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17. The Railway Bridge, Railway Arms and the Railway Yard

The arrival of the railway in 1864 transformed life in Llanpumsaint. Even before it opened the construction provided work and salvation from poverty for many.

Carmarthen which was a tiring three hour walk away could now be reached in comfort in 40 minutes. But the most significant change was that the railway facilitated the founding of woollen factories.

The combination of the fast flowing rivers providing a source of energy, the ready availability of the raw material and the cheap labour combined with easy access to the lucrative South Wales market that the railway allowed, made the woollen industry flourish.

The first Station Master, Thomas Evans took charge in 1865 and would remain in the post until his retirement in 1901. He built and owned the Railway Inn but Great Western were unhappy with one of their Station Inspectors running a pub and so it was his son-in-law, Evan whose name appeared above the door. Evan's wife Ada was a reluctant landlady and so the arrangement didn't last long and the pub was taken over by Buckleys Brewery.

Across the road from the pub and next to the railway line is the old station yard and Farmer's Co-op building. Coal, lime and agricultural goods came in while baskets and cloth manufactured in the village went out.

The Carmarthen Farmer's Co-operative Society which was founded in 1903 opened its seventh branch in Llanpumsaint in 1928. Animal feed, flour and agricultural goods were delivered but rail and immediately unloaded into the gleaming new Co-op building. Delivery by rail was so efficient that the prices of products in the Co-op fell and Pantycelyn which up till now was the only farm supplies shop in the area has to drop their prices accordingly.

In 1966, Gwynfor Evans the newly elected Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen tried desperately to challenge the goverment's desicion to close the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth rail line (as part of the Beeching cuts) but he was unsuccessful. In the same year, the Co-op store closed.

The Railway Bridge
The Farmer's Co-op on the site of the railway yard
View from The Railway Bridge
The station in its heyday


After the railway bridge, turn left and with the Raliway Inn on your right, walk along the road for approximately a quarter of a mile and you will see Glanyrynys factory, the next point of interest, on your left just before the small bridge. >>>


Map showing points of interest on the tour

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