Jones Bros helps Ruthin keep track of time with railway heritage project3rd Mar 2023

Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK has given Ruthin’s history a welcome lift through the restoration of a century-old railway crane.

The refurbishment forms part of a wider heritage project on the former railway site and adds another layer to the firm’s long-standing history with the station, as it was involved with the clearance of the grounds when the railway buildings were vacated.

Half a century later, Jones Bros has donated £2,000 to fund the refurbishment of its crane, which is believed to have been used to load and unload goods and machinery at the station for decades.

Vernon and Arnold Hughes, sons of the last stationmaster, at Ruthin Railway Station, alongside Helen Morgan from Jones Bros

As part of the project, information panels, detailing the railway’s past, were unveiled at the Ruthin Craft Centre exactly 161 years on from the station’s initial opening in 1862.

Jones Bros chairman Huw Jones MBE said: “We are pleased to have been involved in conserving Ruthin’s railway heritage, particularly after Jones Bros was involved in clearing the site more than 50 years ago.”

The project also received support from the ‘15-Minute Heritage Scheme’, funded by the Welsh Government and historic environment service Cadw, as well as the Clocaenog Wind Farm Fund, Ruthin Town Council, and Denbighshire Leisure.

In addition to the renovation of the crane and information panels, a series of lectures were staged, and verbal history sessions took place, which led to the production of a digital booklet.

The panels were part of the ‘Railway in Ruthin – Past and Present’ project organised by Ruthin and District Civic Association in conjunction with the craft centre.

Ruthin and District Civic Association chair, Cllr Anne Roberts MBE, added: “The project has been good from start to finish and we are extremely grateful to the project coordinator Fiona Gale for all her hard work and the funders of the project.

“I would encourage locals and people from further afield to view the new information panels and learn more about the town’s history and association with the railway.”

During the event, Jones Bros company secretary Helen Morgan unveiled the panels alongside Vernon and Arnold Hughes, the sons of the last stationmaster of Ruthin Railway Station.

Vernon and Arnold also shared their memories and memorabilia during the event, including old photos and train tickets.