Following changes to lockdown rules in Wales, limited outdoor volunteering has restarted on the Talyllyn Railway. Local volunteer and Outdoor Superviser Keith Theobald shares progress so far.

Outdoor volunteering by locals has been occurring on the railway on many different fronts and in variety of locations. On Saturday 20 June I worked with someone strimming at least a 5m strip on the east and west approaches to lineside obstructions like mileposts, whistle boards, plug in points, stop board frames and limit of shunt boards. A start had already been made at the Pendre end of the job, during the day we completed this work as far as Abergynolwyn. It had only been a few days since a train had travelled that far but we found that an oak tree had shed a large branch which had come down on the loop road. I presume the tree was stressed in some way maybe through lack of water.

En route we also offloaded the contents of a number of one ton sacks full of garden waste from Wharf Station where others have been doing more good works. At Rhydyronen the flower beds were receiving attention and were looking resplendent as a result. A two person strimming gang was also at Rhydyronen working their way through the savannah on the NE, SE and SW sides of the road bridge. I am not sure where the herds of Wildebeest and Zebra ended up, there was certainly no sign of them later on in the day.

A socially distanced lunch break was enjoyed on the platform at Brynglas. On the way up the line and on the way back we loaded small quantities of boscage which were all offloaded at Dolgoch. The weather was glorious all day, sunny and hot and surprisingly no breeze or gale force wind.

Monday to Friday gangs have been flailing, strimming, painting, gardening and all the other jobs I am unaware of, so sorry if I did not mention the task you have been working on.

Very many thanks to everyone has been able to contribute so far. Procedures that we previously carried out as reflex actions now all have to be thought through very carefully, as we follow strict social distancing rules to keep us all safe.

Keith Theobald

Thanks to Keith Theobald for the article and lovely photos.

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