Phil Girdlestone, who died in South Africa in April 2016, was one of a small band of latter-day engineers who travel the world implementing improvements to steam locomotives based on the preachings of Livio Dante Porta.
One of Phil’s last wishes was to have his ashes laid to rest at the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales where he began his career on the Ffestiniog Railway. To honour this wish, a memorial service will take place at the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways on Saturday 18th March 2017.
The program for the day will be as follows: A special train will depart Harbour Station, Porthmadog at 13:45 on March 18 for Boston Lodge Halt. From there, attendees will walk to the Boston Lodge Memorial for a short ceremony at which will be read any messages from people who are unable to attend. Attendees will re-board the train at 14:25, returning to Harbour Station at 14:30. After a brief stop in the station, the train will depart again at 14:50 on the Welsh Highland track to Hafod y Llyn, returning again at 16:10. A reception buffet will follow in the station.
Anyone unable to attend but who would like a few words of remembrance to be read out on the day should send their message to Frances Harris at Porthmadog. Those attending will include Shaun McMahon (who will be travelling over from Argentina for the event) and Chris Newman of the AST Group.
This will be an open event to which all-comers will be welcomed whether or not they knew Phil. It is hoped that the event will be well attended by AST’s members.
Please contact Frances Harris before 11th March if you plan to attend the ceremony and buffet dinner so that catering can be arranged. Frances advises those attending to bring umbrellas and weather-proof clothing because the memorial site is exposed to the Welsh weather.