and other opportunities to Mid Wales.
Russ Honeyman, Monty’s Brewery’s commercial director, said: “It was a pleasure to show the Secretary of State for Wales and Craig Williams around our brewery and to talk about our plans for export and the future.
“They showed great interest in our plans. Of course, after talks, we had a taster and tried our summer beer Desert Rats, where we donate 5p a pint to SSAFA, The Armed Forces Charity. The Secretary of State was very impressed with that as an ex-Army man!”
Mr Williams said: “Monty’s is one of Montgomeryshire’s biggest success stories and one of Wales’ fastest growing breweries.
“We were able to discuss their very exciting plans for future growth - including the imminent addition of a new canning line at the brewery – as well as how UK Government investment into Mid Wales can directly benefit them and many other Montgomeryshire businesses.”
Monty’s Brewery is a member of MWT Cymru, which represents more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and the Meirionnydd region of Gwynedd.
>> View Monty's Brewery on Visit Mid Wales
Pam and Russ Honeyman (centre) welcome Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart and Montgomeryshire MP Craig Williams to Monty’s Brewery on Monday.
Mid Wales-based Talyllyn Railway has taken an important step on its journey to becoming carbon neutral by investing in planting trees.
The narrow-gauge heritage railway, which runs between Tywyn and Nant Gwernol, Abergynolwyn, is partnering with Forest Carbon, a company that develops nature-based climate projects in the UK.
The intent of this pioneering partnership is to offset emissions created from coal burnt by the railway’s steam locomotives.
Talyllyn Railway is investing in a carbon-financed woodland scheme based in Breckenhill, Northern Ireland, which has planted 1,688 trees on 1.1 hectares, and is also keen to invest in woodland or peatland restoration projects within Wales.
The railway, in a typical year, consumes 95 tonnes of coal which creates 210 tonnes of CO2e - the equivalent to 127 people on a return flight from London to Los Angeles - although that has been significantly reduced during the pandemic.
Investment in the Breckenhill project, which is validated under the UK’s Woodland Carbon Code, will lead to the sequestration of 322 tonnes of CO2 over the next 50 years.
In partnership with Forest Carbon, the railway is also actively looking for local Welsh-based landowners who might be interested in increasing woodland on their land or participating in peatland restoration projects.
In the shorter term, the railway has committed to offset its emissions annually through the purchase of verified carbon credits through the Carbon Neutral Britain Climate Fund scheme.
General manager Stuart Williams said: “As a heritage steam railway, for which coal burning steam locomotives are an integral part of the visitor experience, we are keen to make sure we minimise the impact of our operation wherever possible.
“We were attracted to working with Forest Carbon as they offered a long-term solution. The Talyllyn is looking to implement annual offsetting projects to complement this scheme, especially those based in Wales where possible.
“We will be offering our customers the chance to be able to pay a small premium on their ticket price to individually offset their journey and will be encouraging our membership to donate too. Any donations made will be reinvested in similar projects.”
Matthew Hay, from Forest Carbon, said: “We are delighted to be working with Talyllyn Railway to address their climate impact and welcome their investment into UK nature-based solutions by supporting woodland creation at Breckenhill.
“Planting trees, especially native species, delivers a whole host of environmental benefits beyond carbon sequestration, so we really value the contribution of committed organisations like Talyllyn, who are willing to step up and put their money where their mouth is, sustainability wise.”
The railway has already invested in several sustainability projects including a 13kw solar panel installation, electric car chargers at the two main stations and the removal of single use plastics.
It also recently adopted a new environmental policy which covers resource management, water, electricity and biodiversity. The railway appreciates how important it is to be carbon neutral and is constantly looking at ways to improve its environmental credentials.
Talyllyn Railway has invested in planting trees at Breckenhill in Northern Ireland to offset carbon emissions from steam trains.
Although best known for his striking political posters, a portion of his work is concerned with the literary world. He spent the last decade of his life in Porthcawl, where he continued to work and was deeply influenced by Welsh culture and the Welsh language.
This exhibition celebrates his contribution to visual art in Wales, as well as the writers he portrayed.
Photographer Nick Treharne's exhibition A Portrait of Wales features 20 images of modern Wales. Since 2018, Nick’s vision has been to build a comprehensive portfolio of life in Wales.
He’s a master of observation and has an ability to seek out and find engaging moments in the streets, the countryside and the many events that take place during each year.
From events and traditions that are an integral part of Welsh life, to portraits of the inspirational and interesting characters he meets on his journey, this “lover of the split second” transforms ordinary, everyday subjects into something extraordinary.
