A Stephenson Locomotive Society Special organised on 22/1/1961 to bid farewell to the 24-mile long Bala-Blaenau Ffestiniog line which was closed to passengers in 1960 and was to close completely on 28/1/1961. The eight-coach train, crowded with enthusiasts and watched by crowds, started from Ruabon but the film commences with its arrival at Bala from Bala Junction (passing a shed built to look like a castle as a sop to the railway-opposing landowner).
This line – with 15 stations or halts - was a victim of the Beeching railway cuts and the Tryweryn Dam/Llyn Celyn reservoir plan. The film-maker was not able to obtain lineside footage of the whole journey as, in order to be present on time at Llan Ffestiniog (home of the Morris Evans & Co. Oils manufactory, in operation for almost 100 years from the 1880s) and Blaenau, he had to omit the section through Cwm Prysor and Trawsfynydd. Two BBC presenters – John Adams and Patrick Whitehouse – are seen covering the Special for the ‘Railway Roundabout’ series.
National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales preserves and celebrates the sound and moving image heritage of Wales, making it accessible to a wide range of users for enjoyment and learning. Its film collection reflects every aspect of the nation’s social, cultural and working life across the 20th century, giving a fascinating insight into Welsh filmmaking, both amateur and professional