Railwaymen of the Welsh Valleys 1914-1967 (Silver Link)

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A collection of memories of steam working from Pontypool Road shed (86G), compiled by Philip W. L. Williams. The author spent four years recording and writing the memoirs of 23 former shed staff, spanning the years 1914-1967, before going on to research the photographs and compile this interesting volume. The result is an intimate portrait of Pontypool Road shed painted by those who worked there in the days of steam.

Railwaymen of the Welsh Valleys 1914-1967 begins with an overview of Pontypool Road shed in the company of Driver Derek Saunders. It then proceeds to look at the shed from the vantage point of three locomotive fitters, before moving firstly into the shed yard and finally out into the Vale of Neath, as described by a series of drivers and firemen. Journeys to the Eastern Valley and Vale of Neath are fondly recounted, as are visits to the many industrial locations that provided much of the depot’s workload.

As well as rekindling valuable memories of times gone by, this book also serves as a reminder to future generations of the industrial heritage and transport infrastructure that once was commonplace around the South Wales valleys

Supported by over 300 photographs and maps, Railwaymen of the Welsh Valleys 1914-1967 describes passenger traffic and the unimaginable volume of goods traffic carried by the railway every day. But mostly it brings vividly to life, the stories and characters of railwaymen of the steam age – the sheer hard work as well as the comic interludes. 280 pages. Hardback

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