Holy puffers

02 November 2006


WHEN THE Bishop of Bangor, the Rt Revd Anthony Crockett, came for a ride on the Talyllyn Railway, the driver of one train was Jonathan Mann, chairman of the Royal School of Church Music in Cornwall, and the guard was the Revd Nigel Adams.

When he rode the second locomotive, the driver was the Revd Dr Malcolm Brown (Principal of the East Anglian Ministerial Training Course), with a URC minister, the Revd Christopher White as guard. The Revd Celia Adams was in charge of Abergynolwyn station, the booking clerk was a churchwarden from Nottingham, and all the rest of the volunteers that day had similar church connections.

It was, of course, a special clerical turn-out, but Mr Adams says that a large number of the staff and volunteers maintain the traditional Church-railway link on what is the oldest preserved steam railway in the UK.

 The railway line, which runs for seven-and-a-quarter miles, was originally built to serve the slate quarries. It was bought for preservation by Sir Haydn Jones MP in 1910 (the first locomotive the Bishop rode on was Sir Haydn), and the preservation society was formed in 1950. The Bishop was given an appropriate locomotive headboard (pictured above), and declared he had had “a wonderful and memorable day”.

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