James Hughes was a driver on the Glyn Valley Tramway, which ran the length of the Glynceiriog Valley on the border of North Wales, transporting mined materials and passengers to the main line station at Chirk. The Glyn Valley Tramway is now little more than a memory but it still casts its spell over many who regret its demise.
This tale, although a fictional account based on my Father's family, is the result of the many happy holidays I spent with my father in the area. It is also the story of the progressive development of transport, from the horse drawn train or cart, the canal barges, the steam locomotive to the motor
vehicle, all of which, at times, competed against one another; often at the cost of that which preceded it.
The story begins with the young Jim being treated to a ride on the footplate of the engine by his father on his twelfth Birthday. On leaving school at the age of fifteen, it is time to consider working for a living. However events contrive to involve him and his friend Raymond in the rescue of a
young girl from an abusive bargee.
Jim's first job was in the office of Pandy quarry. On the train he experienced the event which has become known as 'The driverless train'.
The first world war casts its dark shadow over the men and their families in the Glyn valley. In 1918 Jim returns from the front to find a changed world. The motor vehicle threatens the dominance of steam and the very existance of the Glyn Valley Tramway.