The man who bought the Corris Railway pair


In issue 222, I loved Geoff Silcock’s Last Beasts of Man, Graig Merthyr – vintage railway heritage, great stuff. An ex miner told me in or around 1980 that he and his mates were struggling to mine anthracite from a vein only 18in deep in the final few weeks at Graig Merthyr, so it really was worked out!

Talyllyn Railway No. 3 Sir Haydn: built by Hughes at Loughborough in 1878 for the Corris Railway, it was one of a pair acquired for use on its 2ft 3in gauge nearby sister line in 1951. It is pictured at Tywyn Wharf on December 18, 2010. PETER BROSTER/CREATIVE COMMONS

In his letter on page 98, Chris Magner draws attention to behind the scenes work by Campbell Thomas in saving Corris Nos. 3 and 4 but doesn’t mention that the late J I C Boyd actually paid BR for the locomotives. I know this because Jimmy Boyd told me so one day at Tywyn in the early Eighties when I was fireman on
No. 3 and he was on the platform as we reversed in with the empty stock for the first train of the day.

As far as I recall he said he paid £50 each for the pair, but whether he then gave them to the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society or whether they paid him back in instalments he didn’t say.

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Rebuilding The Great Bear: sorry Ted Hiorns the much vaunted ‘proposed Hawksworth ‘Pacific’ is a myth; no such animal was ever schemed out, despite of what several writers have claimed.

Another goody-packed issue – I never seem to be able to read all my mags every month in time to comment before the next deadline!

Peter Davis, Fishponds, Bristol

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Read more letters, news, views and opinion in Issue 223 of Heritage Railway

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