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CRICKHOWELL. THE PROPOSED VALE OF CRICKHOWELL RAILWAY. A public meeting in support of the scheme set on foot for the construction of a railway from Aber- gavenny to Crickhowell and thence to Talybont and Brecon, was convened at the Bear Hotel, Crickhowell, on Wednesday, the 14th instant, when tuere were present Thomas Davies, Esq., Neuadd; Davtd Thomas, Esq., Brecon; G. A. A. Davies, Esq., Crickhowell; E. J. C. Davies, Esq. (secretary), E. J. S. Davies, Esq., J. Walford, Esq., Abergavenny Martyn J. Roberts,Esq.J ones, Esq. (contractor),and Messrs. Thompson, Price, Herbert, Bright, Thomas, W. Andrew, Bownas,Williams, Thomas (Llangrwyney) Daniel Morris, Eldred, A. Bright, Martin, Christopher, Jeffreys, Daniel Hope (Brynmawr), R. Williams, Ward, Stevens, &c., &c. T. Davies, Esq. (Neuadd), having taken the chair, the Secretary (Mr. E. J. C. Davies) read the Statement for Perusal to the assembly, as also the notice convening the meeting. The Chairman then opened the meeting. He said that he could have very little to say on the subject before them after the very able statement which had been read to them. He could say, however, that he felt very anxious before he died of seeing a railway to the town of Crickhowell. (Cheers.) He had hitherto stood aloof from the question because he lived some distance from the town, and having a carriage and horse of his own had thus ready access to the towns in the vicinity. It was not a subject of great importance to himself, but he did not forget that there were others in the world who were not in such a position as he was—(hear, hear),—and he thought it would be a very great accommodation. He bad, consequently, stepped forward at the last moment to give the movement his feeble support. He had been told, since he had taken an interest in the matter, and that by some of interest and influence in the neighbourhood, that Crickhowell was an insignificant place, and that there would be no traffic to and from it, and that, therefore, it would be useless making such a line; but he denied that. (Cheers.) A railway would most assuredly create traffic, and it would also increase the value of property, and that to a very large amount. Again, he would allude to the question that if they could succeed in making the line, which he thought there could be no doubt about, one of the two contending railway companies-the Great Western and the London and North-Western Railway Company—would take the line from them at such an advantage as they had already seen in connection with the line to Brynmawr. If they had now-a-days a farm to let, or a house to let, the very first question that was asked was, bow far is it from a railway ?"—(hear, hear),—and if they said, as they could say at Crick- howell, that they were seven miles from a railway, the reply would be that you may as well live in Kam- schatka or in the wilds of Siberia." (Laughter.) Seven miles from a railway in these ages—and here was Crickhowell, which they would suppose would be about the first to have a railway, was without one. Go into the wilds of Cardiganshire and the fastnesses of Rad- norshire and they would find they had their railways, while in the mountains of Breconshire-at Llanwrtyd, Llangammarch, places almost out of the world-there was railway accommodation, while Crickhowell had none. He felt they would now all unite and give the matter their hearty support. He remembered many years ago a great preacher came to Crickhowell-a man who was as distinguished for his eloquence as any man in Great Britain, but he, alas, was gone-a man who was a kind of archbishop amongst the Calvinistic Methodists-a man whose abilities and talents were unequalled. He came to Crickhowell to preach, and such were his zeal and ardour that he took advantage of the circumstance of a storm of rain which fell, to say, "Now, you see the power of one drop is nothing, but with a great many drops united it forms a great storm." He would say to all present, many of whom probably were not in a position to subscribe largely, that if they could only subscribe four or five, or even one share, be hoped they would do so. (Hear, hear.) When all those shares were united they would form a great mass, and give them a great helping hand. He hoped they would not allow th;s opportunity to pass without giving their most strenuous aid to carry out their design. This was the last chance they had, and if they lost that one they would not have another for the next twenty years, and there were many in the room to whom twenty years was a great question. He called upon them to unite hand-in-band to obtain for Crickhowell railway accommodation. He was glad to see so many present, and hoped they would contribute all they could towards this great undertaking. (Cheers) Mr. D. Thomas (Brecon) said that the Chairman's modesty precluded him from saying that he had already subscribed 1300 towards the scheme. (Cheers.) The Chairman said he had forgotten to mention that Mr. Griffiths had promised to support the undertaking, p