‘All Aboard’ called Tony Birdwood to his passengers….sorry audience….as he began a most interesting and informative presentation on The Heart of Wales Line to Llanwrda and Llansadwrn Country Women’s Group and visitors at Llansadwrn Reading Room.
At the beginning of the ‘journey’ Tony explained the potted history of this remarkable, beautiful line, parts of which were opened in stages during the 1880’s. He then continued detailing all the stations, starting at Shrewsbury and following the line all the way down and ending up at the final destination Swansea. There were excellent slides to illustrate all the stations, passing loops, viaducts, tunnels, steam trains, 125s and DMUs that trundle at various speeds along the picturesque rural line. Slides of drivers and signal men exchanging tokens to keep the line safe, signal boxes that have long since disappeared, lines that have been taken up, bridges washed away by floods all recorded and keenly explained by his encyclopaedic knowledge.
The final slides were of The Swansea and Mumbles Railway sadly recording the close of that line on the 5th January 1960.
Keeping the Heart of Wales Line running and improving is paramount and something that Tony and the Heart of Wales Line Travellers’ Association work very hard at all the time. Tony encouraged all present to support the line by using the trains and visiting the stations and to try out the new walking routes that have been created. He reminded everyone that Llandovery station has an excellent cafe and exhibitions of art and craft throughout the year and a welcoming, roaring fire to keep all visitors warm in the winter. Also everyone that has a Concessionary Travel Pass from a Welsh Local Authority, can travel free on the Heart of Wales Line – October – March only.
Following the talk delicious refreshments followed kindly provided by Hefina, Janice, Mair and Anne.
The two raffle prizes of tokens for The Old Printing Office, Llandovery were won by Margaret Humphrey and Anne Morgans.
Liz collected the annual subs from everyone and we all were delighted to welcome six new members to the Group. The more the merrier!
Celebrating St David’s Day, Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus, on Monday March 4th at 6.30 pm at The Sexton Arms, Llansadwrn will be the next meeting when we will all enjoy a tasty cawl cooked by Cliff.
For further information on the next meeting or wishing to join our Group 01550 777622. All welcome.