Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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SPOONER , JAMES ( 1789 - 1856 ), railway engineer ;

b. 1789 , d. Portmadoc , 18 Aug. 1856 . He came to Maentwrog from Birmingham . At the request of W. A. Madocks (q.v.) and afterwards of Samuel Holland (q.v.) , he surveyed a narrow-gauge railway from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Portmadoc , to carry slates from the quarries to the harbour. This line, called ‘ The Festiniog Railway ,’ was completed in April 1836 . It became the pioneer of narrow-gauge railways throughout the world.

His son



CHARLES EASTON ( 1818 - 1889 ), railway engineer ,

was b. at Maentwrog . He assisted his father and afterwards became his successor as engineer of the Festiniog railway . He wrote and lectured much on the subject of narrow-gauge railways , and his book, Narrow Gauge Railways , 1871 , is a standard work. He d. 18 Nov. 1889 .

Sources:

  • R. I. Jones (Alltud Eifion) , Y Gestiana , Tremadog, 1892 , 1892 ;
  • Edward Davies , Hanes Porthmadog , 1913 , 1913 .

Author:

David Thomas, O.B.E., M.A., (1880-1967), Bangor

Published date: 1959