Search 15 million Welsh newspaper articles
2 articles on this Page
OPENING OF THE SOUTH WALES…
OPENING OF THE SOUTH WALES RAILWAY. TILTS. important and anxiously-looked-for event took place on Tuesday last, under advantages of no common order. The morning was all that the pleasure-taker could wish for. Bright Sol shone forth in all her radient. glory, and made hill and valley, wood and dale," seem to participate in the Suspicious proceedings of the day. For some time past the workmen employed upon the line have done their uttermost to bring it into a state fit for the business of Tuesday, and gratifying' must it have been not only to the men themselves and their masters, but also to the Directors, to have seen the line in so forward i,id well-finished it condition as it pre- sented itself on the great day we are now alluding to. Of the great advantages of railways we feel we need say little or nothing, as the great benefits which accrue to the public, both by the quick transmission of goods and passengers from n 0 one locality to another, and also by the great economy which is found to exist in the charges of this method when com- pared with that of the four-horse system of travelling, have now been too long in vogue not to have become plain to and understood by all to whom the introduction of railways must have proved a benefit. The advantages which must now accrue to the inhabitants of this town, whose business would call them from their home, is at once apparent, from the fact that what they used to pay 12s. for, including the extra amount of time taken in the completion of the journey, which to a tradesman of any business might be considered a dead loss, can be attained for half the sum and completed in less than one-half the time and should the traveller not object to the accommodation of a third-class train, he will be enabled to reach Swansea from Cardiff at the astonishingly small sum of 3s. lOd. We call it astonishingly small from the fact that hitherto the fares have been of so high a cha- racter as to be almost out of the reach of many who would, had the case been the contrary, availed themselves of the op- portunity of a trip to a neighbouring town. All such ob- stacles are, by the introduction of railroads, to an enormous extent removed, and the advantages which accrue hold out great inducements for increased traffic. Men of business now find it worth their while to visit neighbouring towns to settle mutually in a few moments what would, perhaps, by letter, occupy the consideration of days and farmers, agri- culturists, &c., are also enabled to visit the different markets and fairs for the purpose of purchasing and vending their various commodities in trade. We doubt not that the great advantages which will be made available by the construction of this railway will prove the means of making the southern portion of Wales of the greatest importance in the mercantile world, and when it is remembered that it runs through a county which is replete with all the varieties of mineral wealth, its success may apparently be deemed certain. With regard to its origin, the first prospectus which an- nounced the projection of the line, was issued in 1844, and it was then stated that it would have the sanction and support of the Great Western Railway Company. The capital pro- posed to be raised was £ 2,500,000 in 50,000 shares of f50 each. In 1845, the Act of Incorporation was obtained, and in 1846 operations for its construction were commenced at several points, which have been carried on uninterruptedly, with but one exception, up to the present time. A short time after the commencement of the works an estimate of the several portions of the line were submitted to the Di- rectors by their chief engineer, Mr. Brunell, and were as follows Z3 The average cost of works, exclusive. of the permanent way, and, of course, exclusive of land, will, upon the whole distance, be uhout £ 8,000, the average being very much increased by the cost of the works between Neath, Swansea, and Louglior, a distance of about 13 miles, and bv the heavy works at Newport. The average cost of works, per mile, from Fishguard to f. Louglior, will be about IJoO BetwcenLoughorandNeath 15,500 Loii,,Iioriiid Npath Between Neath and Gloucester, exclusive of the New- port Tunnel, also 7,750 And including the Newport Tunnel. 8,600 The total average, including the Monmouth branch as before giveii 8,800. t An important event in the history of this line took place in 1846. It was an agreement between the Great Western Railway Company and the South Wales Railway Company, which connected the one Company with the other, under conditions which the following heads of die agreement, entered upon the 21st October, in the before named year, will show:— 1. Great Western Company to work the line, while partially opened," and pay over net proceeds. 