Volunteer's Manual

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The first "Volunteers' Manual" was created by the London Area Group in 1960. Its object was to help volunteers to be better able to carry out the work expected of them on the Railway. LAG believed that the Railway might have lost some enthusiastic volunteers because on their first visit to the line they were given a job which may have seemed to them either trivial or unnecessary, and they might have thought, quite wrongly, that the Railway management had no desire to make the best use of their services. It was their hope that "The Volunteers' Manual" will help to dispel this idea by bringing home the fact that there are endless number and variety of tasks necessary to enable a railway to run smoothly. It was suggested that all railway work can be interesting provided the worker appreciates exactly what he is doing, and why. The manual was being published with the support and approval of Allan Garraway, General Manager of the Festiniog Railway, who was contributing the foreword. This foreword contains the famous words: "in other words, the people on the FR are enthusiastic railwaymen, rather than railway enthusiasts." The publication was planned for July 1960 and would be priced at 1/3d, post free.[1] Its actual publication date was September 1960.

The expanded and completely revised edition was published in green covers by the Ffestiniog Railway Society in December 1965. This still contained the original Garraway foreword from the 1st edition, complete with the famous phrases about "enthusiastic railwaymen, rather than railway enthusiasts". This edition was 32 pages with a pull out map which included place names on the never built East Side route of the Deviation. The editor was "R.B.C." (undoubtedly Roy Cunningham) and the people mentioned as helping reads as a who's who of the early revival (Mike Elvy, Ron Fisher, Allan Garraway, Ross Gregory, Norman Gurley, Don Hayter, Alan Heywood, Nicholas Knight, Arthur Lambert, Ron Lester, Norman Pearce, John Ransom, Alan Skellern, Ron Walker, and Dan Wilson). There are 7 photos by Norman Gurley and two by Mike Elvy. The price was 3 shillings.

The third edition was published in 1975 by the Festiniog Railway Company in blue covers with a black plastic spine. It includes AGWG's original forweword and the editor remained "R.B.C.". It had expanded to 48 pages and again had a foldout map but this time showing the Deviation via the West Side route as built. In keeping with the inflationary times in which it was published it is coy about price.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "London Area", Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 009, page(s): 004

Cunningham R.B (1965) The Volunteers' Manual, 2nd Edition, Festiniog Railway Society, Harbour Station, Portmadoc, Caerns.

Cunningham R.B. (1975) The Volunteers' Manual, 3rd Edition, Festiniog Railway Company, Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd.