South Wales Standard Gauge Railways
Jonathan David (HMRS) and Tony Miller (WRRC)
The recruitment of a Society Steward for each of the railway companies in South Wales has proved an unrealisable ambition. Not surprising, considering the number of smaller - but very busy - independent companies that weaved their lines along and across the valleys as they strove to steal a march on their rivals and corner the export coal market.
Photo: Mountain Ash GWR station to the left, Taff Vale station to the right
So to overcome this shortfall, the Society and the Welsh Railways Research Circle have joined forces to tap the expertise to be found in the WRRC. The arrangement generally relates to queries about the smaller companies that plied their trade between the South Wales coalfield and the Bristol Channel ports. However, because WRRC interests encompass all of Wales and there are no Stewards for the L&NWR, GCR, MR or GWR (other than locomotives), the Circle will try to help.
Photo: Barry Docks; the postmark is 7th May 1914
Yes, there are two Stewards - ideally any query will be routed to both of us (prior to this arrangement Jonathan was the Rhymney Steward) and we will sort out who deals with it. If you wish to short-circuit the system, start at the WRRC website.
The HMRS holds a large amount of information relevant to those interested in south Wales companies, including over 200 drawings and nearly 200 photos. These figures do not include items that are dated post grouping and are catalogued as GWR, British Rail(ways) or Arriva Trains Wales. Perhaps not surprisingly, the best represented company is the Taff Vale but there are items from minor companies as well, an example being drawings of 3 coaches of the Sirhowy Railway.
You may send a query to the steward using the form below.