David Davies (1855)

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

David Davies, born 1855 in Penrhyn, was a Festiniog Railway engine driver.

Working on the FR[edit]

He joined the FR in the 1870s. He is first recorded as a cleaner in 1880, but became a driver by 1881.

David Davies was the driver of the loco and wagons from Minffordd when the George Westley accident took place in the goods shed at Harbour Station on 4th March 1881 (see Accident Record). Within the report of the incident, it is stated that he had been employed by the company for 8 years, and had been a driver for eight months.[1]

David Davies had a reputation for being a fast driver (he is reputed to have gone from Glanypwll shed to Boston Lodge in 25 minutes with Taliesin). See the brief character portrait in Dan Wilson's article.[2]

He continued as a regular driver until at least 1908, when the loco staff began to be cut back. He drove Palmerston each time it was lent to the Vale of Rheidol Railway in 1912,1913,1914,1921 & 1922 . However from 1912 he is classified as a fireman (for the works stationary engine). The last listing to show him in 1924 has his role as 'general duties', and the wages records show he left on 11th October 1924.

Personal life[edit]

He married Jane sometime before 1879 and had at least 2 children but seems to have married again in 1885 to Elizabeth with whom he had another five children including Tom, Evan and Will who all went on to work on the FR. They lived at various addresses, Rhiw Bethel, Nazareth Terrace and finally Boston Lodge.


David Davies (1855) is confirmed as the person in the photo known as Boyd26H. (click here to see) This photo is labelled "A Group taken in the Works Yard before the First War". It is believed to be around 1913. It is not all staff from the yard at that time. There was a list attached to the original which declares who the people are. This person is believed to be in the third row from the back and the first person from the left handside.

He also appears in picture of Palmerston in FR Heritage Group Journal Issue 95 page 44.

Census Entry for 1901[edit]

An entry has been found for this person at Nazareth Terrace, Penrhyn
where the year of birth is recorded as: c1855 in Penrhyndeudraeth
The occupation given is: Engine Driver
and the FR/WHR connection is verified

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Johnson, Peter (2007). An Illustrated History of the Festiniog Railway. Hersham: Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 0-860936-03-1. OCLC 180463433.
  2. ^ "Bron Madoc", Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 089, page(s): 038