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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Railway exhibition attracted 500 visitors

* Llangollen Railway Trust chairman Jim Ritchie and Martin Christie from

Carrog station lift the Welsh flag to open the exhibition.

Llangollen Railway Trust says it is pleased with the public response to an exhibition showcasing its Corwen extension project. 

Plans for the scheme, which aims to be complete by 2014, were displayed  at the Oriel Gallery in Corwen for seven days until October 7. 

The exhibition was staged by the Edeyrnion Heritage and Cultural attracted over 500 visitors and featured a collection of archive photographs brought together from various sources, including personal contributions by local residents. 

The intention was to present a comprehensive review of the railway as it once existed in Corwen when it was a major junction for two lines serving North Wales.  

The screening of a sequence of digital images of the station, the town and the steam trains proved particularly attractive and caught the attention of visitors for considerable periods with its depth of detail. 

One particularly important historical item was photograph of a group of railway workers and visitors taken in August 1919. 

This was digitally repaired and enlarged from a crumpled copy retrieved from a scrap container.  

Several of the men in the photograph have since been identified. 

The photographic display was enhanced by items of traditional railway equipment and interest was such that visitors produced some of their own railway artefacts, as well as personal memories of the railway. 

The Corwen elements of the exhibition were supported by displays from Llangollen Railway’s Corwen extension project, the new build Patriot Locomotive Project and a review of the work undertaken to restore the station at Carrog as an example of what can be achieved to recreate a heritage facility.  

The exhibition raised money for the Edeyrnion Society, the Corwen extension project and the Patriot group. 

The attendance was far in excess of predictions with visitors from the town supported by those from a larger catchment area in North Wales and beyond.  

Paul Lawton, one of the organisers, said: “The visitors’ book is packed with favourable comments from many who came through the doors and enjoyed the exhibition. 

“We all hope that this is a step towards a permanent exhibition in Corwen and will eventually lead to a full-scale transport museum that shows Corwen’s importance as the crossroads of North Wales. 

Norman Jones, board member of Edeyrnion Heritage and Cultural Society, said: “We are delighted that over 500 visitors came to the exhibition.
“The society wishes to thank all concerned for their efforts and looks forward to the exhibition being repeated in the future at other venues in Edeyrnion. 

“The Oriel Gallery proved to be an ideal venue for the occasion and the society hopes to capitalise on this success with plans to celebrate Denbighshire’s importance as a farming centre.”

George Jones, for Llangollen Railway Trust, said: “The opportunity to engage with local residents, and other visitors, allowed for certain misapprehensions to be corrected and for the work in progress to be explained, along with the need for additional funds to complete the project. 

“The success of the exhibition demonstrated what can be achieved when like-minded organisations come together with a common purpose to promote a shared aim.” 

The exhibition was supported by Cadwyn Clwyd Rural Development Agency, Denbighshire Rural Development Plan Partnership, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

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