Monthly Archives: February 2014

The world’s first steam railway engine – 210 years on

210 years to the day after the world’s first steam locomotive ran on an iron tram road a new drama how retold the story of Richard Trevithick, the Penydarren Locomotive and how the railways began.

‘Iron and Steam’ – a short play about how Trevithick developed his high pressure steam engine to run on the iron rails of the Merthyr Tramroad – was given its premiere in Merthyr Tydfil.

Students from The College Merthyr Tydfil acted the drama for audiences at Theatr Soar and for children at Edwardsville Primary School and Cyfarthfa Junior School.

Audiences – young and old alike – were thrilled as the students took on the roles of:

  • ·     iron workers at Cyfarthfa, Dowlais, Penydarren and Pentrebach,
  • ·     the powerful iron masters – Crawshay, Guest, Homfray and Hill
  • ·     Richard Trevithick and
  •     Davies Giddy, an eminent politician and scientist of the time.

Trevithick Day started in Abercynon where a new sign to mark the start of the Trevithick Trail was unveiled – close to the former Glamorganshire Canal headquarters at Navigation House (now the Celtic Carvery at Navigation Inn).

Children at Edwardsville Primary School enjoyed the premiere of Steam – and then the school’s gardening club planted five fruit trees to celebrate the start of a Keep Wales Tidy environmental project along the nine and a half miles of the Trevithick Trail/old Merthyr Tramroad.

Choral group ‘Merthyr Aloud’ opened the main celebration event at Theatr Soar in Pontmorlais – a venue just a stone’s throw from the tramroad along which Trevithick drove the Penydarren Locomotive on 21st February 1804.

After another loudly applauded performance of ‘Steam’ from the students of The College Merthyr Tydfil (based in REDHOUSE The Old Town Hall), there was a session of ‘Any Trevithick Questions’.

A panel of Phil Hosken, Chairman of the Trevithick Society, Joe England and Huw Williams tried to answer questions like:

What happened to the 1,000 guineas in cash said to have been staked by Crawshay and Homfray in a bet on Trevithick’s adventure?

What was the exact design of the Penydarren Locomotive? Do the records show this?

Did Trevithick run one of his earlier steam engine on rails at Coalbrookdale?

Why is Trevithick now regarded as the pioneer of high pressure steam engines?

Why did Trevithick abandon his trials – leaving the way open for the Stephensons to develop commercial railway locomotives?

Finally, the drama students from The College gave their third performance of the day to children and staff at Cyfarthfa Junior School at Merthyr Tydfil’s Cyfarthfa Park.

Trevithick Day programme – and just six days to go

We have an exciting programme lined up for you at the Trevithick Day at Soar event on Friday, 21st February 2014 – on the 210th anniversary of the historic journey by Richard Trevithick and the Penydarren Locomotive for nine and a half miles along the Merthyr Tramroad.

This is the link to our invitation and programme flyers for Trevithick Day at Soar.

Programme for Trevithick Day at Soar

Flyer with information on the programme for Trevithick Day 2014 event at Theatr Soar on Friday 21st February 204

Flyer with programme for the Trevithick Day at Soar heritage event being held on Friday 21st February 2014

If you want to come along there are some places still available for this event – it starts in Theatr Soar at 11am on Friday, 21st February 2014.

Go to our ‘Join Us’ page on this website and send us your details and email address.

For more news on all things Trevithick, his steam locomotives and Merthyr Tydfil in 1804 keep in touch on this website.

Recently, people in Wales took part in two debates – one in The Western Mail and the other at the Hay Festival – to find the most important place in Welsh history.

Did you know that Merthyr Tydfil came out on top? Merthyr, its iron masters and iron works and people like Richard Trevithick with his steam locomotives and high pressure steam engines changed not just Wales but the world.

Trevithick Heritage Day – 7 days to go

Trevithick Heritage Day is a heritage festival event to celebrate the 210th anniversary of the world’s first railway steam engine – the Penydarren Locomotive – at Merthyr Tydfil.

You can reserve a seat in Theatr Soar, Pontmorlais, for a FREE and entertaining arts and heritage programme that starts at  11am on Friday, 21st February.

The event includes:

             an exciting new short drama

             Welsh choral singing

             ‘Any Trevithick Questions’ – with a panel of heritage experts

             a new Trevithick steam engine video

Trevithick Heritage Day at Soar

11am Arrivals – teas and coffees

11.30am Merthyr Aloud

11.40am ‘Trevithick and the Iron Masters’ – drama performed by students from The College Merthyr Tydfil

12.00pm ‘Any Trevithick Questions?’ – quiz our panel of experts

12.30pm Buffet and thanks

1pm Departures

Trevithick Heritage Day at Soar is organised by Merthyr Tydfil Heritage Regeneration Trust in association with Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

Book your FREE place – visit the Contact Us page on this website, fill in your details and press send to email the organisers.

Or email or contact a member of the Merthyr Tydfil Heritage Regeneration Trust.