Welcome to the Penmorfa home page


The view from Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey.


There are 19 websites featured on Penmorfa and also a large number of photos on our Flickr site.  To access a site directly click on the link in the table below.  For a summary of the contents of that website scroll down the page.


Please contact us if you have any corrections or suggestions, thanks - Dave & Mo.
Our websites:

The Slate Industry of North and Mid Wales

Old Bricks - history at your feet

North Wales - Changing Trains, 25 years of evolution

Irish railways in the 1990's

The Wrexham to Bidston railway

The 76cm gauge railways of Yugoslavia

The Conwy Valley line - Lein Dyffryn Conwy

Woodhams of Barry - the legendary steam scrapyard 

Rhosydd - A Ffestiniog Slate Quarry

Rhiwbach Slate Quarry and its Tramway

Trains in the Mersey docks

British Railways steam in the 1960's

The Cambrian Rail Cruise 2013

Lliwedd - A Snowdonia copper mine

A selection of Maureen's Poetry

Cwm Ciprwth copper mine

Porth Wen - An Anglesey coastal brickworks 

Rhyl & District Model Railway Club

Mike Williams 'O' gauge kit building service

We also have a Flickr photo site, now with over 6,000 photos covering some of our favourite subjects.


The Slate Industry of North and Mid Wales



On this website you can read an outline history of the Welsh slate industry, discover details of quarrying methods, follow the routes of old railways and tramways, find out how inclines worked, see examples of remains and relics and read an overview of the industry as it is today.  The website also contains over 450 photographs of recent and historical views. The latest additions to the site include over 100 photos of quarry tramways and railways taken in the 1960's.

Old Bricks - history at your feet

For many years I have been fascinated by the old bricks one sees which have the maker's name stamped on.  This website is a gallery of some of those i've come across or been sent.  These humble relics provide possibly the only link to often long forgotten local industries.  There are now over 2500 images on the website, which is actually only a tiny fraction of the named bricks produced.  The website is frequently added to thanks to contributions from around the world.  In many cases I have no knowledge of the history of the bricks depicted so if you can help, or if you have a photo of a brick that is not on the site, please get in touch. 


North Wales - Changing Trains - 25 years of evolution.

This site originally went online over ten years ago as the North Wales railway archive.  It's been expanded over the years and now has over 580 photos.  Some of the themes covered so far are Classes 08, 20, 25, 31, 33, 37, 40, 45 and 47, Freightliners, D.M.U.'s, Crewe test trains, ballast workings, Amlwch branch, Cambrian coast, Mostyn docks, Point of Ayr colliery, flask trains, Speedlink and many more.


The Wrexham to Bidston railway - The Borderlands line

 

The Wrexham - Bidston line has always been one of my favourites.   The line is one of contrasts and has a fascinating history.  It has always been a bit of a backwater, almost isolated from the rest of the national network.  My interest remains strong to this day - not least because it is the only railway in North Wales to have any significant freight traffic.  The passenger service has been relaunched as the Borderlands line and a trip on the line is highly recommended.


The 76cm gauge railways of Yugoslavia

The former state of Yugoslavia had a vast network of narrow gauge railway lines, most of which were laid to 76cm gauge, the same as the Welshpool & Llanfair Railway in the U.K.  The origins of this huge network lay in the Austrian occupation in the 1870's and it reached its greatest extent in the 1930's.  Much of the mountainous western side of the country was only accessible by the 76cm gauge railways particularly in Bosnia and Hercegovina.  This website has accounts and photographs from several enthusiasts who ventured to Yugoslavia in the 1960's, 1970's and more recently to savour the last of the legendary Yugoslav narrow gauge.  It has recently been enlarged and now contains over 300 photos of these wonderful railways plus timetables and other details.


The Conwy Valley line - Lein Dyffryn Conwy

The Conwy Valley railway is one of the most scenic railway lines in Britain. It is a pleasure to ride at any time of the year and offers superb views of estuary, mountain and moorland.  In Blaenau Ffestiniog can be seen an industrial landscape of a unique quality while the views in the Lledr Valley surpass any from the nearby road.   In this site I have tried to bring out the quality of the landscape whilst giving some idea of the variety of trains that the line has witnessed.  The previous continuation to Trawsfynydd is featured as well as an armchair guide to the route.  The website also contains a section which details what remains today of the former Great Western Railway line from Trawsfynydd through to Bala.


