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Memorial events for line restorer; ALAN'S pounds 3,000 PUT RAILWAY BACK ON TRACK.

Byline: ERYL CRUMP

A SPECIAL weekend to celebrate the life of the man who made the restoration of a narrow gauge railway possible will be held this autumn.

Alan Pegler passed away in London on Sunday after a short illness. He was 91.

His boyhood love of trains led him to save the Ffestiniog Railway and the Flying Scotsman. He remained president of the Ffestiniog Railway Company and the Ffestiniog Railway Society until his death and visited the railway during last October's Vintage Weekend.

The special weekend will start with an informal gathering at Porthmadog on October 5. Ffestiniog Railway spokesman Andrew Thomas said the celebrations begin with a late afternoon train to Beddgelert.

"This will return in time for dinner in Spooner's, in recent years a favourite haunt of Alan's where he could meet up with friends old and new and talk railways," he said.

The following day a memorial service will be held at Tan y Bwlch at 10.20am. A special train will leave Porthmadog at 9.40am.

"The train will pause at Rhiw Goch while a gravity train passes --FR volunteers offering a salute to Alan, acknowledging it was his efforts all those years ago that have enabled them to enjoy the railway today," Mr Thomas added.

During Saturday and Sunday there will be special trains including Simplex hauled trains across the Cob recreating the very first passenger trains in preservation and at 1955 fares of one shilling (5p).

Mr Thomas added: "We are collecting photos and memories of Alan and would be grateful of any people may have.

In the early 1950s Mr Pegler, who once lived on the Portmeirion estate of friend Clough Williams Ellis, paid pounds 3,000 for the abandoned line. It took a further four years to gain full control, and 28 more - with the help of staff and volunteers - to restore the narrow gauge line and its engines to run from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

In the late 1960s Mr Pegler used family business money to buy and run the Flying Scotsman for a decade, even taking it to America.

In 2004, an appeal by the National Railway Museum raised pounds 2m to fully refurbish and run it in the UK.

A businessman, Mr Pegler had a variety of jobs from station master and signaller''s assistant to bomber pilot and professional actor.

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A weekend of events will honour the work of Alan Pegler, who has died aged 91
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 11, 2012
Words:410
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