Photo: Ffestiniog Railway Magazine
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Arthur Lambert was by birth a Kentish man (that is born West of the Medway). Arthur studied engineering at the University of London and joined the Officer Training Corps. This resulted in him being in the reserve and called up at the outbreak of WW2. In 1940 he married Molly whom he had met in 1935. In 1941 Captain Lambert was sent to Singapore just in time to be surrendered to the Japanese. He and his men were sent as prisoners to Korea where they were badly fed and developed beri-beri. Arthur insisted on having brown rice for them to eat and the beri-beri disappeared. He was demobilized in 1945, returned home and took a job with Lincoln Electric Company, part of Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds where he became transport manager and gained his MITA (Member of the Industrial Transport Association - nowadays the Chartered Institute of Transport). He and Molly lived for may years in Hertfordshire while he was transport manager with Guest Keen and Nettlefolds group of companies. His special interest in railways was the Maunsell era and the first fifteen years of the Southern Railway.
In the early 1950s Lambert heard of attempts to reopen the Festiniog Railway. A visit to the line in 1955 did not particularly impress him but he became involved later as progress became more obvious. He joined the Society and spent a week helping to clear the track above Penrhyn in 1957. By 1958 he was London Area Group treasurer and for years went on LAG working parties, often driving the minibus. Parties left Baker Street at 10:00 pm on a Friday, arrived at Portmadoc at 6:30 am on the Saturday in time for a wash, shave and breakfast at the Comical (the Commercial Hotel - now the Big Rock Café) and reported for work under Allan Garraway at 9:00 am. He was on the committee of LAG from 1958 to 1972. He regularly did from two to five weeks work a year on the railway, nearly all with the Permanent Way Department.
He became a Ffestiniog Railway Society director in 1960 until 1979. During much of that period he served as Managing Director of the Society's Management Committee. One of his first actions was to approach all group secretaries about group-committee/Society board communications and from this resulted the Groups Information Memorandum - G.I.M and he was editor for most of the first fifty issues. Arthur stood down as a Society Director on 1979 when he and Molly moved to Maentwrog. At the time the Society Board met in London and he did not relish the journeys. However he was appointed a Vice President of the society and regularly attended Board meetings.
Lambert joined the Health and Safety Committee in 1979 becoming secretary in 1984. He only resigned from his position on the Health and Safety Committee in March 2006 having thus completed 49 years as an FR volunteer. With Geoff Hall and Jack Somers he worked in a volunteer team which did stone walling. Their work included rebuilding lineside walls from Tanygrisiau to Glan y Pwll.