First of my apologies if any of you were inconvenienced by test emails sent out whilst I was trying to correct the problem with Windows Live Writer bein unable to download my blog theme. The problem has not been resolved but the Happiness Engineers seem to think that it’s a problem with WLW. I on the other hand think the problem lies within WordPress, especially as all the error reports point to WLW being unable to download content from the WordPress servers. I suppose it will never be resolved as they keep directing me to Microsoft to resolve the problem. Great idea but as WLW is no longer supported by Microsoft, there is little chance of finding a fix. Anyway I digress…
Not far from Prestatyn is the village of Dyserth which has extensive quarrying remains, waterfalls, a disused railway line (now a footpath), and mountain (Moel Hiraddug). The oldest industry in the village and surrounding area was mining, with lead, copper and limestone just some of the minerals being mined locally in the past. The quarries are still visible and form a major part of the village’s geography, though mining ceased when Dyserth Quarry closed in 1981.
In the 19th century one of the biggest problems for the local mines and quarries had been how to transport the materials they produced. The existing solution of carting the material over land to the River Clwyd at Rhuddlan was proving to be costly and not an ideal solution.
In 1848 the Chester to Holyhead rail line opened, ten years later saw the opening of the Vale of Clwyd railway which ran from Rhyl to Corwen. But the mining and quarrying companies who had started using these lines still had to get their materials to Prestatyn for the Holyhead line or Rhuddlan for the Vale of Clwyd line.
The coming of the railways in many ways helped the companies who operated around Dyserth. But just as equally it caused problems because their competitors who were closer to the new railway lines had a commercial advantage. Concerned about this disadvantage the Dyserth companies held a public meeting in November 1860 in Prestatyn to consider constructing a railway from the LNWR main line at Prestatyn to Cwm via Dyserth.
It wasn’t until 1869 that a solution was finally found to the problem when the LNWR opened a branch line from Prestatyn to Dyserth. The Branch Line was two and a half miles long and carried the London and North Western Railway on a single track with stops at five intermediate stations, Chapel Street, Woodland Park (to be Meliden Road, but Rhuddlan Road until 1923), St. Melyd Golf Links, Meliden and Alt-y-Craig (altered to Allt-y-Graig during 1929). Initially it carried mineral traffic only. In 1905 a passenger service was opened but it only lasted until 1930, eventually being withdrawn by the LMS but the line still remained open to serve the quarry at Dyserth until it was closed in 1973.
Nowadays most of the old line is now used as a footpath and recently it was paved. It’s one of my favourite walks with the dog if I’m not on the beach but even if you are walking you get glimpses of the sea, from it’s reasonably high position on the hill.
When you walk along the line you come to some caves at the base of Craig Fawr which are closed for safety. Prehistoric tools found in these caves have revealed the existence of early human habitation in the area.
That’s it. I hope you enjoyed this short walk along the old branch line with me.