B&R 239 DVD: Wales & The Marches, A Steam Miscellany




Covering Wales and The Marches area in the days of steam, this volume has been has been mostly compiled from previously unseen footage in the late Ellis James-Robertson’s Collection. Ellis was born in Swansea in 1922 and had moved to near Pwllheli at the age of eleven before taking up residence in Worcester in the mid-1950s.

We start with scenes at Bangor on 7th April 1961, before moving to South Wales for a visit to the Swansea & Mumbles Railway. This was the first passenger carrying railway in the World and we feature both rare monochrome and colour footage.

We return to North Wales for glimpses of the Snowdon Mountain Railway and Vale of Rheidol Railway before the first of a number of visits to the area around Pwllheli. Ellis travelled on the SLS ‘Farewell to the Cambrian Railways’ rail tour that ran on 17th January 1965 and features such places as Shrewsbury, Welshpool, Ellesmere, Whitchurch, Oswestry, Llanymynech and Llanfyllin.

On Saturday 6th June 1964, a round trip was made from Hereford which included Pontypool Road, Hafodyrynys, Crumlin Viaduct, Hengoed, Quakers Yard, Aberdare, Neath and Landire to Swansea High Street before continuing along the Central Wales route to Swansea Victoria via Gowerton South, Pontarddulais, LLandovery, Cynghordy Viaduct, Builth Road, Llandrindod Wells, and Craven Arms.

There is excellent coverage, filmed on 7th April 1964, of the freight only, 14xx worked branch from Leominster to Kington and Presteigne with Ellis travelling on the engine to and from Presteigne. Great Western enthusiasts will thoroughly enjoy this 15 minutes and more of branch line delight!

Next we visit the old Caernarvonshire Railway north from Afon Wen with all steam action at Chwilog, LLangbi, Ynys and Brynkir including double-headed summertime specials. Ellis also filmed the last inbound freight train to Lydbrook Junction from Gloucester via Ross-on-Wye and Kene Bridge on Friday 29th October 1965. Other locations include Dolgellau, Porthywaen, Llynclys, the last day of operation in August 1963 over the town section of the Welshpool & Llanfair narrow gauge line.

We conclude with scenes at the NCB collieries of Merdy and Mountain Ash.

The film covers the period from 1960 to 1966. Motive power includes ex-GWR 14xx, 2251, 28xx, Hall 4-6-0s and pannier 57xx, 78xx, 94xx classes, an ex-MR Dock Tank, ex-LMS Fairburn 2-6-4Ts, Black 5s, Scots, 8Fs, Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2Ts & 2-6-0s, BR Standard Class 5 4-6-0 73000s, Class 4 4-6-0 75000s, Class 4 2-6-4T 80000s, Class 3 2-6-2T 82000s & Class 2 2-6-0s 78000s. Plus NCB industrials.

Filmed almost all in colour, an authentic sound track has been added along with an informative commentary to complement this nostalgic look at the last years of steam across Wales and The Marches.

Colour & B/W.

Approx. 82 minutes.

This dvd is being sold on behalf of and with full permission of the copyright owner – B&R Video Productions.