Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways

July 15th 2010

Heritage Factoid No.12 - Lloyd George knew our railway

For most of his early life, he lived in Gwynedd and became MP for Caernarfon in 1890 until early 1945 when, a few weeks before his death, he became an Earl.

Lloyd George was articled to a solicitor in Porthmadog and, after qualifying in 1884, he set up his own practice there. As it developed, he set up branches in nearby towns including Blaenau Ffestiniog and he became a regular Ffestiniog Railway commuter. A compartment in carriage 16 was converted into an office complete with a desk and blinds to ensure privacy for Lloyd George and his secretary.

When most of the railways in the UK were grouped into the ‘big four’ in 1922, the FR was initially destined to become part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway and later to be absorbed by the Great Western, but finally, after local protests, it remained independent.
Was this decision influenced by the Prime Minister’s memories of his journeys long before? We shall never know.

In 1990 the FR’s newest double Fairlie locomotive entered service, and was named ‘David Lloyd George’ by his nephew, William George, himself a partner in the firm that David had set up over a century earlier.

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