|North Wales Branches (60-mins)||Price £19.75|
This video contains scenes of the steam age on five North Wales branches filmed from 1961 to 1966. It was the foresight of local railway enthusiast Brian Cowlishaw with his 16mm camera and some Black & White film that we can bring you these memories where not only has steam gone on four of the branches but the tracks as well.
The first route covered is that from Chester to Mold, Denbigh and Ruthin and views all the stations from Mold such as Star Crossing, Bodfari, Nannerch and Rhewl. Motive power seen includes ex-LMS 2-6-4 Tanks and Standard Class 4’s. Next we travel lineside from Wrexham Central to Ellesmere (closed in 1962) to view ex-GWR 0-4-2 Tanks Nos.1458 and 1432 on passenger autotrains and 57xx-Class No.3789 on freight pickup duties. Marchwell, Bangor-on-Dee and Overton-on-Dee are seen as the intermediate stations on the line.
An in-depth visit to the Brymbo to Minerva line follows the progress of an ex-GWR pannier tank along the steeply graded line over no fewer than eight gated crossings. The line closed in 1972 and our film shows the line in 1965, just as the last GWR 28xx Class were working from Wrexham Croess Newydd shed. The last train to Blaenau Ffestiniog from Bala was filmed in January 1961 in appalling weather, Nevertheless, the rugged atmosphere of this part of Wales is well seen as the two Pannier tanks work the route via Arenig, 1135 feet above sea level.
In 1966 steam appeared on a special train on the Conway Valley line to Blaenau Ffestiniog. This was filmed in colour. The special then traversed the Rhyl to Denbigh line hauled by an ex-LMS Crab 2-6-0 No.42942.
No modern day material has been used in this one hour production. It is fully soundtracked with an informative but not obtrusive commentary by Brian Cowlishaw who took most of the original film, apart from the last colour sequences, and whose knowledge of the area covered is excellent.
Cover photo: Brian Cowlishaw, 1458 at Overton-on-Dee
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