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.

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

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

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