Stuart & Gareth Evans: The Aberayron Railway in the 1950s (2011)
MEMORIES OF THE ABERAYRON RAILWAY LINE IN THE 1950s
(Based on an interview with Stuart Evans, June 2011)
Although the Aberayron to Lampeter line had closed to passengers by the time I remember it, I was fortunate enough to be the grandson of a former ganger on the Aberayron to Lampeter line, Evan Evans, who lived in Pontbrenmydr near the Llanerchayron Halt. David Leonard, one of the engine drivers, knew me well and would often let me ride with him in the engine to visit my grandfather. As we approached the halt, he would lower me down onto the platform and I would then run across the field to visit my grandparents.
A game which my brother, Gareth, and I enjoyed playing was placing pennies on the railway track and waiting for a train to pass over them before retrieving our flattened coins.
For my grandfather one of the perks of having worked on the railway was to have his newspaper delivered by train. As the train approached his house, the guard, Bill Williams, would throw the newspaper into a field for my grandfather to collect. This kindness was more welcome on dry days than in wet weather! He also received packages and parcels by train but these more important items were not thrown out of the moving train – they were left for him to collect at the halt.
MEMORIES OF THE RAILWAY
(Based on a conversation with Gareth Evans, July 2011)
My grandfather, who had been a ganger, lived at Pontprenmydr near the Llanerchayron Halt and I remember racing between the house and the train with my brother, Stuart. Because of my family connections with the railway, I was known to the station staff. So, one year when, as a child, I was going carol singing but didn’t have a lamp – the street lighting in Aberaeron in the 1950s was not as good as now – I happened to tell Bill Bowen, the signalman, of my problem. He told me that, if I came to the station after the station master had left in the evening, he would see what he could do. I waited for the station master to go home and then went to see Bill Bowen. He produced a shiny station lamp and I proudly set off to sing carols.
Bill Bowen was a jovial character but one evening on his way home from work he was said to have been terrified after seeing a ghost cross the bridge!