2. The line from Gloucester to Fishguard, and from Newport to Monmouth, being completed and opened, a lease in perpetuity to be made. Rent, five per cent. on the amount expended, including interest during the progress of the works, as allowed by the Act of Parlia- ment. No division of profits during the first five years of lease. Afterwards, of net profits beyond the five per cent. South Wales Company to receive half the same. 3. States the terms of an amalgamation. 4. Commencement of lease not to be effected by non- completion of Pembroke and Haverfordwest branches these to be executed by South Wales Company, and included in lease, if capital sum and debentures afrer-mentioaed be sufficient. 5. Newpcrt to Monmouth to be completed in time for the Great Western Company's line between Gloucester and Monmouth, but if (subject to this) line be completed between Gloucester and Fish- guard, the lease to commence. 6. Guarantee of five per cent. to extend over the expenditure of share of capital not exceeding E3,000,000, and the Great Western llailway Company is also to defray interest upon so much of the additional £1,000,000, as may be required to be raised by deben- tures for the general purposes of the company, the said expenditure comprising provision of all necessary works, buildings, stations, siding's, and every other accommodation needful for business of line, except locomotives, carriages, &c., winch are to be supplied by the Great Western Railway Company. 7. The Great Western Company shall have the option to supply the additional money, holding the debentures, or to become parties by the way of guarantee for the loan so as to secure the money at tiie lowest rate of interest. 8. Provides for appointing an accountant to keep the accounts separate, of receipts and expenses of South Wales line, and the latter are to be calculated on some fair and equitable basis, to be determined by the two boards or by arbitration. 9. The consent of the Great Western Company is to be con- sidered necessary for all alterations or deviations of the line and branches, at present sanctioned by Parliament, which may require tresh parliamentary powers also to the construction of any future extensions or branches, and to the .purchase of lease of railways, tram-roads, or other public works, not at present authorised except the Bullo Pill Railway, which has been purchased, and is to be nclu lell in the lease of the South Wales Line. The umount of expenditure fixed by the acts on such works or purchases, after being sanctioned by the Great Western Company, is to be added to the capital already agreed upon, and the interest on the same to be guaranteed in the like manner by the Great Western Railway Company. 10. -A general arbitration clause is to be introduced between the two companies, for the purpose of settling all matters in difference. 11. The agreement and lease, with all usual and necessary Covenants, to be prepared by some eminent and impartial convey- ancer, and in case of dispute as to the true intent and meaning of the parties, or as to the equitable adjustment of any point which lnay not have been specially provided for, the same is to be referred to the absolute and final decision of the Attorney or Solicitor- General for the time being, or of some person to be appointed by them, or one of their common seals to be affixed, and Parlia- mentary section to he obtained. By a report of the Directors presented at a general meeting in August last, the expenses of the construction of the line, including land, stations, &c., would be £ 1,560,000. The probable cost, however, including the subscriptions to i fcther lines, and also the preliminary expenditure and the Cost of works prosecuted between Gloucester and Chepstow, is estimate (i up to the period of opening between these two Places as £ 2,970,000. The principal officials connected with the South Wales line at the present time, are C. R. M, Talbot, <^sq., M.P., Chairman of the Board of Directors, and lord- lieutenant of the County of Glamorgan.—-Directors connccted Mth this locality are, J. II. Vivian, Esq., M.P.; Sir J. J. Quest, M.P. | D. A. S. Davies, Dsq., M.P.; and Lord Villiers. ^Engineer-in-Chief, 1. K. Brunei, Esq.—General Superin- tendent of the line, Frederick Clark, Esq. It would not prove uninteresting to our readers perhaps, If, before we particularise the events of Tuesday, we devoted j1 short space to giving them a little description of this Itnmense undertaking. The South Wales Railway will, when °ompleted, form a communication, direct, between Swansea ^hd Gloucester, at which place it will verge into the Great t*estern line. The line commences near Hagloe, about ^'elve miles distant from Gloucester, and runs on the western eide of the Severn, till within about three miles of Chep- ^*°w. At this pi ice it crosses the river Wye, over a bridge which is in course of erection, and will, no doubt, be one or the most splendid structures in Great Britain. After leaving Chepstow the line diverges from the coast, passing by Magor and Bishopston, over the moors, which it crosses in the di- rection of Newport, and passes over the river by means of a wooden