Heritage Railway

A volunteer’s journey

It started way back in 1991. I visited the Bala Lake Railway and had a long talk with the guard, a most friendly gentleman. Encouraged, I wrote to the Bala Lake Railway Society offering to volunteer and to join. A month later, in July that year, my journey began in earnest.

I was to start as a fireman – the locomotive was Quarry Hunslet 0-4-0ST . The driver and my instructor was David Jones, now of the Talyllyn Railway – and not to be confused with the Bala Lake Railway’s present manager who shares the same name. He was an excellent teacher, as well as being an inspiration. It was on my first day that I found out the guard I had been talking to was also the railway’s general manager. Being a single person and working shifts meant I had plenty of time off to volunteer. I did 10 days as trainee fireman and three days at working weekends by the time 1991 ended. I soon found out the former Dinorwic

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