Datblygiad yr amgueddfa

Cychwynnwyd casgliad Amgueddfa’r Rheilffyrdd Bach Cul yn y 1950au pan ffurfiwyd Cymdeithas Cadwraeth Rheilffordd Tal-y-llyn i ymgymryd â gweithredu Rheilffordd Tal-y-llyn. Mewn cyfnod pan oedd cadwraeth rheilffyrdd ond yn dechrau, Cymdeithas Cadwraeth Rheilffordd Tal-y-llyn oedd y gymdeithas wirfoddol gyntaf yn y byd i gymryd cyfrifoldeb am redeg rheilffordd gyhoeddus yn cludo teithwyr.

Ar y pryd, roedd rheilffyrdd bach cul, hynny yw unrhyw reilffordd lle mae’r pellter rhwng y rheiliau’n llai na 4 troedfedd 8½ modfedd (1435 milimedr), yn dechrau mynd yn afraid, ac roedd eu cyfarpar yn mynd i sgrap. Ar unwaith dechreuwyd cynnig eitemau o reilffyrdd bach eraill i Gymdeithas Cadwraeth Rheilffordd Tal-y-llyn, a ffurfiwyd pwyllgor â’r nod o gaffael enghreifftiau o locomotifau, rholstoc a chyfarpar arall i’w harddangos i’r cyhoedd.

How the museum developed

The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum collection began in the 1950s when the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society (TRPS) was formed to take over and operate the Talyllyn Railway. At a time when railway preservation was in its infancy, the TRPS was the first voluntary society in the world to take over and run a public passenger carrying railway.

Narrow gauge railways, that is to say any railway in which the distance between the rails is less than 4 feet 8½ inches (1435 millimetres), were at that time becoming redundant and their equipment was being scrapped. Immediately, items from other narrow gauge lines began to be offered to the TRPS, and a committee was formed with the objective of acquiring examples of locomotives, rolling stock and other equipment to place them on public display.

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I ddechrau, roedd rhaid storio’r eitemau yn yr awyr agored ac yn fuan daeth yn amlwg bod angen adeilad i’r amgueddfa.

At first, the items had to stored in the open air and it quickly became apparent that a museum building was needed.

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Yn 1957 penderfynwyd codi to dros yr iard furiog oedd yn cael ei defnyddio i storio glo. Gellir gweld yr iard rhwng adeilad yr orsaf a’r brif reilffordd yn y ffotograff uchod.

In 1957 it was decided to roof over the walled yard used for the storage of coal. The yard can be seen between the station building and the main line railway in the photograph above.

 

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Gwnaed y gwaith gan ranbarth Canolbarth Cymdeithas Cadwraeth Rheilffordd Tal-y-llyn ac fe’i hagorwyd ym mis Medi 1959 gan John Scholes, Curadur Creiriau Comisiwn Trafnidiaeth Prydain.

Erbyn hyn roedd Cymdeithas Cadwraeth Rheilffordd Tal-y-llyn yn dod yn fwyfwy ymwybodol o natur unigryw’r casgliad, a’r teimlad oedd bod angen diffinio statws cyfreithiol yr amgueddfa’n fwy ffurfiol, felly yn 1964 sefydlwyd Ymddiriedolaeth Amgueddfa’r Rheilffyrdd Bach Cul. Fe’i cofrestrwyd fel elusen ac felly roedd modd denu grantiau gan gyrff allanol ac adennill treth ar roddion. Roedd yr Ymddiriedolaeth yn ffodus i sicrhau grantiau’n fuan gan nifer o unigolion a chyrff, oedd yn ei galluogi i ehangu’r adeilad i ddarparu gofod ar gyfer y casgliad oedd yn dal i gynyddu. Cafwyd oedi i’r gwaith pan chwythwyd y to, oedd bron iawn â’i gwblhau, i ffwrdd mewn storm ym mis Tachwedd 1965 ac agorwyd yr estyniad yn ffurfiol o’r diwedd yn 1967.

The work was done by the Midland Area of the TRPS and it was opened in September 1959 by John Scholes, Curator of Relics to the British Transport Commission.

By this time the TRPS was becoming increasingly conscious of the unique nature of the collection, and felt that it was time to define more clearly the legal status of the museum, and in 1964, the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum Trust came into being. It was registered as a charity and was thus able to attract grants from outside bodies and to reclaim tax on donations. The Trust was fortunate in quickly obtaining grants from a number of individuals and bodies, enabling the building to be extended to provide space for the still expanding collection. Work was interrupted when the almost completed roof was blown away in a gale in November 1965 and it was 1967 when the extension was formally opened.

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Y tu mewn i’r hen amgueddfa – gellir gweld waliau llechi’r iard lo a’r amgylchedd anodd, oedd yn rhy boeth yn yr haf ac yn oer a llaith yn y gaeaf.

