Riding the Penrhyn Railway in the 60s (David J Elliott)
Between 1959 and 1964 I was a forestry student at what was known at the time as the University College of North Wales, Bangor (UCNW). So I have memories of that time including a year in digs at Bethesda, across the road from Station Road and the Purple Motors Garage. (Londis shop)
During that period I rode the Penrhyn Railway twice. The first occasion in I think 1960 and it was at this time that most of my photo collection was taken as the second occasion was damp.
I had walked down to the port to investigate the area and when I asked permission to wander round was asked 'do you want to ride to Bethesda?' Did I ever? so sign the 'blood chit' and get in the loco, Linda. The track was still in good condition but Linda hunted along, I can see why the FR put the pony truck on!
At the works there was the line of derelict locos, which I photographed and are included on a CD that I have donated to the Trust.
Photographs include various track features some of which I hope that the Trust can recreate as part of the history. On this occasion I returned to Bangor by walking the track for the five miles or so.
The second trip must have been in late 1961 or early 1962. It was a muck poorer day as to weather. I was asked this time to sit on a board on the last slate wagon so I got a good idea of the ride! When we were about level with Tregarth is started to rain, an arm appeared out of the cab and beckoned so off I got and run up alongside the train and jumped into the cab all without the train stopping. This was not a photography day due to the weather and I returned to my digs in Bethesda.
Other memories of that time are of riding the back route from Bangor to Bethesda via Tregarth. I was usually the only non Welsh speaker in the old Purple Motors Bedford bus.