The library has an extensive collection of works of art on paper and the On Paper exhibition will showcase prints, watercolours, collages, sketchbooks and paintings by some of Wales's most prominent artists.
With topics ranging from explorations of political activism, racism and refugee life alongside more traditional subjects such as the human form and the natural world, this exhibition offers an insight into the diversity and richness of the works on paper in our collections.
Throughout the summer visitors will also have an opportunity to view the majestic Gregynog Gallery which has been recently refurbished.
Pedr ap Llwyd, the library’s chief executive and librarian, said: “I am very much looking forward to being able to welcome the public back to visit our exhibitions.
“Although the library has remained digitally open throughout the lockdown periods and readers have been able to return to the building to work, I am well aware that people are keen to be able to return to enjoy this wonderful building and its special collections. Although the circumstances will have to be different for safety reasons, the welcome will be as warm as ever.”
The safety of visitors and staff is the library’s highest priority. To reduce the risk of the spread of Covid-19, visitors will notice changes which may mean that their experience is slightly different to what is normally offered.
Limited numbers of visitors are able to enter the building and visits must be pre-booked with valid tickets presented at reception on arrival. The library shop and Pendinas Café will also be open as part of the visit on production of a valid ticket.
Full details of the other safety measures which will be in place can be viewed on the library’s website https://www.library.wales/visit/things-to-do/exhibitions
National Library of Wales.
Rhayader is set to become known as ‘The Outdoors Capital of Wales’ as part of a drive to promote the small Mid Wales town and its businesses as a tourist destination.
The new branding follows a strategic plan written by Spencer David Consultants who have worked closely with Rhayader 2000, an action group that works on the development of Rhayader as a tourism destination, and the town council over the past year.
Town councillor Rhys Thomas led on the branding with Tom Jones, of Hafod Hardware, taking the lead on the logo and design work.
Cllr Thomas, the town council’s portfolio holder for tourism, said: “Building on the new fantastic branding, which has been developed by Tom, we are relaunching our website, https://www.rhayader.co.uk/.
“The site has been designed to encapsulate everything Rhayader has to offer but with a real outdoors theme running through it. Rhayader and district have so much to offer and our community welcomes visitors with open arms.”
Recognising the importance of the tourism sector to shops and businesses in the town, the town council agreed to fund Rhayader 2000 annually in its precept.
Kerena Pugh, Rhayader 2000 chair, said: “The funding from Rhayader Town Council, along with a revitalised membership of Rhayader 2000, has already given us results with this new contemporary website.
“Working together with all the businesses of the town will make Rhayader stronger, more vibrant and will drive our economy for the future.”
The new website will be a hub of information for visitors to access a directory of local activities and amenities. With an up-to-date events page and an interactive map, the site will put visitors in good stead as they begin to explore what Rhayader has to offer.
And there is more to come. A successful bid to Powys County Council and Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns Grant has allowed the town council to use the new branding in COVID-19 signage and a COVID safe tourist information totem for the centre of town.
The new Rhayader website.
One of the most celebrated craft gin producers in the UK, the Dyfi Distillery in Mid Wales, has secured a prestigious export contract to the USA.
The multi award winning distillery, based at Corris, near Machynlleth, has partnered with and created a Dyfi Gin blend especially for Broadbent Selections, one of the finest American wine and spirits importers.
Much like the distillery’s iconic Pollination bottling, the new Dovey Native Botanical Gin is based on a complex formulation of indigenous flowers, leaves, berries and conifers.
Like Pollination Gin, it is being celebrated immediately after release, having just been awarded gold at the 2021 Gin Masters.
“This is really the culmination of a conversation which started six years ago,” said Dyfi Distillery co-founder Danny Cameron, “but meticulousness does take time to get right.
“We’ve learned to be patient and as the Broadbent teamwork with some of the best in the world, they don’t like shortcuts, just like we don’t like shortcuts.”
Bartholomew Broadbent, president of Broadbent Selections, said: “Dyfi Distillery is an absolutely world class producer and we’re very excited to be working with them.
“We work with some of the very finest restaurants and retailers across the USA and, based on our zero-compromise approach to quality, this phenomenal gin is a perfect fit for our most demanding clients.”
The Dyfi Distillery operates from within the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere Reserve and is, unusually for a distillery of its size, frequently open to passing visitors. It is located within the Corris Craft Centre, a hub for thriving independent craft producers.
The special Dyfi Gin blend created for export to the USA.
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