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New Book Railways, Slate Quarries and Tramways of Blaenau Ffestiniog


Active member
Authors Dave Southern & Paul Lawton, Hardback, A4, 192pp, glossy paper £35.00

Although this is a railway book section 2 of the about the Slate Quarries of Blaenau Ffestiniog with a series of very interesting colour photographs of remains of buildings and equipment, an interesting one of a wagon for transporting Art works into Manod Underground for preservation of the works during WW2. There are pictures of men and equipment in the quarries in Black and White and supported by modern colour photos of the quarries and tramways many of which have deteriorated since they were taken. The railways were an essential part of moving slate around which originally had used horse and cart to deliver slate to small boats at the quays at Lllanwrst and Tyddyn Isa near Maentwrog which then transferred them onto larger boats in the mouth of the Glaslyn Estuary. Once the Welsh Coast Railway was built the larger quays were no longer accessible. The railways played an important part in transport of the slate materials and there are many interesting photos of the railways working in and around the quarries these are supported by useful plans of the network and the harbour at Portmadoc. All in all an excellent book


Publishers note "this book surveys the network of railways and tramways that were built to extract the slate and then to transport it onwards to its markets, where it 'roofed the world' Slate created Blaenau Ffestiniog, turning it into one of the most important towns in North Wales and though the industry has largely gone, its legacy lives on, not only in the slate tips that dominate the skyline but also in the surviving railways that add to the town's prosperity today. The book goes beyond the geographical confines of Blaenau Ffestiniog, allowing the authors to devote separate sections to each of the major quarries that had a significant tramway system. The tramways, and what remained of them in later years, together with the three major railways that slate attracted to the town are fully illustrated, with pictures that for the most part are previously unpublished."


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