THE INDUSTRIAL RAILWAY RECORD

No. 16 - p146

© DECEMBER 1967

AN  ELUSIVE  WELSHMAN

VIC J. BRADLEY

    In the early years of this century it was of course normal practice to install temporary railways on civil engineering sites, and when the Wrexham & East Denbighshire Water Company decided to build a new reservoir at Ty Mawr, near Rhosllanerchrugog, with direct labour, they naturally laid a 2ft 0in gauge line around the site. Apparently only one locomotive was used, GLADYS, this being obtained new for the job from W.G. Bagnall Ltd, of Stafford, works number 1740. This locomotive was ordered in April 1903 and was one of the maker’s standard designs except that the cylinders were slightly enlarged, being 6˝in by 10˝in. Fitted with Bagnall-Price valve gear, GLADYS had 21˝in driving wheels and a 3ft 3in wheelbase. When the works were completed in 1906, GLADYS was sold to a Mr Roberts – but here the records fail us. Enquiries made at Roberts & Maginnis Ltd, who have a quarry at Garth Trevor, which was served by a narrow gauge line, drew a blank; but as the locomotive was only three years old at the time of the sale, it seems certain to have been put to further use. Perhaps a reader can throw some light on the identity of the elusive Mr Roberts.

    It is interesting to note that when, in 1937, the Water Company constructed another reservoir at Pant Glas, Penycae, they again used rail transport, but this time the locomotive used was a Ruston & Hornsby diesel, works number 187045. The reservoir here was completed in 1940, and in June of that year the loco passed to Lehane, Mackenzie & Shand Ltd, the well known contracting firm.

    I am indebted to Mr S. Lowndes, Secretary to the Water Company, for much of the above information, to Frank Smith for supplying the photograph from his collection, and to A.C. Baker for kindly checking the Bagnall official archives.