This film is part of Free


Bereft of the Bryn Eglwys quarry, which closed after WWII, the people of Abergynolwyn still have the railway and a school, café and shop.

Home movie 1973 6 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Travelling daily on the Talyllyn Railway – the railway that inspired the Rev Awdry's Thomas the Tank Engine stories – must have made an impression on the children attending Abergynolwyn school, seen here leaving the station and assembling in the playground for the camera. Engines and stations are seen as the train journeys along, no longer carrying slates from the Bryn Eglwys quarry where, amongst the grey ruins and spoil heaps, a young man appears like an exotic butterfly.

The slate quarry Bryn Eglwys necessitated the construction of the Talyllyn Railway and the village of Abergynolwyn. Although the quarry ceased operations after WWII, the railway continued to provide the passenger service it had always been licensed to offer. Tourism, as evidenced by the shop and café, offered employment for some, as did local farms and the forestry commission. Two other features of the area are noted: Castell y Bere, dating from the 1220s, and a memorial to Mary Jones' who in 1800 walked barefoot to Bala to purchase a Welsh-language Bible. Shot by Joseph Cone of Pentre, Queensferry, a member of Deeside Cine Club and proprietor of a General Merchant's business which developed/printed film.