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From this month's featured article

Coed y Bleiddiau

Coed y Bleiddiau ('Wood of the Wolves') is a remote location just down the line from Dduallt and there is evidence of ancient forest in the area. Local legend has it that the last wolf to be killed in Wales met its end nearby. There is a small halt here, serving a cottage which was built around 1860 for the use of the Superintendent of the Line.

The current Festiniog Railway Company Rule Book spells the name of this location as either "Coed-y-Bleddiau" or "Coed y Bleddiau". However, the correct spelling of the Welsh word for "wolves" is "bleiddiau". The location is also occasionally referred to as either "Coedybleddiau" or "Coedybleiddiau".

The railway crosses a small side valley on a curved, dry-stone, embankment here and the extra width on the valley side of the curve is evidence of its having been eased at some time, possibly after 1869 when improvements were made to make locomotive working easier, but maybe when line-straightening and relaying in heavier rail was in progress in the 1850s, when locomotives were anticipated. (more...)

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This month's featured picture

Alan Heywood

Alan Heywood gained a B.A. (Hons.) at the University College of Swansea in history, political theory and government. He became the FR's Traffic & Commercial manager. Traffic, operating, sales, buffets, and the BR ticket agency came within his remit. He claimed not to be a really dedicated enthusiast and that he tended to see the FR from the public's point of view which helped when selling to them. It led to modernistic but practical notions such as the 24-hour clock and yellow bands over first class compartments.

Before joining the staff he was a very regular volunteer and had the position of Head Guard.

He formed the highly successful Ffestiniog Travel operation in 1967 and, as General Manager, led its growth into a substantial overseas tour operator. He retired in 2005.

Alan Heywood served the railway under every General Manager and Chief Executive from 1955 to the beginning of 1996, when, probably to his own surprise he was asked to succeed Gordon Rushton in the post. He served as General Manager until 26th December 2000.

Photo credit: FR Magazine

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