Kids Week 2002

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group
Kids Week 2002
Take nearly forty youngsters, aged from 12 to 17, add just over twenty adults, aged from 18 to well over 21, mix well and give them all the chance to work and play for a week, as volunteers, and you have the basic ingredients of the Ffestiniog Railway's annual event aimed at catching volunteers young. Copyright FR Co.
2002 was the thirteenth such event, and the first not completely organised and directed by their founder Eileen Clayton. Even though she could not participate during the week Eileen had made her experience available to the organisers throughout the planning process, and it was much appreciated! Copyright FR Co.
An early decision had been to divide responsibility for Work, Play and Care between a team of people, Society Hostel Warden, Helen Gent, assumed responsibility for the accommodation of the young volunteers, some in a private house and the rest in the two hostels at Minffordd and Penrhyn. FR Co. Volunteer Resource Manager Trish Doyle organised the ‘out-of-hours’ entertainments, the beach party, Friday night barbecue, and so on. Hilary Norton worked with Helen and Trish to ensure that all were fed and watered throughout the week. Copyright FR Co.
Responsibility for planning the working part of the week was undertaken by Peter Randall, Paul Board and Adrian Gray. At the last moment day to day responsibility fell to Adrian Gray, whose experience of past weeks stood him in good stead! The week began on Saturday 3rd August with a meal and meeting at Tan-y-bwlch café and on Sunday, in glorious weather, work began! Sadly it didn’t last and by Wednesday afternoon a period of unsettled weather set in. Copyright FR Co.
The tasks tackled this year were mostly undertaken in Minffordd Yard, with the exception of a complete external refurbishment of the FR Society Volunteer hostel at Penrhyn. Here a team of between eight and four young people worked under the direction of Martin & Elizabeth Cook to repaint the whole building. The position of the Hostel, perched above the busy road, had meant two days of extensive scaffolding for Buildings Supervisor Paul Board and three volunteers the week before, to create a safe working platform for work on the rear of the building. Copyright FR Co.
At Minffordd a couple of youngsters and a couple of adults all but completed a task begun three years previously, the re-slating of a roof of very complex shape on a building once used as a ‘caban’ by men loading slate onto standard gauge wagons during the railway’s heyday - only the weather prevented the fixing of ridge tiles. Copyright FR Co.
Another group completed a set of railings between the FR yard and the Cambrian Coast line station, also begun three years ago. They then repainted the whole set to provide a decent public face for users of the other station. Unfotunately we don't seem to have a picture of this work
Painting figures in many jobs during Kids Weeks. It is one of those jobs that truly responds to the adage that 'many hands make light work', so repainting an end of the large Maenofferen Shed, painting three wooden coal wagons for Boston Lodge, and three iron slate wagons for the gravity train were all part of the achievements of Kids Week 2002. Copyright FR Co.
The youngsters involved in those jobs also had the chance to apply paint to veteran locomotive Welsh Pony, something that Kids have done before! Many years on a plinth at Harbour Station have left Welsh Pony rather the worse for wear and a bit of cosmetic surgery was much needed. Sadly, this job didn't quite get finished. Note - original full size picture unavailable Copyright FR Co.
A select group of older, stronger, Kids spent the week working under the direction of the P.Way department, renewing sleepers on the sidings in the Yard. The principle of showing Kids the variety of tasks that must be done to keep the railway running is central to Kids Week. Copyright FR Co.
The major construction project undertaken during Kids Week 2002 was to enclose the small Maenofferen Shed and No.3 road to create a secure area in which the Heritage Group can store important artifacts and old wooden vehicles. To make the shed more useful another team, under expert supervision, fixed three rows of brand new fluorescent strip lights inside - now we can see what we have hidden away! Copyright FR Co.
Up on Minffordd station Mary Arnold and a small group spent the week on annual maintenance, Kids Weeks began as spin off from working parties organised to see to the gardens here and it is a matter of some pride that we keep the standards up! Copyright FR Co.
A little further away, in the Gweithdy the specialised working group of Kids Week performs its wonders. Quietly, well until they start singing, a small group of Kids spends the week painting signs - everything from little boards saying ‘wet paint’ or ‘paint store’ up to the elaborate, multi-coloured and shaded sign above the door of Penrhyn Hostel emerges from under the brushes of this team. Copyright FR Co.
31 signs of all sizes were completed during the 2002 week, they will be put up all over the FR & WHR, either as new or replacements for those that have suffered from weather and age. Copyright FR Co.
Without this team the Railways would look a much poorer sight. As so often happens a brand new, talented, individual was discovered this year, and is young enough to keep coming back for some time! Copyright FR Co.
On the Tuesday evening, fortunately before the weather broke, we ran our traditional ‘works train’, to Dduallt this year where painting, station cleaning, bush bashing and a general tidy up occupied a couple of hours. Copyright FR Co.
Moel Hebog, piloted by Fred Howes and Bob Cable gave creditable impression of a poorly fired steam engine on the up journey and then led a stirring gravity run back down the line as far as Penrhyn crossing bearing a train of tired, but happy, workers! Copyright FR Co.

See also[edit]