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Local railway history up for auction

Created on 21/09/2016 @ 07:03
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A piece of local railway history will be going under the hammer in Shrewsbury at the end of the month.

A commemorative oak silver mounted wheel barrow and spade, presented to Mrs Dugdale of Llwyn, Llanfyllin by contractor Thomas Savin to mark her cutting the first sod of Llanfyllin Railway on Friday, September 20, 1861, has been entered in fine art auctioneers Halls’ country house auction on September 28.

The wheelbarrow and spade, which were made by Stephen Smith and William Nicholson, Duke Street, Lincoln Fields, London 1861, are valued at more than £3,000 and Halls’ fine art director is expecting a lot of interest from specialist collectors.

Llanfyllin Railway opened from Llanymynech via Llansantffraid, Llanfechain and Bryngwyn in 1863 to allow access to limestone quarries and the main line from Oswestry to Newtown. The branch line to Llanfyllin closed in 1965 under British Railway's Beeching axe.

Thomas Savin was a controversial Victorian industrial entrepreneur and former Mayor of Oswestry who went bankrupt after developing much of the Mid Wales railway system.

In 1857, he formed a partnership with David Davies to build the Vale of Clwyd Railway and became principle contractor for many of the lines that became the Cambrian Railways. The partnership was dissolved in 1860.

He also had an interest in or worked on a number of other railways, including Corris, Kington and Eardisley and Bishop’s Castle. Savin's bankruptcy in 1866 led to the stalling of Aberystwyth and Welsh Coast Railway, which became a part of Cambrian Railways.

“Railway heritage items with this level of provenance always attract great interest from collectors and it will be fascinating to see how it performs at auction,” said Mr Lamond.

For more information about the lots, which will be open for viewing on Monday from 9.30am-7pm, the following day from 9.30am-4.30pm and on the morning of the auction, which begins at 10am. The catalogue can also be viewed at

PICTURE: The oak silver mounted wheel barrow and spade which could fetch more than £3,000.

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