The Waggon Tracks Team write:


We write this as another email comes in from FRHG’s excellent Treasurer, John Powell. Another donation to the Waggon Tracks appeal has landed on his doorstep and we’re incredibly happy to keep the Porthmadog postmen busy with such work.

The reaction to the appeal, as we have said before, has been outstanding for which we’re very grateful. Donations have been such that at the end of 2011 we were approaching the £20k mark (out of an initial target of £25k). The donations have varied in size (all are welcome), have spanned three continents and have come from a variety of people. It should be noted this includes a lot of regular, active volunteers whose imagination has been captured by our aims.

As some means of thanks we were able to send updates to donors and, given the time of year, include a specially-commissioned Waggon Tracks Christmas Card (funded from outside the organisation to maximise our returns). The update is now available for all to read on this website (but sadly not the card, solely available to further donors……).

Even this update has produced further donations for which we’re doubly grateful. It is worth remembering that it was only eleven months ago (in February 2011) that we launched and we’re now almost 90% of the way to target. All this means that – looking at our appeal website totaliser – we’re just about to start loading our last waggon. As Dave High has remarked, they’re three-tonners so you also get a lot of waggon for your money!

The Heritage Group should be very proud of this appeal – its largest ever. It should now reach target in around twelve months in an atmosphere of growing financial worry and even other railway appeals.

Of course this is just the start – funding to relay Minffordd, survey shed sites, prepare ground works and provide towards the points needed for the covered sidings. Now the shed itself needs funding, but the backing given such a broad and large number of people gives us confidence to approach other organisations to help us.

Options for the shed are currently being explored. If any of you know any friendly, PR-savvy steel building suppliers we would love to talk with them.

Meanwhile your waggon team has been busy with the day to day joys of waggon restoration and even replication. Christmas/New Year week saw the usual mass shunting to release waggons needing attention plus a final push to complete the replica general freight waggon (or ‘beer waggon’ as it is more generally known). Indeed, the envelope stuffing for the appeal update took place in the evening after a final dry assembly of this fine vehicle in Boston Lodge Carriage and Waggon Workshops.

It is currently being lettered, lined and varnished (yes, varnished) prior to a grand unveiling sometime in the Spring. This may well take the form of a delivery trip to/from the local brewery who has provided generous sponsorship against some of the costs. Other wooden slate waggons also received attention during the week.

The iron slate waggons also moved forwards. ‘Spine’ repairs, axlebox replacements and the fitting of brand new wheels all took place. This should just about bring our serviceable slate fleet to fifty waggons once again.

So it’s exciting and very positive times all round. Who knows what the next twelve months may bring with your help?

Click here for full details of the appeal...



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