Bessie Jones

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group
Bessie Jones
Will & Bessie Jones, Tan y Bwlch.
Occupation Station mistress
FR People | WHR People

Bessie Jones was volunteer station mistress at Tan y Bwlch and wife of platelayer Will Jones.


Bessie was a niece of the residents at Creuau farm near Tan y Bwlch. She met Will Jones when he became porter in charge at the station; they married in 1929. Will Jones and Bessie lived in the Tan y Bwlch station house to which Will had first moved in 1924. During the 1930s, Bessie was volunteer station mistress, appearing in summer in traditional Welsh costume. She was the subject of many picture postcards, some of which were produced for her to sell. Photos also included shots of her operating the point lever, holding the token, etc. From the station house she sold teas to passengers and passers-by and continued to do this after the war, even though the railway was closed. Bessie continued her teas and her costumed appearances when the trains returned to Tan y Bwlch daily during the season for ten years until they both retired in 1968 to Will's home village of Waunfawr.[1]

In May 1969 Will and Bessie celebrated their ruby wedding anniversary with a special train hosted by Alan Pegler. All the permanent staff, wives and friends attended, including the Festiniog Male Voice Choir(!).[2]

Bessie died in 1974, the FR Magazine said: Bessie Jones, former Tan y Bwlch station mistress, wife of Will, and mother of Islwyn to whom we extend condolences. She is a permanent part of the FR.[3]

Bessie and Will Jones are buried at St Garmon's Church, Bettws Garmon, close to the WHR. There is a scene from Tan y Bwlch engraved in bas-relief on their tombstone (back of the church, fifth row back, eighth one along. Please clean the marble ballast while you are there - it is what railways use in Heaven).

Bessie's equivalent on the WHR was Miriam Jones, who was based at Beddgelert.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 20, page(s): 8
  2. ^ "News from the line", Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 45, page(s): 03
  3. ^ Walley, Noel. "The Ffestiniog Railway and its People - Will & Bessie Jones". Some Industrial Influence on The evolution of Landscape in Snowdonia, North Wales. Retrieved 1 July 2018.