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From this month's featured article

Makers photograph of Taliesin in 1876

Taliesin was an 0-4-4 Single Fairlie built by the Vulcan Foundry in 1876, originally given the number 9. It had its first run on 10th August 1876, double heading with Little Giant, and was put into service on 17th August. It was completely rebuilt between 1898 and 1900. Over subsequent years the locomotive fell into increasing disrepair and was dismantled in preparation for a new boiler in 1924. However, despite recommendations from the Locomotive Superintendent and Engineer, the Board refused to purchase a boiler. The boiler was run into by Welsh Pony, in August 1924, whose tender was also damaged in the accident. Boyd states Taliesin was reassembled with its existing boiler, but the archives have no record of this. The maintenance records log the scrapping of what remained in 1937. A replica was built in 1999. The only parts of the original locomotive known to have survived are the reversing lever (used on the replica) and the eccentrics (which were used on Linda). A set of Fairlie wheels survives and may well be from this loco.

The name is that of a legendary Head Bard to Prince Elffin, who maybe lived around 520-560 A.D. The name means 'fair-brow'; it can also mean 'fair pay' or 'reward.' The story is that William Williams (a bard himself, Gwilym Meirion) persuaded the FR Board that the legendary bard was just the name for the loco, but as there was a pay dispute between the Board and their staff at the time, it gave some glee to the men seeing the loco puffing up the line displaying the brass plate 'Fair Pay.' (more...)

Recently featured: Minffordd YardCoed y BleiddiauCharles Easton Spooner


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This month's featured picture

The blue plaque commemorating the Bristol meeting

The Ffestiniog Railway Society's origins can be traced back to the meeting called in Bristol at 2.30 pm on Saturday 8th September 1951 at the Bristol Railway Circle's rented club room in Clifton by seventeen year old schoolboy Leonard Heath Humphrys. This meeting is known as the Bristol Meeting.

The meeting took place at St Mary's House, 36 Tyndall Park Road, Clifton, Bristol 8 (according to Gerry Nicholls, President of the Bristol Railway Circle the full name was St Mary's Church House). The Bristol Railway Circle met in one of two rooms they occupied in the basement of St Mary's House. The other room was filled with an 'O' gauge layout.

On 8th September 2016 a blue plaque to commemorate the meeting was unveiled by the Honourable Sir William McAlpine Bart. at the instigation of the Ffestiniog Railway Society, Bristol Civic Society and Bristol Railway Circle with the kind permission of Bristol University.

Photo credit: User:MarkTemple

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