The programme for outdoor meetings 2021.

IMPORTANT: It is essential that I am advised in advance of your intention to join any of these walks so that you can be contacted in the event of it being necessary for me to cancel or amend any walk.

Contact details: Keith Dumelow - e-mail: below or mobile & text 07800 630807.





Saturday 17th July - The Ogmore Valley: Nantymoel to Blackmill

Coal export through Porthcawl was the objective of the Ogmore Valley Railway which was incorporated by an Act on 13th July 1863 authorising a standard gauge line from Nantymoel to Tondu, with running powers over the broad gauge Llynfi Valley Railway to Porthcawl via a specially laid third rail. Passenger and freight services from Nantymoel to Porthcawl commenced on 1st August 1865 and in 1866 the Ogmore and Llynfi companies amalgamated. The route prospered and attracted the interest of the GWR which eventually absorbed the Llynfi & Ogmore Railway in 1883.

Passenger services between Tondu and Nantymoel were withdrawn on 5th May 1958 with goods services being progressively closed between 1962 and 1965. After that, the line remained open to serve the combined Wyndham/Western Colliery at Nantymoel and the large washeries at Ogmore Vale. Final closure reflected the decline of the coal industry; the section from Nantymoel to Caedu closed on 21st October 1983 with the remainder from Caedu to Tondu following on 16th July 1986.

Our start point shall be the small car park which now occupies the site of Nantymoel station and is accessed off Commercial Street by a left turn once past Londis and the Ruchi takeaway where we shall foregather at 11:00. (Grid Ref: 933930 OS Explorer map 166 Rhondda & Merthyr Tydfil, postcode CF32 7RA).

The walking is easy, the entire 4.5 mile route being a footpath/cycleway on a falling gradient. For those wishing to return to our start point by public transport, First Cymru route 74 (Bridgend to Nantymoel) operates every 30 minutes (22 & 52mins past each hour) which picks up outside the post office and is timed to take 19 minutes to reach Nantymoel. Please remember your face mask for travelling on public transport if still applicable.

Whilst a pub lunch is a traditional feature of these walks, the taking of a packed lunch is considered the best and safest option this year due to the impact of the pandemic.

Appropriate clothing and footwear is advised and this may include sun cream, sunglasses and a sun hat!

IMPORTANT: It is essential to advise Keith Dumelow in advance of your intention to join this walk so that you can be contacted in the event of it being necessary to cancel e.g. because of Government Covid restrictions, or amend.



Thursday 12th August - Wye Valley: Monmouth to Symonds Yat

This walk is over a section of the Ross & Monmouth Railway following the scenic River Wye from Monmouth to Symonds Yat. The line opened in 1873 and was operated by the GWR from the start. Although once seen as a vital link to the north, the GWR needed no alternative routes to those it already had and so the railway never developed beyond a rural branch line. The sparse services changed little with the passing years, closure to passengers came on 5th January 1959 with freight lasting until 2nd November 1964.

The walk will start at 11:30 from the small car park situated along Hadnock Road (postcode NP25 3YD) about a mile beyond the industrial estate (Grid Ref: 528142 OS Outdoor Leisure Map 14 Wye Valley & Forest of Dean). Take the A466 across the Wye river bridge towards May Hill, proceed straight ahead onto the A4136 as the A466 bears right and almost immediately turn left into Hadnock Road. Once passed the industrial estate, the railway, much overgrown at this point, runs parallel with and to the left of Hadnock Road until the car park is reached.

Whilst a pub lunch is a traditional feature of these walks, the taking of a packed lunch is considered the best and safest option this year due to the impact of the pandemic.

The walk is about 3.75 miles in each direction over sound surfaces.
Appropriate clothing and footwear is advised and this may include sun cream, sunglasses and a sun hat!

IMPORTANT: It is essential to advise Keith Dumelow in advance of your intention to join this walk so that you can be contacted in the event of it being necessary to cancel e.g. because of Government Covid restrictions, or amend.



Tuesday 7th September - LNWR: Dunvant to Swansea Bay (Black Pill)

Our September walk takes us to the west of Swansea and traces the route used by the LNWR to access the industrial riches of the area. In order to avoid the need to retrace our steps, the plan is to walk from Gowerton to Mumbles Road, a distance of around 5 miles, and return to our start point by bus. A service operates every 30 minutes along Mumbles Road requiring a change at Swansea Bus Station and giving a throughout journey time of typically 65 minutes based on April timetables. Please remember your face mask for travelling on public transport if still applicable.

Through the tried and tested tactic of cultivating a friendly relationship with a local company before leasing and subsequent absorption, the LNWR acquired access to Swansea in 1868. This was achieving by operating over the Central Wales line and ultimately reaching Swansea Victoria through running powers over the Llanelly Railway's branch from Pontardulais. Access over the Central Wales route between Craven Arms and Llandovery was gained by leasing and then absorbing three independent railway companies. The section from Llandovery to Llandilo was operated jointly with the GWR while the LNWR obtained running powers over the GWR from Llandilo to Pontardulais. The Llanelly Railway's branch was formed into the Swansea & Carmarthen Railway in 1871, but worked by the LNWR, before being absorbed by the LNWR in 1873.

Passenger services ceased on 15th June 1964 with freight lingering on until 4th October 1965. Today, the line offers an attractive walk down the Clyne Valley, passing the station sites of Gowerton South, Dunvant, Killay and Mumbles Road before reaching the shoreline along Swansea Bay.

Our meeting point shall be Gowerton railway station for an 11:30 start. The station is located at the end of Station Road, postcode SA4 3AJ. As the small station car park is for rail customers only, it is recommended that cars are parked in the Council run car park (free as of April this year) in Gorwydd Road (B4295), postcode SA4 3AG, which is a 3 minute walk to the station. For those wishing to travel by train, the 11:09 service from Swansea, arriving at 11:20 (April timetable) is convenient for our walk start time.

Whilst a pub lunch is a traditional feature of these walks, the taking of a packed lunch is considered the best and safest option this year due to the impact of the pandemic.

Appropriate clothing and footwear is advised and this may include sun cream, sunglasses and a sun hat!

IMPORTANT: It is essential to advise Keith Dumelow in advance of your intention to join this walk so that you can be contacted in the event of it being necessary to cancel e.g. because of Government Covid restrictions, or amend.


IMPORTANT: It is essential that I am advised in advance of your intention to join any of these walks so that you can be contacted in the event of it being necessary for me to cancel or amend any walk.

Contact details: Keith Dumelow - e-mail: below or mobile & text 07800 630807.