Jim Clemens Collection Vol 40:

Cambrian Steam Miscellany.


CAMBRIAN STEAM MISCELLANY has been compiled almost entirely from ciné film taken by the late Jim Clemens covering much of the old Cambrian Railways system and more, it includes previously unused material from the B & R archives.

We begin at Gobowen in the autumn of 1966: double-headed Class 2 2-6-0s are seen on stone trains from Nantmawr Quarry, steam still reigned supreme on the Paddington to Birkenhead service, plus the DMU shuttle to and from Oswestry via Park Hall Halt had just a few days of life left. There is excellent coverage of the CR main line from Whitchurch via Ellesmere, Oswestry, and Llanymynech to Welshpool. Return journeys are also made over the Ellesmere to Wrexham and Llanymynech to Llanfyllin branches.

The route of the ‘Cambrian Coast Express’ is followed from Shrewsbury to Welshpool, Abermule, Newtown, Moat Lane Junction, Carno, Talerddig (where time is spent watching steam do battle with Talerddig Bank), Llanbrynmair, Machynlleth, Dovey Junction, and Borth to Aberystwyth. Filmed from the Vale of Rheidol line in 1964 we even parallel a ‘Manor’ nearing Aberystwyth hauling a freight train; in fact, ‘Manors’ are seen in profusion at Aberystwyth.

Coastal route film includes: along the Dovey Estuary, Fairbourne, Morfa Mawddach, the famous Barmouth Viaduct, Barmouth, Llanaber Halt, Llanbedr & Pensarn, Llandanwg Halt, Harlech, Tygwyn Halt (with class leader 82000), Llandecwyn Halt, Pont Briwet, Penrhyndeudraeth, Portmadoc, and Afon Wen. The old Carnarvonshire Railway route is traversed from Afon Wen in 1964 with film at most stations, including Dinas Junction, to Caernarvon.

The GW line from Ruabon to the coast is also well covered, such as: Trevor (where 1660 is shunting), Llangollen, Berwyn Halt, Bonwm Halt, Corwen, Llandrillo, Llandderfel, Bala Junction, Llanuwchllyn, Drws-y-Nant, Dolgellau, Penmaenpool (including the engine shed), and Arthog. The shuttle from Bala Junction to Bala is seen plus also film from 1959 of the passenger service onwards to Blaenau Ffestiniog Central, including the SLS ‘Last Train’ in January 1961.

The time period for this video is from about 1959 to 1966. Motive power includes: Manor, 43xx, 2251, 45xx, 16xx, 74xx, 14xx, Black 5, 48xxx, Ivatt Class 2 2-6-0, 73xxx, 75xxx, 76xxx, 78xxx, 80xxx, 82xxx, and 84xxx; plus even the odd DMU. This nostalgic look at the last years of steam on the Cambrian has been assembled in the order the film runs off the original cine reels, is mostly in colour, and includes a commentary plus sound track.

Cover photo: 75071 climbs Talerddig Bank on Saturday 7 August 1965 (AJ Maund).

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