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Disgrifiad

Bill Price worked as a locomotive driver during the final days of steam. Based at Mold junction, he had a wide experience of working across the, pre-Beeching network. But Bill also worked the local branch lines. Especially the working routes and sidings that linked the regional systems to the riverside at Connahs Quay.

One line, of which Bill had first-hand knowledge, was the famous "Buckley Line" -the single track that conveyed commodities such as kiln products and coal from the industrious communities of the North Wales hinterland down to the river Dee quayside from whence they would be loaded for shipping to destinations far and wide.

The interview was a classic case of happenstance! The Kathleen & May Heritage Centre is open most Friday afternoons for anyone to drop-in and share stories and photos of Connahs Quay & Deeside, over a cup of tea, with like-minded folk. Bill Price had been brought along by his granddaughter, Ally -and once Bill had revealed that he once drove the loco that used to play the line between Buckley and Connahs Quay, I just had to ask him to help explain something about a long-contested feature of one of the last tunnels through which the busy little engine had to negotiate. With me armed with my pocket camera and Ally holing the microphone, we trundled out the 100yards or so and stopped to chat by the tunnel.

The outer rim of the tunnel's brickwork has looked scarred and broken for many years. In modern times, it's condition, and how it got that way, has been the subject of some conjecture. We began chat with Bill setting the record straight!

Bill also refers to:
Connahs Quay power-station -in the days when it was coal-fired.
Pleasures & tribulations of being confined to the engine cab.
Cargoes of newly-built harvesting equipment from Mold Station.
Shipments of dangerous, war-time mustard gas, manufactured at Rhydymwyn destined for eventual destruction at a plant on Merseyside.

Production notes:
This film was without any pre-planning or scripting. When the opportunity presented itself, the people the location (and the North Wales weather) were amenable, it just seemed right to step outside and do it!

It was made using a hand-held pocket digital camera (Panasonic TZ70) . Sound was recorded by Bills granddaugher, Ally Morrison who quickly agreed to be pressed into service as "Mic-man" to hold to the fore, JB's miniature digital, "memo" style. mp3 recorder.
Mike Dougherty, a "Kathleen & May" heritage stalwart helped-out as impromptu, production "bag-man".

Hope folks enjoy Bill's recounting of some of his impressive life experiences. Especially the story of the multi-use cab shovel!!
It is a good example of using whatever equipment might be to-hand at the time.

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