Talyllyn Railway to explore what the Victorians did for us!

Matthew Ward from the BBC series Horrible Histories.

Matthew Ward, who has appeared on the BBC TV programme, Horrible Histories, will be joining the line-up of ‘The Quarryman Experience Gala’ from May 24, as part of the Talyllyn Railway’s 150th birthday celebrations.


The actor will join the event with his ‘History Needs You’ business partner Gill Fraser-Lee. Together the pair aim to bring history alive to new generations and their visit to the Talyllyn will give youngsters a taste of what life was like growing up in the Victorian era.


“We are really excited about travelling back to 1865 with Talyllyn Railway in May for The Quarryman Experience,” the famous pair said. “Slates from Bryn Eglwys quarry will be the iPads of yesteryear in our Victorian classroom where visitors old and young will be taught by Gill in the guise of a strict school mistress. Be on your best behaviour!”


Visitors to the gala can enjoy a memento of their visit by having their photographic portrait taken by the effusive fez-wearing Victorian photographer, portrayed by Matthew.


The railway will be transferred back to its Victorian roots for the gala with ‘slate splitting’, a vital part of the slate quarrying industry, being demonstrated at Tywyn Wharf Station. At the idyllic Dolgoch Falls Station, more family activities will take place with Victorian games and cream teas available on the Saturday and Sunday.


There will also be demonstrations of the wagon weighbridge and turntable installed at Tywyn Wharf Station and many other activities including a mini music festival at Abergynolwyn Station on Monday, May 4.


The gala will also see the official unveiling of original Talyllyn Railway locomotives Tal-y-llyn and Dolgoch in their new liveries applied for the big 150th birthday celebrations. The liveries were announced to a huge online response on Christmas Day 2014.