LONG-SERVING GWILI DRIVER RETIRES AT 40TH ANNIVERSARY EVENT…
To round off its 40th anniversary year, the Gwili Railway marked the retirement of one of its first volunteers, long-serving driver Alan Mayhew.
Alan, aged 80, worked his last footplate turn on RSH ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST No. 71516 ‘Welsh Guardsman’ at the line’s ‘Gwili 40 – The Finale’ gala on October 6. The last two runs involved ‘Y Tren Mawr’ (‘The Big Train’) with the ‘Austerity’ and RSH 0-6-0ST ‘Moorbarrow’ hauling three Mk 1 coaches and a three-car DMU, forming the longest passenger train in the line’s history.
Alan’s footplate career began in 1978, firing the Gwili’s first engine – Peckett 0-4-0ST Merlin. He became involved in other activities on the line, including editing the society magazine, and was also a driver at the West Somerset Railway.
Ending on a humorous note, event organiser Phil Budd said: “We found out later that Alan’s final driver report card read ‘Mileage – lots, locomotive – no faults, driver disposed of!’”
Gwili founder and driver alan Mayhew during the surprise presentation to mark his retirement, at bronwydd arms on October 6.