The Glyn Valley Tramway Group
Following its formation in 1974, the Glyn Valley Tramway Group began to catalogue known historical photographs of the Tramway and to record any remaining artefacts of the Tramway that could be identified.
Thanks to the then owner, the late J H Cranwell, a public display room was established in the local Glyn Valley Hotel in 1979, an early significant achievement for the Group.
This enabled some fifty or so collected photographs, documents and other items relating to the Tramway to be publicly displayed.
Several original Tramway buildings had survived through to the 1980s, including the passenger waiting rooms at Pontfadog and Dolywern, and the station building, engine shed and coal wharf office at Glyn Ceiriog.
In 1985 the Group organised an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the closure of the Tramway.
The event included a special bus service between Chirk and Glyn Ceiriog, a model and miniature railway exhibition, an original GVT compartment carriage borrowed from the Talyllyn Railway, canal trips, a fun fair and craft stalls.
The event was supported by British Rail for enthusiasts to travel from much further afield.
In 1989 "The Little Shop" at Pontfadog, the former GVT passenger waiting room, came onto the open market and the Group were able to purchase the freehold. The building was fully restored by the Group and retains its original interior bench seating and an open fireplace.
During the late 1990s the Group learnt that Wrexham County Borough Council's highway depot in Glyn Ceiriog, based in the former Tramway engine shed and station yard, might be closing down. The Group submitted a proposal to Wrexham CBC for the site to be used for a new heritage centre for the Ceiriog Valley.
Supportive of the idea, Wrexham CBC passed a resolution in 1999 allowing for a lease to be granted to the Group in the event of the depot closing, provided the Group established a guarantee company to take on the lease and first carried out certain specified remedial works.
Then in 2003 the Group was offered freehold the land comprising the former Tramway coal wharf in Glyn Ceiriog, including an half mile section of trackbed alongside the river towards Pandy.
A limited company was formed by the Group, taking the original Glyn Valley Tramway Company Ltd name, to purchase and own this property.
Wrexham CBC's highways depot closed in 2004 at which point the Group was offered a conditional lease, still subject to a guarantee company holding the lease and undertaking extensive and expensive remedial works on the former Tramway engine shed.
After three years of negotiations, surveys, fundraising, drawings and the like, the Group formed Glyn Valley Tramway Trust as a guarantee company in 2007, which was granted a provisional license to occupy the engine shed and station yard at Glyn Ceiriog to carry out preliminary remedial works.
Unfortunately, after a disagreement over the future direction of the Group at the end of 2007, a number of management committee members (who also controlled the new guarantee company) left to start an entirely separate tramway project at Chirk.
This separation meant the Group now needed to form another guarantee company to lease and restore the former engine shed and station yard at Glyn Ceiriog.
The New Glyn Valley Tramway & Industrial Heritage Trust
The New Glyn Valley Tramway & Industrial Heritage Trust was formed as a member guarantee company in 2009 and is the successor organisation to the Glyn Valley Tramway Group. Glyn Valley Tramway Company Ltd is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Heritage Trust.
In July 2010, members of the Group held their final general meeting and agreed to transfer all of its assets and goodwill to the new Heritage Trust and to wind up the Group after 36 years in existence.
On the same date and on behalf of Wrexham CBC, the mayor of Wrexham presented the Heritage Trust with a 25 year lease of the former Tramway engine shed (now a Grade II Listed Building) and the adjacent former station yard at Glyn Ceiriog.
After securing planning permission from Wrexham CBC and listed building consent from Cadw for its proposed building alterations and renovation, the Heritage Trust began extensive site clearance work in 2014 and engine shed restoration work in 2015, aided by a meaningful grant from Waste Recycling Management Ltd (WREN).
Upon its completion in 2016, the engine shed restoration won a prestigious award from the National Rail Heritage Awards.
One of the main objectives of the Heritage Trust came to fruition in 2017 with the opening to the public of our Museum inside the 'Old Tramway Engine Shed' at Glyn Ceiriog. After inspection by members of Wrexham Area Civic Society, they presented the Museum with their '2017 Regeneration Award'.
Following further negotiations with Wrexham CBC, the Heritage Trust was able to purchase the freehold of the former Tramway engine shed and station yard in 2020.
Our Museum at Glyn Ceiriog has an extensive archive for research study and a significant number of interpreted displays of historical records, artefacts, photographs, literature, ephemera, models, tools and equipment associated with the former Glyn Valley Tramway and the industries of the Ceiriog Valley that the tramway served from 1873 until its closure in 1935.
The Heritage Trust continues to maintain and develop the Museum and the nearby GVT Coal Wharf site, as well as looking after the former passenger waiting room at Pontfadog.
Current projects and future plans are highlighted on our Projects page.