Skilled students help to restore railway buildings

By Alex Jones in Local People

HIGHLY skilled Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor students are using their talents to help preserve Meirionnydd’s historical attractions.

The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways have a long history, with the Ffestiniog line dating back to the early 1830s.

A number of heritage buildings survive along the line and these are now being carefully restored to ensure that they will continue to form part of the local scene for many years to come.

The restoration of historic buildings requires specialist joinery, made using the same skills as the original craftsmen.

In these days of ‘one size fits all’ woodwork together with the widespread use of plastics, these skills can be very hard to find.

As a result, a partnership has been forged between the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways and Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor’s joinery department at their Camda centre in Dolgellau.

The railway provides good quality traditional materials, which the students then use to create bespoke joinery to a very high standard.

Sometimes drawings are supplied by the railway, but when replicas of existing pieces are required, the students come to site to measure up and undertake the whole process from start to finish.

Currently in the workshops at Dolgellau are some very large doors for the 1872 goods shed at Minffordd, which is undergoing a major restoration.

These are being made from top quality softwood which will be pressure treated before final assembly by Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor students on site at Minffordd.

See this week’s north editions for the full story, in shops and online now

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