Bill Young

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

Trained by BR S&T at Reading, Bill (not short for William but probably Robert!) subsequently worked for London Underground. He ran the FR ‘Western’ signal gang in the 1960s and possibly before then. He was connected with the Railway Enthusiast Club, Farnborough where some of his gang originated and where David Josey met him.[1] Other members of his gang, such as Tony Stapley, worked for British Railways Western Region Signals and Telegraph Dept. He fitted and erected the replacement single post Harbour Home signal when the old trident signal fell down in a winter gale. The replacement in 1967 was a composite job embracing the post from one of the two old W.H.R. signals near Portmadoc goods shed and the roadside wall on the Cob,[2] rodding and other fittings from the trident, an arm from an old Liverpool Overhead Railway signal and a finial believed to be McKenzie & Holland from an FR post at Blaenau. It had improved interlocking to ensure the signal could only be pulled off when the road was set right through to the platform.[3] It is possible the finial from this signal was adopted by John Wagstaff as his paperweight.

The Porthmadog home signal which for a few years replaced the old Trident. Photo: A Stirling via iBase Festiniog.

Bill Young's gang also did much pole route work. He was a volunteer rated by PW paid staff as one who knew how to get things done.[4]

About 1990 Bill owned and worked the Helen narrow boat tug with a day-trip butty at the end of the Caldon Canal. The Helen had been a tug on the BCN – Birmingham Canal Navigation. [5]


  1. ^ Josey D., (2020) Email to MT 18/3/2020
  2. ^ *Mitchell V & Smith K (1994) Branch Lines Around Porthmadog 1954 - 1994) Plate 11, Middleton Press, Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 9AZ
  3. ^ "S & T", Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 39, page(s): 008
  4. ^ Temple M. Ll., (2020) Personal communication.
  5. ^ Josey D., (2017) Personal communication.