Llandovery Station

The Station building at Llandovery was erected by the Vale of Towy Railway Company in 1858, and the sale of the last ticket in the Booking Hall took place in 1992. Although trains along the Heart of Wales Line from Swansea to Shrewsbury still continued to stop at the Station, the building itself became more and more dilapidated, despite for some time being used as a builderˈs store.  Concerned about this state of affairs, supporters of the station established the Heart of Wales Railway Development Company (DevCo), whose aim was to secure the lease of the Station from Network Rail, obtain the necessary financing, and then see to the renovation and re-opening of the Building.

The result was that on Thursday 30th June 2011 the Station Building was formally re-opened by HRH Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, whose holiday home in Wales is to be found a mere four miles outside the town of Llandovery. This was a very happy occasion: on a fine and sunny morning, our Royal guests were treated to a display of Welsh Folk Dances from the youngsters of Ysgol Rhys Prichard, and to a selection of songs from the choirs of Pantycelyn HS and Llandovery College, they were introduced to a group of retired railway men from the town, and spent time chatting over a cup of tea with some older Llandovery residents in the Station Café.  Finally, and to the delight of the large crowd waiting patiently outside, the Royal Couple went on a walk-about in the car park, something which was really appreciated.

Since that very auspicious beginning, things have proceeded well in the running of the Station. We have built up a very dependable volunteer staff to man the Café, and we have given work placement opportunities to selected young people of the area for them to put on their CVˈs: we have developed the Station Gardens, which in the Summer with the help of the youngsters from Llandovery Primary School add colour and brightness to the area outside with our raised beds of vegetables and vibrant flower beds, and we have established the Station Gallery as a very popular venue for local artists and photographers to display their talents to an increasingly appreciative audience. We have also hosted childrenˈs Birthday parties, and in the evenings have welcomed a number of local groups and clubs who enjoy using our facilities.

In addition, we have established a Model Railway Club, which attracts men from a wide radius around Llandovery to meet together at the Station and share their increasingly complicated hobby, which is becoming all the more so in these days of digital technology! We older hands are grateful for those few members who are quite content to stick with the Hornby-Dublo 3-rail layouts of the 1950ˈs vintage!

All in all, we certainly seem to be on the right lines in Llandovery Station!

Glyn Evans