4 VIP passengers were greeted onto the 1st class carriage of the Ffestiniog Railway at Blaenau station and steamed down the line to the private halt, Campbell’s Platform. This was part of an event auctioned to raise funds for the purchase of Y Pengwern, the old pub in Llan Ffestiniog that was used by drovers and which is due to re-open in early 2011 as a community venture.
Included in the group were Rosemary Livingston, the highest bidder, and her husband John plus Mel Goch and his sister Marian. Rosemary had outbid Mel at the auction and kindly invited him along.
The visit to Plas y Dduallt, the house beneath Campbell’s Platform, was particularly relevant to Mel and Marian as it was where their grandparents had lived for some years in the 1920s or 30s. Their grandfather used to catch the train up the line to work in the quarries at Blaenau.
After a guided tour and hot soup in the old dining hall the visitors enjoyed a screening of The Campbells Came by Rail, a BBC documentary filmed in 1974 describing the restoration of the house and the commute of the eccentric Colonel whose epitaph is a platform on the Ffestiniog Railway. At that time there was no vehicle access up the mountainside to the house so the colonel would park his car a mile away at Tan y Bwlch Station and then ride his engine, ‘The Colonel’, and park it at the platform.
Steam trains courtesy of the Ffestiniog Railway. Guided tour and soup by Huw and Sue – honorary station master and mistress of Campbell’s Platform.