THE RAF came to Tywyn on Friday, 1 June, to celebrate not only their centenary but also the centenary of the Talyllyn Railway’s ex-RAF locomotive No.6 ‘Douglas’.

The locomotive is believed to be the only piece of equipment from the foundation of the RAF in regular service today taking passengers on their journey between Tywyn and Nant Gwernol in Gwynedd.

To mark the Centenaries a special event had been laid on. At the centre of this was not only locomotive No.6, but also a full-size replica of that most iconic RAF aircraft the Spitfire, which had been erected at Tywyn Wharf station. On the day a wide variety of RAF personnel assembled, along with other guests to celebrate the combined 100th anniversaries.

Among the guests was the Air Officer Wales Air Commodore Adrian Williams, who spoke of the RAF’s connections with Tywyn, particularly those from the locality who had served with distinction in the service of their country.

Also present was the Bishop of Bangor, the Rt Rev Andy John, who addressed a group of local schoolchildren on the history of the locomotive, before blessing the locomotive assisted by the vicar of Tywyn, the Rev Dr Ruth Hansford.

The guests then took a special trip behind locomotive No.6 part the way up the Railway.

The day was part of a larger event over the weekend, called ‘Leave on the Line’, which recalled in part some of the aspects of wartime in this part of Wales. It included a re-enactment of the ‘Calshot Express’, which used to run along Calshot Spit in Hampshire, which was were locomotive No.6 spent most of its RAF career hauling goods and personnel between the mainland and the RAF’s seaplane base on the spithead.

This base was also used for the Schneider Trophy races in 1929 and 1931, on both occasions the trophy was won by planes designed by R J Mitchell and formed the basis for his design for the Spitfire.

History Society

AT the meeting on Monday, 11 June, an informative and entertaining talk by Mike Green on the history of Bryn Eglwys quarry attracted a large appreciative audience, providing a vivid insight into the relationship between successive owners and quarry workers. His talk attracted a large and appreciative audience.

Five new members joined the society, bringing the membership to 30.

Veronica Savage again provided a challenging quiz and booking forms for the group’s summer activities were distributed.

The first of these, on Monday, 9 July, will be a light-hearted History Hunt/car rally, with teams exploring some sites of historical interest in the district, finding answers to pre-set clues.

The 29 August, coach excursion to St David’s University and Hafod is open for priority bookings by members until the end of June, when any remaining places will be available for booking by non-members.

On Monday, 10 September, monthly meetings will resume, with Dr Quentin Deakin presenting ‘Merioneth in the Second World War’, with a follow up meeting in October with a focus on Tywyn and district and personal accounts.

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