Ar 11 Gorffennaf 1994 olynwyd Ymddiriedolaeth 1964 gan Ymddiriedolaeth newydd â chyfansoddiad gwahanol, a daeth â’r Amgueddfa yn agosach at drefniadaeth Tal-y-llyn ond gan gadw’r annibyniaeth oedd yn angenrheidiol i gorff elusennol oedd â holl gyfrifoldebau rhedeg amgueddfa gofrestredig.

Erbyn canol y 1990au roedd y casgliad yn cynnwys wyth locomotif ac ugain o wagenni, ynghyd â llawer o eitemau llai o faint ac roedd wedi tyfu’n rhy fawr ers tro i’r gofod oedd ar gael ar gyfer arddangos a dehongli. Yr hyn oedd ei angen oedd adeilad newydd i’r amgueddfa gyda gofod, hygyrchedd ac amgylchedd digonol, ynghyd ag arddangosfeydd wedi’u dylunio’n broffesiynol.

Ar yr un pryd roedd Rheilffordd Tal-y-llyn yn dymuno gwella cyfleusterau’r orsaf i ddiwallu anghenion y teithwyr a gweithrediad y rheilffordd yn well. Pan gymerodd Cymdeithas Cadwraeth Rheilffordd Tal-y-llyn yr awenau, roedd un adeilad bach yn gweithredu fel swyddfa docynnau, tŷ pwyso a swyddfa gyffredinol y rheilffordd. Fel yr amgueddfa, roedd sawl estyniad ac adeiladau cludadwy wedi’u hychwanegu: roedd angen datrysiad radical.

Gyda jiwbilî aur Cymdeithas Cadwraeth Rheilffordd Tal-y-llyn ar y gorwel yn 2000, lansiwyd apêl i godi arian i adeiladu gorsaf ac amgueddfa newydd ar safle’r Lanfa. Yn y pen draw, gwireddwyd y freuddwyd gyda chyllid o Gronfa Treftadaeth y Loteri ynghyd â ffynonellau Llywodraethol ac elusennol eraill i gyfateb ag arian a godwyd gan gyfeillion y Rheilffordd a’r Amgueddfa. Cymeradwywyd cynllun ar gyfer adeilad deulawr newydd a fyddai’n gartref i’r amgueddfa, ystafell luniaeth a swyddfa’r rheilffordd, ynghyd â siop a swyddfa docynnau mewn fersiwn estynedig o’r adeilad gwreiddiol. Dechreuodd y gwaith mewn camau yn 2001 ac agorwyd canolfan newydd yr orsaf a’r amgueddfa gan Dywysog Cymru ar 13 Gorffennaf 2005.

Bellach gall ymwelwyr ddysgu am y rôl a chwaraewyd gan y broses o gloddio am lechi a’u cludo i’r farchnad ar Reilffordd Tal-y-llyn yn natblygiad cymunedau Tywyn a Dyffryn Fathew. Gallan nhw gymharu hyn â’r ffordd yr agorodd rheilffyrdd bach cul eraill rannau anghysbell o gefn gwlad a chefnogi diwydiannau fel cloddio, gweithgynhyrchu, coedwigaeth, amaethyddiaeth a thwristiaeth mewn rhannau mwy diwydiannol o’r wlad hefyd, ac mewn sefydliadau milwrol a chefnogi byddinoedd ar faes y gad.

The interior of the old museum – the slate walls of the coal yard can be seen and the spartan conditions which were too hot in summer and damp and cold in winter.

On 11 July 1994 a new and differently constituted Trust, superseded the 1964 Trust and brought the Museum closer to the Talyllyn organisation while retaining the independence necessary for a charitable body with all the responsibilities of running a registered museum.

By the mid 1990s the collection included eight locomotives and twenty wagons, plus many smaller exhibits, and it had long since outgrown the space available for display and interpretation. What was needed was a new museum building with adequate space, accessibility and environment, and professionally designed displays.

At the same time the Talyllyn Railway was seeking to improve its station facilities to better meet the needs of its passengers and the operation of the railway. When the TRPS took over, there was a single small building which served as a booking office, weigh house, and general office for the railway. Like the museum, this had been augmented by various extensions and portable buildings: a radical solution was needed.

With the approach of the golden jubilee of the TRPS in 2000, an appeal was launched to raise funds to build a new station and museum on the Wharf site. Eventually, the dream became a reality when funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund plus other government and charitable sources was obtained to match money raised by friends of the Railway and Museum. A design was approved for a new two storey building to house the museum, a refreshment room, and railway offices, to be combined with a shop and booking office in an extended version of the original building. Work began in stages in 2001, and the new station and museum complex was opened by the Prince of Wales on 13 July 2005.

Now visitors can discover the role played in the development of the communities of Tywyn and the Fathew Valley by the quarrying of slate, and its transportation to market by the Talyllyn Railway. They can compare this with the way other narrow gauge railways opened up remote areas of countryside and supported industries such as mining, manufacturing, forestry, agriculture and tourism in the more industrialised parts of the country as well, in military establishments and in the support of armies in the field.