John Bate

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Author of the book: The Chronicles of Pendre Sidings: The Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society, 1950-2000. He attended the Bristol Meeting in 1951 which led to the formation of the Ffestiniog Railway Society. A trained civil engineer, at the time he was working at Sellafield. He had made a fairly thorough exploration of the closed FR in September 1950 and in the same month he had written to Railway World Ltd to say in response to a piece in 'Railways' mentioning a proposal to save 'one of the narrow gauge lines in Wales' that the Festiniog Railway would be a better proposition than the Talyllyn! He was a volunteer on the TR from 1951. He had a spell in the early 1950s working at Trawsfynydd and split his time volunteering between the FR and TR. At the time the FR was on its scrap drive and he negotiated the purchase of wagon wheel sets, wagons (now the TR's wagons no. 30 to 35.) and the running gear of old quarrymen's coaches for the TR. He later became Chief Engineer of the Talyllyn Railway (1963-1994).[1] Although trained as a civil engineer he became responsible for all aspects of engineering on the TR including mechanical engineering, buildings and the Nant Gwernol extension. He was in frequent touch with Alan Garraway sharing information on sourcing of supplies etc. Once the wheel lathe at Boston Lodge came back into working order he would take TR wheels there and machine them on it. He borrowed an article by E.S. Cox about bogie design from Alan Garraway when he was designing new bogies for TR carriages. At a later date the FR, when working on carriage bogie design, sent two staff to examine TR carriage bogies.

For his account of early visits to the reviving FR see The Pioneers' Story. [2]

In 2015 John, Alan C Clothier and Vic Mitchell were thought to be the last three living people who were present at the 1951 Bristol Meeting.

References

  1. ^ Garraway Father and Son, (1985) A G W Garraway, Middleton Press, Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 9AZ.
  2. ^ Bate J in Great Railway Eras, Festiniog: The Pioneers' Stories (2007) Davies M and Mitchell V, pages 12 - 13, Middleton Press, Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 9AZ.

Bate J. L. H. (2001) The Chronicles of Pendre Sidings, Rail Romances, Chester, CH4 9ZH, UK.


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