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Chris P April GVT Newsletter

GVT April Web Update

First I must apologise for the very long gap since the last update due to health problems, which are now on the mend.

The last year has been a roller-coaster with so many things going on. Finishing off the shed and platform, the tragic loss of our Chairman, Richard Andrews, his replacement by Keith Roberts. Simon, Pauline and Edwin joining the board; the formal opening of the museum by our Vice President, Geoffrey Kilfoyle; Terry Waite becoming our new President and finally the shock of winning the HRA award.

This last item needs some explanation as we were not allowed to mention it until after the presentation by the Transport Minister. Over 12 months ago Joan, our Secretary, showed us the forms, which we agreed to complete and send off. With so much going on, we thought no more about it.

I was painting the platform fence when two visitors turned up from the HRA. I showed them round and emphasised that we were a long way from completion. Having shown them round the museum, I took them for a walk along the trackbed at the coal wharf. Perhaps the weather and the valley helped as it was a hot day with birds zipping through the trees chasing insects over the dancing waters of the river Ceiriog. They enjoyed themselves and talked about the Tramway and their own Severn Valley.

A few weeks later, I was asked to show another judge around. Luckily, we had Simon with us, so we repeated the tour. However, this time accompanied by a clip-board and many, many detailed questions, including, strangely, the subject of wood screws. Apparently, this is rather important as the use of slotted screws is viewed favourably. Luckily for us, my late father was a woodscrew magpie so all of the jam jars of screws were used around the site to save the cost of new ones. Having “grilled” us in the nicest possible way, the judge left. Simon and I then wandered around the site looking at screw heads and deciding that we had “cooked our goose.”

Weeks passed and I was asked to show another judge around. Unwisely, I decided to look him up. All this did was to make me very anxious as I realised how knowledgeable and qualified our visitor was! Having mentioned my concerns to Edwin, he very kindly agreed to come round with us. I think it was largely down to Edwin and his vast knowledge of the Tramway that we did win the award, together with Simon and the whole team playing their part. In many ways, beating 43 other projects to gain the award is perhaps the best memorial we could provide to Richard, our late Chairman, as he would have been so pleased and happy with it. As you can see from the events table (on the ‘Diary Dates and Events’ page – Ed) we have many things going on this year. Our President’s book launch will hopefully raise some much needed funds, so please try and support it if you are able.

Other tasks are going on at present. Malcolm Draper is putting together information for a grant to tackle the Horse Tramway crane from information from our ultimate source, John Milner, who has produced drawings and photos.

We hope to have some good news with regard to track shortly. But one thing is certain, it will be 28 ½ ins gauge, so watch this space.

Related to this is the favourite visitor question, “When are you going to get a locomotive?” The answer, hopefully, is ‘not too far in the future’ with a number of options being looked into. Again, it will fit our gauge.

Lastly, as we now have the museum open, in future all workshop activity will have to happen elsewhere. With this in mind, we have started restoration work on getting the main shed on the Coal Wharf ready for use. This project will take time, but we have made a good start. If you feel you can help, either practically or financially (or both – Ed) you will be very welcome. Just turn up on Saturday - 10 am onwards at the Engine Shed.

Many thanks for your interest – Chris Pendlebury – Publicity Officer.

APRIL Newsletter

WE WON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


We won the Supporter's Award. Well done team GVT.


There were three finalists in our group and a total of ten awards. A total of 43 entries had been received from all parts and sectors and the standard was high.

David and I received the award (plaque) on behalf of the Trust which was rather daunting as we were faced by a large audience and a sea of faces. Photos were taken which will become available to us. I have the plaque safely at home and very impressive it is too (and quite heavy!). We had the most amazing day.

Once again well done everyone!!


LINK To the NHRA website awards page

NGVT&IHT wins the NRHA Supporters Award

Joan Andrews receives the Supporters Award from the NRHA

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.

Hendre Granite Wagon New GVT Exhibit for the Museum

PLEASE NOTE: This wagon loaned by Stephen Milner, John Milner and Denise Milner- Salvage and restoration courtesy Milner Engineering Services Ltd, Wrexham, timber supplied courtesy Theodore Davies & Sons, Glyn Ceiriog and salvage facilitated by the late Peter Farthing, Hendre Farm.

Pictures from the Wrexham Show

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