The Snowdon Mountain and Welsh Highland Railways, by anon. The British Publishing Co., c1924 [booklet]


The Snowdon Mountain and Welsh Highland Railways, by anon. The British Publishing Co., c1924. Booklet, 7”x 5” thin card cover with reproduction water colour scenic view, pp.32, inside and rear cover blank 18 B&&W half tone photographs.


The last page is devoted to text promoting the LMS railway, and includes the sentence “During the holiday season, combined railway, tramway and motor tours are arranged from Landudno, enabling a complete tour of the district to be accomplished in one day…” Really?  I should think a tour of Snowdonia in a single day rather a tall order!

This is an attractive booklet, unusual in that it was published by an hotel – the Victoria Royal at Llanberis. It calls itself a “Souvenir”, so was probably only on sale locally to visitors who wanted a memento of their trip. It gives the impression that the author had traveled on the Snowdon Mountain and Festiniog Railways, but had not been on the Welsh Highland, so it is possible that it was written in advance of the latter opening. It is certainly one of the earliest pieces of publicity material produced in connection with the WHR. Given that it was not particularly easy to reach the Welsh Highland from Llanberis (at least two changes of train were involved) one needs to recall that the Victoria Royal Hotel, the Snowdon and the Welsh Highland were all controlled by a consortium of “hard faced businessmen, who had done well out of the Great War” – The Aluminium Corporation of Dolgarrog, and behind the scenes, the North Wales Power and Electric Traction Co. A portion of the booklet is given over to photos of the hotel interior. When I last stayed there around 12 years ago, it was still offering the same standard of Edwardian comfort, very welcoming to return to after a day out in the worst that Snowdonia could offer in terms of autumn weather!


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