Film: 11578

Transport General | 1930 | Sound | B/W


Car Gwylit, Wales an inclined plane transport system. Men leaving work at the top of a slate mine and decending to the valley bottom in " Wild Cars". One man falls over and derails those behind - quite funny.

In the mornings, the quarrymen were hauled up to the quarry in empty slate wagons, but when work was over in the evenings and wagons had ceased to run on the inclines, the weary plod down to tea and civilisation was not appreciated, and to speed the workmen’s homeward journey the Car Gwyllt was invented. The benefactor responsible was Edward Ellis, the quarry blacksmith, and the date was some time early in the tramway’s life - the first reference is in the late ‘70s. The name means ‘Wild car’, and wild car it was. Every workman had his own car, on which he would carve his initials, and the really car-proud owner would have a detachable brake handle, which he would pocket so that nobody else could use his car.A story is also told of a local lady who prevailed upon the quarrymen to let her have a joy-ride during the lunch-hour. Unfortunately she was already well under way when she discovered to her alarm that her skirt prevented her from operating the brake, and when she reached the bottom of the incline, at record speed, she was confronted by a slate wagon, underneath which she would undoubtedly have disappeared had she not had the presence of mind to raise her legs. Her feet met the buffer-beam and catapulted her up in the air – "She whirled over and over – just like a rainbow she looked", say the quarrymen – and after a spectacular flight she landed, understandably shaken, but unharmed.

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