Today celebrated 150 years of Llanwrtyd Wells Station.
Things have changed a lot. Originally the Heart of Wales line ran multi-coach trains throughout each day bringing Victorian ladies and gentlemen, here to take the healing waters at the wells. It was a vibrant community with many shops and the line transported goods as well as people. It made the heart of the Heart of Wales accessible to All.
These days, whilst the station itself looks much the same, it only runs four single carriage trains each way each day. But its still an essential asset to our community.
Llanwrtyd is at the central point of the Heart of Wales Line which runs between Shrewsbury and Swansea. It is the only real public transport we have and it connects us to the rest of the UK. My parents, for example, who live in Essex, visit us here at Cerdyn Villa, using the trains (Southend, London, Swansea, Llanwrtyd) and then a five minute stroll to our front door.
The station buildings have recently undergone a transformation as far as re-purposing is concerned. Community Transport have an office there. There are weekly community coffee mornings and the elderly are transported to and from here for their morning tea. And since the closure of our bank in the town aquare, Credit Union have set up a pay point in there , open every Tuesday and Thursday.
Inside there is a small IT suite with WIFI connectivity; a conference room and a sitting room filled with armchairs and sofas surrounding a lovely log burner. Then of course there’s a small kitchen so teas/coffees and snacks can be prepared.
Outside there are well maintained gardens thanks to a group of volunteers from within the Llanwrtyd community, Friends of Llanwrtyd Station.
Today, the station, community rooms and gardens hosted a celebration. There was a picnic and live music. The local school children from Ysgol Dolafon performed some beautiful country dancing. The last ever station master of Llanwrtyd Wells, John Davies, unveiled a plaque. Our Mayor, peter James, gave a speech. And of course, the obligatory raffle. (Anyone living in a small community knows that pretty much everything that happens is funded through the selling of raffle tickets!). Whatever was raised will be used to buy plants to keep the station looking as gorgeous as ever.
I can recommend the Heart of Wales Line for a scenic train journey or as a practical mode of transport; and if you should find yourself stopping off here at the midway point, I’m only a stones throw a way, so book a room and stay the night, Llanwrtyd really is a relaxing place to be.