Leslie Smith

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Leslie Smith
Official positions held:
FR Co. Director 24/06/1954 - 1992
FR People | WHR People


Leslie John Walshaw Smith MBE was a friend of Trevor Bailey having met him in the Second World War during army service in 1940, when entering new quarters they found themselves in adjoining beds and their first few words evoked the subject of trains. [1] Trevor's sister Jane was married to John Routly. It was these three (Bailey, Routly and Smith) who managed to involve Alan Pegler in the affairs of the then moribund FR after three of them met on the GNR "Towns Line Centenary" special train in 1952. In January 1953 Smith, Trevor Bailey and Alan Pegler inspected the railway to gather information to help persuade Pegler senior to fund the purchase of control. When, in 1954, Alan obtained control of the railway, he and Trevor became Directors of the Festiniog Railway Company. He had first become involved with the FR when another surveyor, Tom King, another employee of Finchley Council, consulted him about it in 1952. He became Vice-Chairman of the FR Co. in 1972 and retired from the Board in 1992. He was the Director responsible for the long compensation battle with the CEGB (Electricity authorities) and for the detailed negotiations with farmers, landowners and local authorities during the long process of planning and building the Deviation and restoring FR Services to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Leslie Smith studied engineering at London Polytechnic and later became a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. He worked for Finchley Council from 1946 to 1958. He was awarded the MBE 'for services to the Festiniog Railway'.

He died on 24th January 1997. [2]

  1. ^ "Portraits", Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 009, page(s): 002
  2. ^ "Obituary", Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 156, page(s): 457

See also[edit]