bridge, then through a tunnel about half a mile in length. From Newport the South Wales again pursues its westerly course, in the vicinity of the coast, and arrives at Cardiff. Immediately on leaving Cardiff the Tafl is crossed by a bridge, which is constructed of wood. The line then passes towards the ancient city of Llandaff, from which place it takes a north-westerly direction towards Llantris- sent, keeping, however, a short distance to the south of that borough, thereby securing immediate communica- tion with one of the richest mineral districts in the South Wales coal basin. From a point near Llanharan the line takes a south-western direction, passing near Bridg- end, Pyle, and regaining the coast at Lower Kenfig, whence it follows its direction through Aberavon to Briton-ferry. At this point the South Wales again leaves the coast, and taking a north-westerly direction arrives at Neath. The Neath river being crossed by a wooden bridge, the line commences a steep ascent on arches till it arrives on the high ground a little above Skewen-hill, passing at the base of Drymma mountain. From this point it pursues a westerly direction through Llansamlct, passing a deep cutting, which goes through the highest part of the hill whiph separates the Swansea from the Neath Valley. This cutting was not accomplished without considerable difficulty from the "sbpping" of the earth on the sides of it, caused by superincumbent pressure, and it was only by the use of great patience, and bringing to bear an immense amount of labour, that the difficulty was overcome. As soon as the line leaves this cutting it begins to descend an incline into the Swansea Valley, and, passing over the marsh near the Tawe, arrives at the splendid viaduct termed the Lan- dow viaduct, and which is built principally of wood. This magnificent structure, the most striking object on the line, conducts the South Wales Railway over the river Tawe, and the flat or marsh lands which are adjacent to its banks. Commencing on the eastern side of the valley at Llysnewydd, in the parish of Llansamlet, it terminates on the west at Landore, from which it takes its name. On the western or Landore .side of the viaduct is a sharp curve. The contract for this structure was undertaken by Mr. Hennet, of Bristol, and its completion may be said to have been accomplished since September to the beginning of the present month (June). The length of the viaduct is 1,897 feet. It consists of 37 spans or trusses, the first of which, near Siloh Chapel, is about 44ft. 3in. the second, 42ft.; third, 50ft. lOin.; fourth, 50ft. 9in. fifth, 36ft. lin, sixth, 36ft. 3in.; seventh, 33ft. 9in.; eighth, 24ft. 6in.; the ninth, which crosses the turnpike road, is 74ft. in length; the tenth, crossing the canal, is 73ft. 7m. the next, 42ft. 3in. the twelfth, 41ft. Din. the thirteenth, 41ft. 4in.; the fourteenth, 41ft. lin.; the fifteenth, 41ft. 2in.; the sixteenth, 41 ft. 4in. the seventeenth, 41ft. 5in.; the eighteenth, 40ft. 9in.; the nineteenth, (32ft; the twentieth, which crosses the river, is 110ft.; the next is 62ft. the twenty-second, 42ft. while the eight following are of the same dimensions. The thirty-first is 41ft. Sin. the next, 41ft. 7in. the thirty-third, 42ft. 4in. followed by the thirty- fourth, of 41ft. 5in. the three last are of the respective lengths of 41ft. 6in., 41ft. lOin., and 45ft., making a total length of 1,797 feet 3 inches. The span of the centre arch over the river is 102ft. The height from high-water mark to under-beam, 72ft. to top of rail, 76ft. The total height from the bed of the river to the top is 109ft. 9in. In the construction of the viaduct 2,600 loads of wood, or 130,000 cubic feet, have been employed, 350 tons of cast and wrought iron, and 3,000 cubic yards of stone work. The weight of wood and iron work, exclusive of rails, ballast, &c., is upwards of 3,000 tons Although so many hundred persons were engaged in the con- struction of thi-5 hazardous and mighty viaduct, it is a pleasing and astonishing fact that no more than three lives were lost, and those might be attributed, in a great extent, to the want of pro- per caution upon the part of the deceased persons. The line then passes on to Swansea, the station at which is .for the present termed the western terminus of the line, The Stations throughout the line possess nothing remarkable, the usual booking offices, waiting rooms, ike., in plain substantial architecture, comprising their formation. On Tuesday morning, the day fixed for the opening, the train started from Chepstow about half-past eight o'clock but pre- viously to doing so a procession of gentlemen, residents in the town and neighbourhood, presented the following address, which was received in a flattering manner:- To the Directors of the South Wales Railway. Gentlemen -On behalf of our fellow-townsmen and ourselves, we beg to offer you our warmest congratulations on your having com- pleted so large a part of the South Wales Railway. That this important work should have been