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.
This film is part of Free
The Last Train to Blaenau 22.1.61
A very Special goodbye to the Bala-Blaenau line organised by the Stephenson Locomotive Society.
From the collection of:
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.