Woodhams of Barry

A selection of photographs taken at this legendary South Wales scrapyard, in both colour and black & white.  The results of two visits made in the 1960's.  Recently updated with larger scans and some new images


Rhosydd Slate Quarry

Rhosydd was by no means the largest of the Ffestiniog quarries, neither was it one of the smallest.  It had a working life, as a major quarry, of approximately 80 years and its demise came about through the drop in demand for slate.  The output of the quarry has been estimated at 220 million slates and its waste tips contain over 2 million tons of rock.  What sets Rhosydd apart from most of the other quarries is its remoteness, its surface remains and its transport arrangements,  added to which is its setting in superlative scenery.


Rhiwbach Slate Quarry and its Tramway

Rhiwbach Quarry is situated about 3 miles East of Blaenau Ffestiniog in North West Wales.  The tramway, which was built to link it to the Ffestiniog Railway, also served three other quarries.  This site is intended to give an impression of what remains of the quarries and tramway today.  The Rhiwbach Tramway was the longest feeder line in the industry and runs across bleak uninhabited moorland. Rhiwbach itself was so remote that it had its own schoolhouse.  The whole undertaking gives some idea of just how important the Slate Industry was to this part of the world.  This website has recently been updated with expanded coverage of Manod quarry. 


Trains in the Mersey docks

A selection of 70 scanned transparencies taken up to 2003 of trains in Liverpool, Birkenhead and Ellesmere Port docks.  Classes featured are 03, 31, 37, 47, 56, 57, 60 and 66.


British Railways steam in the 1960's

Steam power on British Railways ended in 1968.  In the years leading up to this, I was trying to photograph what I could of the steam railway scene.  This site is a random selection of some of the photos I took.  Now enlarged with newly scanned colour images.


Irish railways in the 1990's

This website features a selection of scanned transparencies of the railways of Ireland as they were in the 1990's.  Following a massive investment programme in recent years, very few of these views are possible today.  All the photos were taken on day trips by ferry from Holyhead.


The Cambrian Rail Cruise
The circular tour of North Wales by train.

The circular trip of North Wales by rail - travelling on the North Wales coast line, Conwy Valley, Ffestiniog Railway, and Cambrian line is one of Wales's best kept secrets.  On this website you will find timetable details, fare information and a route guide.  So if you have ever contemplated doing the trip but were put off by its complexity, have a look at the site -  Its much easier and cheaper than you may have thought!  Be sure to read the comments page to get more out of your journey.  


Lliwedd - A Snowdonia copper mine

An abandoned copper mine high on the slopes of Lliwedd, one of the mountains of the Snowdon horseshoe.  Mining ceased in 1867 but the site still contains a wealth of industrial artifacts.  In a wild and remote location, it's not the easiest place to get to, however a visit will repay the effort involved. 


A selection of Maureen's Poetry

My wife is a better poet than she admits to and this is her contribution to cyberspace.  Over 50 poems cover a number of topics but few are about pretty views or the world as seen through rose tinted spectacles.


Cwm Ciprwth copper mine

Cwm Ciprwth is surely one of the industrial archaeology gems of North Wales.  This little known location is hidden away in a side valley above Cwm Pennant in Snowdonia.  This website gives directions to Cwm Ciprwth, a brief history of the mine and a selection of photographs.


Porth Wen - An abandoned brickworks on Anglesey

On the north coast of Anglesey, a few miles west of Amlwch, are the remains of a brickworks.  It was opened at the turn of the last century to make bricks for the steel industry.  The bricks were exported by sea from its own wharf.  The works closed down at the start of the first world war and most of it has slowly rusted away ever since.  This website also has additional features on Llanlleiana porcelain works, Cemaes Bay brickworks and tramway and the navigation markers at Carmel Head.


Rhyl & District Model Railway Club

This is my local club where I have been a member for over 20 years (and, for my sins, have now been appointed webmaster!).  Take a look at the site and, if you are local, why not consider membership?  We are always looking for keen modellers to join our ranks.


Mike Williams 'O' gauge kit building service



Mike offers a model loco kit building service, view the website for further details.


Any comments, thoughts or opinions to David & Maureen Sallery
Prestatyn, Gogledd Cymru.

The Penmorfa websites cost approximately 200 per year in payment to our service suppliers, etc.  If you feel you would like to contribute please click the button below - thanks.


IMPORTANT NOTICE
The information (not photographs) held within the Penmorfa.com websites may be reproduced without permission but only if the website is duly credited with providing this information.   All of the photographs held on these websites remain the property of the owners and must NOT be reproduced without prior permission.
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