brought to its present state, in times of such depression, reflects the highest credit on you, gentlemen, who have taken upon yourselves the manage- ment of the company's affairs. And Ave do most sincerely hope, when the whole line is com- [ pleted, that the proprietors of the South Wales Railway will not only have the gratification of seeing the service they have rendered the principality. and the various counties through which the line passes, but that they will also have an ample return made to them by way of interest of the capital laid out. And as to ourselves, the inhabitants of this little town, we do feel most joyous on the occasion of the opening of part of this important Iiiio. And we are fully cotivincocl, that if we had been left out by you, our situation would have been very different. As your time is valuable, we will detain you no longer than to repeat our hope that you will be rewarded by a measure of success that may exceed your most sanguine expectations. We have the honour to remain, gentlemen, Your obedient servants, "THOMAS KrxG; T. B. GAH:UiJL, Vicar of Chepstow, ROBERT EVANS, and 23 others." In reply, Mr. Talbot said :-Gentlemen, on the part of myself and brother directors, I beg to return you our warmest thanks for the very handsome manner in which you have re- ceived us here to-day, and for the terms of the address which you have presented to us. We are extremely glad to see that the people of this district are awake to the vast importance of communication and we would beg to express our entire con- viction that the railway which is this day opened will be the means of increasing our trade, and consequently contributing to your prosperity (cheers). Excuse me, gentlemen, as our time is short, if I do not make a longer address upon the occasion. On arriving at Newport the scene was most exciting, the particulars of which are inserted elsewhere. The Directors, having alighted, proceeded at once to the refreshment room, where the Town Clerk, on behalf of the Corporation, presented the following address To the Directors of the South Wales Railway. Goiitlemen,NVe, the Mayor and Corporation of Newport, Monmouthshire, cannot allow an event of such importance to the district on the western side of the Bristol Channel, as the opening of that portion of your railway which has been finished from Chep- stow to Swansea, to pass over without offering our congratulations to you on so auspicious an occasion as the completion of so much of your undertaking. That it may be equally advantageous to yourselves and other proprietors as we believe it must be to the districts through which it runs, and that you, who have had the care and anxiety of fostering the undertaking may complete the work, and long enjoy the fruits of your labours, is our sincere wish. (Signed) "T. B. BATCHKLOU, Mayor. On behalf of the Corporation." (Corporation Seal). C. R. M. Talbot, Esq., M.P., replied:—On behalf of my brother Directors and myself, I beg to tender our sincere thanks for the congratulating address which you have just presented to us. We most cordially hope that the line which is about to be opened partially to-day, will ultimately be of the greatest possible benefit to your town; and we are very glad to find that you appreciate the advantages of railway commu- nication, so much desired by South Wales. In Cardiff proper preparations were made for celebrating this auspicious day. The Mayor and Corporation had first decided to assemble with the inhabitants at a public breakfast. This, however, from the announced early arrival of the train was afterwards considered impracticable, and the breakfast was dis- pensed with, and an arrangement was entered into at a Council meeting, held on Friday last, that his Worship the Mayor, the Corporation, and as many of the inhabitants of the town as chose, should assemble together and walk in procession to the Railway-station, for the purpose of meeting the Directors and congratulating them upon the commencement for the acccoin- modation of the public of so great an undertaking. The favour of issuing tickets to the Corporation and also to many of his friends was given to his Worship the Mayor, who availed him- self of the boon to the number of about 60. These tickets gave the liberty to the possessor of giving a free trip to the seat of "ttractIOn Swanson. After the issuing of them, however, some litte doubt existed, from various reports which gained credence, as to the correctness of the line of conduct pursued | by the Mayor. Tne a arm, ho .vever, «t< < lt.*i w\a\is proved, to j have been a false one, and the possessors of the tickets became at once satisfied that no hoax, as anticq ated by many, had been practised upon his Worship. At an early hour on Tuesday morning Cardiff showed unusual signs of animation, and no sooner were the inhabitants from their slumbers than tokens of their approval of the proceedings of the day presented themselves. From many of the windows and tops of the houses were flying flags and banners of various descriptions. About nine o'clock several of the Town Council and residents of the town assembled at the Hall where they formed themselves into procession, and about half-past nine pro- ceeded en route to the Railway-station. Upon reaching this spot the scene presented a somewhat imposing appearance, and crowds of people had already assembled for the purpose of securing to themselves eligible places for doingtheir part in the work ot the day. The station, which was in a forward state, was also decorated in a style which added effect to the proceed- ings, and the police force of the town were in attendance to secure order. The manner in which this important requisite was accomplished is worthy of notice, and reflects the highest credit upon our Superintendent, whose knowledge of the duty and discipline of a police force we have never had reason to do otherwise than admire and commend. As the hour, ten o'clock, approached, at which time the train was expected, so likewise did the number of spectators increase. On looking round on all sides of us, we could see that every available spot from which a sight of the station could be obtained was thronged with spectators. The windows, the roofs of the houses, the bulwarks of the river veering by St. Mary Street, and the road leading to the station were covered with living beings. The platforms on each side of the station were also tilled with ladies and gentlemen, some of whom only came to take a passing glance of the engines and their carriages, whilst others, and those not a small number, were present for the purpose of availing themselves of the opportunity of enjoy- ing for the first time a ride to Swansea in a railway carriage. About half-past ten o'clock, however, we were apprised of the approach of the train by the distant sound of the whistle, and our suppositions were at once confirmed by the repeated orders from some of the officials in attendance on those on the platform to "Stand back," Off the rails," &c., which orders were hardly obeyed before the Hercules, assisted by another engine, both of which were decorated with flags and evergreens, with about ten or a dozen carriages behind them, entered, the band, which was stationed in an open box behind the tender, and belonged to the 77th Regiment stationed at New part, playing in a first-rate style the appropriate air of See the conquering Hero comes. Shortly after the arrival of the train, Lord Talbot, with other of.the Directors, alighted upon the platform, and were heartily received by the company assembled. They then proceeded into the booking-office of the station, which place had been duly prepared for their reception. Several bottles of champagne graced the counters, together with biscuits and cakes, and such necessary adjuncts. Upon Mr. Talbot's entering the room, lie, together with the other Directors, was loudly cheered by the Corporation and those assembled. As soon as silence was restored, his Worship the Mayor addressed the Chairman of the Company as follows:— Sir and Gentlemen, I have been deputed by the Corpora- tion of this ancient borough to have the honour of congratu- lating you on this auspicious occasion, the opening of the South Wales Railway,—an event that cannot fail to have a beneficial influence upon this part of the country, not only by developing the vast mineral and other resources, but by connecting the principality more immediately with the great centre of manu- facturing and commercial activity. Allow me, therefore, gen- tlemen, to congratulate you upon this successful termination of your labours (cheers). You have had to contend with cir- cnmstances of unexampled difficulty but by your great per- severance, you have brought your efforts to a successful termination. I should also observe that, notwithstanding the great outlay, I believe there are solid grounds for expecting that you will in a short time not only have the satisfaction of conducting an important and extensive railway, but also a remunerative one (cheers). If, gentlemen, there is one circum- stance more than another to inspire us with confidence—(for I happen to hold two shares, and some of our body hold a larger number)—if, I say, there is one circumstance more than another which is calculated to confirm us in our expectations of its be- neficial results, it is that of the Lord-Lieutenant of this county holding an important position in the company (loud cheers). Permit me, gentlemen, to congratulate you upon the proceed- ings of this day, and to observe that I think it an extreme honour that it has fallen in the time of my mayoralty to have the pleasure of presenting this address (cheers). To which Mr. Talbot made a brief but suitable reply He said that it gave him great gratification in meeting the corporate body of the gentlemen in Cardiff. He did not know any place in the whole line of railway more likely to receive the benefits which would be extended and afforded by the opening of the South Wales Railway than the town of Cardiff. That town possessed, he might say, the finest docks in the world, although it had been proved in one or two instances, that they were not even large enough—a proof of the increasing traffic of the place. What the Directors hoped was, that the opening of their new undertaking would be conducive to the prosperity of the town, and would prove the means of still increasing, and that largely, the traffic (hear, hear). As they had to proceed upon their journey, he must be excused from making any lengthened re- marks upon the present occasion, but he would sincerely state, on behalt of himself, and on behalf of the Directors, that it was their sincere hope that such would be the prosperity of the South Wales Railway, that not only the present generation, but their children and their children's children would receive valuable benefit from its success (loud cheers). The Mayor then said My Lord, and you gentlemen Direc- tors, will you favour me and the corporate body of Cardiff, by taking a glass of champaign to the future prosperity of the un- dertaking, Mr. Talbot immediately acceded to the request, and the several gentlemen present having partaken of the refreshing and invigorating liquid, three hearty cheers were given for the South Wales Railway and its Directors, and they left the room for the train. It was not, however, without little difficulty that all procured seats for by the time the Corporation had disposed of their interview with the Directors, the carriages apparently were quite filled. At last, however, the Corporation and other friends succeeded in getting a third class box, in which also was placed his Worship. Upon entering the carriage—and he was the last—he was loudly cheered by those inside. Having received their congratulations respecting the favourable aspect of the days proceedings, he said that he regretted he could not have found for his friends better accom- modation than a third class carriage, but it was an old proverb, and would be applicable in this instance—" Any port in a storm." This caused a little laughter, and was hailed as a signal for "driving dull care away," and before pro- ceeding far upon the line, the third class carriage was found to be an acquisition to the pleasures of its occupiers, not anticipated at the commencement of the journey. At 12 minutes to 11 the whistle announced that it was the intention to proceed, and almost immediately the train was being propelled from the sight of the Cardiff station, amidst the loud cheers of the as- sembled thousands, who added to their demonstrations by the continual firing of guns, cannons, &c. Along the road at dif- ferent points were to be seen some anxiously gazing individuals, the soundness of whose lungs were invariably proved by the hearty hallooings with which the train was greeted. In about 24 minutes the train reached what is termed the Cowbridge- road station, at which place were assembled a large concourse of people. After a stoppage of about three minutes, it again started, and arrived at Bridgend at about 27 minutes to 12 o'clock. Here grand preparations had been made by the resi- dents, for the station and different portions of the works on the line were decorated with flags and laurels, and two festoons of laurels, with a crown in the centre, extended across the line at the two extreme ends of the station, from the centre of which hung a banner; flags were also hoisted on the tops of the minute signals and the station, bearing the appropriate in- scriptions of "Success to the South Wales Railway." The children of the National Schools were also among the spectators and they aided in the importance of the occasion, by being pro- ided with small banners. Having received the huzzas of the immense multitude, after a stay of about a quarter of an hour, the train proceeded to Pyle, where similar acknowledgements took place. During the stay of the trains at the next station- Port Talbot-the horse up-mail was seen upon the turnpike road, this caused a little amusment amongst the passengers in the train, and the guard and coachman were hailed—whether to their satisfaction or not we cannot say, by waving of hands and handkerchiefs, and some few individuals, inclined to be facetious, wished the now deceased mail "good bye." The next station reached was Neath, and here again, was the arrival of the train hailed with the greatest enthusiasm. The Directors, together with their Chairman, were received here as at the other principal stations, by the Mayor and Corporation and several of the inhabitants, Sankey Gardner, Esq. the Mayor, presented the following address To the Chairman and Directors of the South Wales Railway Company. Gentlemen,—We, the Mayor, Aldermen, and Councillors of the borough of .Neath, avail ourselves of this opportunity to con- gruiuiato you 011 tne Ul-'c'1l1Ug of your iino ii'uui Cnepstow to Swansea, and while we tender you our best thanks for the steady perseverance by which you have brought so large a portion of this great undertaking to completion, we trust that your future en- deavours to develope and improve the resources of this important district by railway communication, will be crowncd with success. We hail this day—one worthy to be held in remembrance—as showing what constancy of purpose, and well-directed and untiring energy can perform, in the face of difficulties and dangers which appeared to be almost insurmountable, as evincing what a com- munity enjoying the blessings of peace can achieve in advancing the welfare of their fellow-creatures; for, above ail other conside- rations, we regard these great enterprises as a means of contributing to the improvement of the moral condition of mankind, and, there- fore, well deserving the approbation and support of an enlightened people. SANKEY GAEDNEE, Mayor. H. S. Coke, Town Clerk." The Directors having once more taken their seats, the train, proceeded on her way to Swansea, and here we may notice a little incident which took place on the road. At the time of the train leaving the Neath station, three or four individuals who were, doubtless anxious to reach Swansea in any way they could, got upon the narrow platform which is extended from one end of each carriage to the other, and which forms the step for passengers on entering the trains, unperceived, we suppose, by the officials of the line. During the progress of the train, however the trespassers were noticed, and after reaching a distance ot between three and four miles from Neath the train was stopped, and the men who had so far enjoyed a cheap ride, where turned from the dangerous places they had selected, and left to reach the place from whence they came, in the best manner they could. The loss of their expected treat in Swansea somewhat disappointed them, but without much murmuring they bent their steps in the direction of their home, there to receive the jibes and jeers of those, who would enjoy the existence of so desering a joke. For nearly the whole distance between Neath and Swansea. crowds of persons had congregated upon every space which could be attained where a sight of the new visitor was pro- curable. Even the summit of Town Hill, Kilvoy Hill, and all the prominent points were taken possession of by the multitude. After crossing the Landore viaduct, the great interest taken by the inhabitants of Swansea in the occasion began to exhibit themselves. The continued reports of heavy cannon, the immense collection of flags of all description, and the besieged condition of the windows and tops of the houses, at once con- vinced us that at all hazards the inhabitants of Swansea had made up their minds to celebrate the opening of the South. Wales Railway in a manner which could not fail to be strongly impressed upon the memory of any individual who might in future years bear the antiquated cognomen of the Oldest Inhabitant." Upon reaching the station, the cheers of the assembled thousands were almost deafening, and no sooner was the train stopped and the doors of the carriage thrown open than the platform was literally crammed with arrivals, to witness and enjoy the proceedings of the day. After some preliminary business, the various gentlemen proceeded in procession towards the Assembly Rooms, where the breakfast committee had met, for the purpose of making the necessary arrangement for the anticipated banquet. Throughout the whole distance the streets were completely crammed with individuals of all sexes, grades, ages, and, we might say, colours, and it was only by the prompt directions of the police that space sufficient for the Directors and other gentlemen to pass was kept. The place selected for the celebration of the public breakfast was in the gardens immediately facing the Assembly Rooms. Here a commodious tent, 176 feet in length, and 36 in breadth had been erected by Mr. Edgington, of Southwark. On the interior four tables were placed, the whole length of the tent, with a cross table at the head for the chairman and some of the principal guests. The gates leading to the grounds were guarded by policemen, who, as they said, were, by the express orders of the Mayor, prevented from letting any person within the barriers whether or not they possessed a breakfast ticket. This arrangement, hew- ever, proved a great disadvantage rather than otherwise, and many gentlemen, and, we fear, ladies too, were somewhat roughly treated by the immense mob which had here assembled. Up to the arrival of the visitors a space had been kept from the rooms to the gate, which at once became filled with gentlemeTi and ladies expecting to get admission to the breakfast. This liberty, however, was denied them, and they were Compelled to remain crowded together, until the preparations for the break- fast were completed!" Preparations at that time of the day it being nearly two o'clock—the time named for a commence- ment) being incompletesomewhat puzzled and surPJ.ised.us but our eyes were soon opened upon the subject by loud cries of Stand back," Make way there," &c., coupled with a severe thrust from some staff or the other used, we suppose, for suili purposes all all occasions of similarly bad management. Fancy- ing the cause of this demand for room must have been for the purpose of admitting the Mayor, the Directors, or other like important personages, our attention was attracted to the space which had after great exertions been made but what suppose you, gentle reader, our eyes met—not his Worship, neither the Directors, but a boy, conveying towards the gate, a plate of strawberries. This lad was followed by a second, a third, and we may say a twentieth and for a purpose which might have been accomplished the first thing in the morning when the visitors to the breakfast were crammed, jammed, and pushed about in a measure, not at all agreeable or either necessary, had they have been permitted to have entered the gate, and there, remained until the" necessary arrangements" were completed. After some time, however, the public were admitted, and, upon entering the marquee, a most pleasing and satisfactory sight presented itself, besides the decorations which adorned the tables, and those might be said to have comprised all the choice cold dishes of an epicure, the place was tastefully decorated with flags and evergreens, and formed altogether a most im- posing and delightful scene. The breakfast was prepared by Mr. Hooper, of Cheltenham.
THE BREAKFAST. We now come to the business of the day. As soon as the Company were seated, we noticed the Mayor of Swansea, C. James, Esq., in the chair. This gentleman was supported oiL the right by C. R. M. Talbot, Esq., chairman of the Company,- J. H. Vivian, Esq., M.P., director; Lord James Stuart, Sir John Guest, F. P. Barlow, Esq., &c., &c.; on the left, by the Viscount Villiers, J. K. Brunei, Esq., &c. In the body of the tent, which must have contained in the whole nearly 700 persons, among whom we observed, -C. A. Saunders, secretary el the Great Western Railway, F. G. Saunders, secretary of the South Wales Railway, W. Aleyiiek, of Merthyr, J. Williams, secretary of the Vale of Neath Railway, W. Coffin, deputy-chairman of the Taff Vale Railway, T. B. Batcheior, mayor of Newport, R. C. N. Carne. mayor of Cowbridge, S. Gardner, mayor of Neath V. Davies, mayor of Carmarthen, \V. Cozens, mayor of Haverford- west, C. Smullridge, mayor of Gloucester. The company then enjoyed for a considerable time the various choice delicacies which had been provided. The fruit, consisting of grapes, strawberries, pine apples, raisins, almonds, o &e, were of the best description, and were laid out in a style which reflected much credit upon Mr. Hooper and his assist- ants, The wines also were of the most recherche quality, and were supplied of Mr. W. Clark and Mr. A. Jones, of Swansea. The first toast given by the Chairman, was, The Queen," with three times three. God save the Queen'' wtis then per- formed by the band. Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales, and the rest of the Royal Family" followed, and was warmly re- ceived. The Chairman next proposed the "Army and Navy,"(cheers.) Major Edgerton, in reply, said that he had hoped it would have fallen to the lot of all officer of higher rank than himself, and one more competent to return thanks to a toast which had been drunk in so hearty a manner but the circumstances which rendered it necessary for him to do so were of such a nature as to prevent him from using his choice in the matter. C d. Love, who commanded the troops both in South Wales and Monmouthshire, had been honoured by a request to be present at this delightful banquet; but as the Mayor had that momeat remarked, the 18th June was a day, the doings of which could not fail to be impressed strongly upon the memory of every. Englishman (hear, hear); and, therefore, however splendid and magnificient that banquet might be, he need not remind them, that it was a yearly custom on that day by their illustrious chief, of whom all the inhabitants of the country. might justly be proud, to give to the survivers of that great victory a banquet, over which nothing could claim precedence. As one of the survivors of that glorious victory, Col. Love had proceeded to London to meet his brothers in arms upon the occasion, and it was on account of his absence on so special an occasion that he (Major Edgerton) had claimed the indulgence of the company whilst replying to the toast. He need not detain them longer, but returned them all his most sincere thanks (cheers). Capt. Claxton also briefly responded to the toast? Although he had been engaged for many years in the works of war, yet it gave him great pleasure to take a humble part in this magni- ficient celebration of the arts of peace and he could only say. that so delighted had he been with all that had occured this day that should the Mayor of Swansea feel inclined to send him a similar invitation once a week he should be only too happy to be in attendance (cheers and laughter,) The Chairman next gave the Lord Bishop of St. David's and the clergy of the Diocese."