The 70th anniversary of the birth of heritage railways was celebrated at a ceremony in Mid Wales earlier this month.
On May 14, 1951, the first ever train in railway preservation left Wharf Station in Tywyn for the short trip to Rhydyronen, establishing Talyllyn Railway as the world’s first volunteer run railway.
To celebrate the 70th anniversary, five of the original members of Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society - Phil Sayers, John Smallwood, Olwyn Bate, John Bate and David Mitchell - boarded a commemorative train at Tywyn.
The same ribbon cut by society chairman Bill Trinder for the first train in 1951 was used for the 50th and 70th anniversary ceremonies.
This time the ribbon was cut John Bate and the train was double headed by Locomotives No. 2 ‘Dolgoch’ and No. 4 ‘Edward Thomas. A pioneer volunteer in 1951, John went on to serve as the society’s first honorary civil engineer in 1958, the first paid chief engineer from 1963-’94 and is now an honorary vice-president.
John was welcomed and introduced by David Mitchell, society president and Jonathan Mann, chairman, who also drove Loco No. 4.
Original members of Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society (from left) Phil Sayers, John Smallwood, Olwyn Bate, John Bate and David Mitchell at the 70th anniversary ceremony.
Picture by Frank Nolan.
John Bate (centre) cuts the anniversary ribbon watched by David Mitchell (left) and Jonathan Mann.
Picture Barbara Fuller.
Bill Trinder cutting the ribbon for the first train departure in 1951.
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