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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

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