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Ffestiniog Railway Society
Cymdeithas Rheilffordd Ffestiniog


Boston Lodge Appeal

07 June 2022

Looking down on Boston Lodge

The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway Company (F&WHR) and the Ffestiniog Railway Society (FRS) are delighted that the railway has been awarded a £3,140,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) to carry forward the Boston Lodge Interpretation and Development Project. This award will help ensure the conservation of the fabric of the world’s oldest continuously-operated railway works which is now part of the UNESCO Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales World Heritage Site.

The project will involve the restoration, repair or re-creation of a number of Grade II listed buildings across the Boston Lodge site, with major attention being focused on the historic Top Yard, the area seen in the photograph on the front of this leaflet. The work will ensure the future of these buildings whilst at the same time ensuring that they are of practical use within the context of a very active engineering works. It is also planned that volunteers will lead a sub-project to construct a locomotive shed specifically for the railway’s smaller locomotives elsewhere on the Boston Lodge site, and that a waggon repair shed and much improved messing facilities will also be developed.

When the project is completed, visitors will be able to tour the workshops at Boston Lodge to learn about the history of the site and the activities that are currently undertaken there. This type of access is something that hasn’t been possible in recent times and it will be transformative in terms of what our visitors can learn about the railway and its history. To facilitate this initiative, a new Teaching and Research Centre will be constructed.

The top yard, with the building now known as Plas Smart on the left

Away from Boston Lodge, the NLHF project will facilitate the provision of information about the railway’s history at a number of its stations. Various roles and traineeships will also be created in order to deliver the buildings and interpretation components of the project and also to promote volunteering. Further details can be found at the project site.

The three-year NHLF project, with a total value of £4,370,000, is now underway. The FRS and the F&WHR Trust have each made a commitment to contribute £475,000 towards the match-funding requirements. This will be the largest grant made to the Company by the FRS in its nearly 70-year history.

We know that the conservation of the Boston Lodge site is of special interest to the many people who have been involved with the Ffestiniog Railway in the years since it reopened in 1955. We also know that members will want to assist with the development of education and volunteering, not only at Boston Lodge but throughout the whole railway.

We are therefore appealing for your donations to help the FRS meet its obligation to support this very special project. All contributions, however modest, will be greatly appreciated.

Details, including how to send donations, are available in the downloadable version of the leaflet below, whilst online donations may be made via our Charities Aid Foundation page.

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