Bangor and the WHR


BM
 

Greetings from the UK, where Kerry and I have made our pilgrimage to the Welsh Highland Railway. The train was hauled by the last Beyer Garratt locomotive NG/G16 No. 138, the first, K1, currently undergoing conversion from oil to coal-firing and receiving attention for other problems that emerged during operation. It should be in regular service by next Easter.

For any members of the group planning a visit to the WHR to see K1 in action, I can strongly recommend the Abbeyfield Hotel as a base. If you are travelling by train, then Bangor is the nearest railway station and you should look for accommodation in this area. Abbeyfield Hotel is a 400year old inn cum hotel located in the delightful Welsh village of Tal-y-Bont, some 2 miles east of Bangor just off the A55. There is a bus stop just 150m from the hotel on the A55 with services to and from Caenarfon every 20-30 minutes, so getting to the WHR is no problem.

If you are driving, there is another attraction that makes the Abbeyfield Hotel an attractive option. We discovered that Penrhyn Castle was within easy walking distance, so we took a pleasant stroll through village walking tracks to the entry gate and then through a forest to the castle (about 2.5km). This is a modern ‘fantasy castle’ built in the 19th century by Lord Penrhyn to show off his immense wealth earned on the backs of Welsh slate quarry workers and sugar estate slaves in Jamaica. It now belongs to the National Trust – the result of death duties finally catching up with the family – which has done a fabulous job restoring and interpreting the rooms, so it provides a fascinating social history of the 19th and early 20th century that should certainly keep the wife/ partner happy and may even appeal to the most hardened railway enthusiast!

What will appeal to members of this group is the fact that the stables house the only museum in Britain devoted to industrial railways. It has a great collection of immaculately restored locomotives and rolling stock from industrial lines all over the country, but particularly Welsh slate quarry railways. I will be reporting on this museum and the WHR in the December issue of Light Railways, which should also have a long awaited article on K1 and its restoration.

I found and booked the the Abbeyfield Hotel on the internet. The rooms are very comfortable – our room (with an en-suite) was the largest we have come across in Britain – and the meals were excellent. Disadvantages? Well the railway runs right past the hotel, so you have the sound of regular trains rushing past the window, but that only lasts for a second! There is no disabled access to the rooms.

Bob McKillop


B.Rumary
 

Rfmckillop wrote:

What will appeal to members of this group is the fact that the
stables house the only museum in Britain devoted to industrial
railways.
I'm afraid this is just not true - there are a lot of museums devoted
to industrial railways in the UK, although Penrhyn is probably the only
one housed totally indoors. Other industrial railway museums are the
Leighton Buzzard Light Railway, Tanfield, Rutland Ironstone Museum,
Amberley, Foxfield, etc.

Brian Rumary, England

www.rumary.co.uk


BM
 

I should have made explicit that I was quoting from the museum's brochure on this claim. Whatever the semantics of the wording, the museum is worth a visit.

Bob McKillop

---- Brian Rumary <brian@rumary.co.uk> wrote:

Rfmckillop wrote:

What will appeal to members of this group is the fact that the
stables house the only museum in Britain devoted to industrial
railways.
I'm afraid this is just not true - there are a lot of museums devoted
to industrial railways in the UK, although Penrhyn is probably the only
one housed totally indoors. Other industrial railway museums are the
Leighton Buzzard Light Railway, Tanfield, Rutland Ironstone Museum,
Amberley, Foxfield, etc.

Brian Rumary, England

www.rumary.co.uk





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