This film is part of Free

Llanfair Railway

Beware the iron horse – locomotive 822 [The Earl] – lumbering through the streets of Welshpool, no barriers to keep it at bay, and emerging, ghost-like, from its shed at night!

Home movie 1960 11 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


A medley of unedited shots show locomotive 822 [The Earl] on the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway, a line opened in 1903 to connect rural communities with Welshpool, which offered a market for farm produce. From 1931 until its closure in 1956 the line officially carried freight only but 822 is seen here, lumbering through the town like a great iron beast, hauling not only coal and cattle but also children!

Footage shot by Ion Trant, originally from Dovea Farm, Tipperary, Ireland. He farmed Maesmawr Hall farm, Welshpool (plus the adjoining farm, Cefn Du and a Radnorshire hill farm, Esgairdraenllwyn) with his wife, Janet (nee Owen). Conscious of a growing gulf between town and country, he welcomed school visits to his farm and created the BBC children's series "Country Close-Up" (1956-62), featuring his land and children. Regular work followed as a freelance cameraman on the BBC's farming programme and, also as cameraman, he visited the West Indies with sports commentator Max Robertson and Palestine and Israel with naturalist and erstwhile Superintendent of London Zoo George Cansdale.