I and had obtained the names of Mr. Greatorex and Mr. Edward Davies. (Hear, hear.) Mr. E. J. C. Davies said that, in reply to the request of the Chairman, he would enter into an explanation of the position of the undertaking at the present day. He would begin by giving its history. The matter was projected in the year 1864. They then obtained the Act, and had a local subscription, more or less influential, which they certainly had no reason to be ashamed of, neither had they any reason to be ashamed of the efforts made by the town of Crickhowell, in what he considered a matter of urgent necessity. Well, they knew those were the it days of contractors." They saw the Brecon and Merthyr Railway taken up, and they also saw some unknown power come forward to advance this and the Mid-Wales Railway. It was then generally supposed that Wales was a sort of battle-field of railway speculation, where there was a good deal to be got and a good deal to be done in developing the country. Consistently with the prin- ciple which seemed to prevail at that time, a gentle. man came forward, just at the time their Act was ready for the royal assent,-and when they were, as it were, trembling in the balance, as to whether their support was sufficient to justify them in taking the matter on,—and offered to make the line on a principle on which railways were then made. He offered to undertake the whole scheme, ar.d relieve the shoulders of the shareholders of those responsibilities which they had undertaken. He need not tell them that was just the sort of thing they wanted, and a contract, duly signed and sealed, was entered into with him. The line was passed that autumn, as they all knew. It became necessary to consider what they could do to render the scheme a perfect one. It was not enough that the line should run from Abergavenny to Crick- howell. Something more must be done. There were two suggestions, and he acknowledged that, of the two, that urged by Mr. Thomas was superior. It was at the time bruited about that a line was in con- templation from Abergavenny to Monmouth, and that line, as they all knew, had since been authorised, and was to pas3 through Llanthewy Rytherch and Llantiliio I Crossenny. It was then suggest ed that a very good line of railway might be got from their terminus at Abergavenny, in the direction of Raglan, connecting Abergavenny with Monmouth, so as to bring in Raglan, and connect the whole wi'h this district. He espoused the latter scheme, and he believed Mr. Thomas was favourable to the former one. He (Mr. Davies) submitted these two plans, and got a decision in favour of the one he called the Eastern Extension. After this he became involved (in saying so he did not I wish to throw the responsibility upon the contractors) in heavy parliamentary contests, w' ich threw upon him a very large burden of responsibility, anxiety, and j worry, but not much corresponding remuneration. It was after this decided to take another extension- westward, towards Talybont. While matters went on thus he undertook the management of the Eastern Extension, and Mr. Thomas of the Western. They went to parliament in 1865, and they fought a fair fight and were beaten. Parliament considered that, although their gradients were worse and the cost of construction greater, the amount of support given to the line from Abergavenny to Monmouth was very much greater than the support given to them, and parliament rejected theirs, and passed the Abergavenny and Monmouth. There was nothmg more to be said on it, therefore. On the Western Extension another matter prevailed. Every influential landholder came forward and opposed it. Although they professed to go to Talybont, the oppo.ition was assisted by all the weight and influence which Brecon and Merthyr could command—the traffic managers, engineers, solicitors, were all aiding that opposition. He did not mean to advance all the on dits he had heard as facts, but he might say the amount of that opposition might be reckoned by thousands. He did not wish to make use of the names of those landholders-a proceeding which might only cause annoyance to people afterwards, as their object was not to irritate or annoy, but to con- ,ciute people as far as possible but the upshot was thaj tfcg Western Extension was thrown out, and that ] •dispose^ of the campaign of 1865. They lost the two ] bills they WMl for. In proceeding to the bill of 1866, Mr. Davies explained to the meeting the definition of the term "gra^eptg." The gradients on the Aber- gavenny and Brynmawr line were in some places as steep as I in 34, and of course cost more in the con- struction of the line. The flatter the gradient the Jess the expense. They would have no gradients on their line steeper than 1 in 100, If they joined at Talybont they would have to run up a line of 1 in 40 to get to Talylhn station, and they thought that would prove very expensive. It was therefore deemed more expedient to run past the Brecon and Merthyr, -and go to Brecon, and there make a junction with the Neath and Brecon Railway, which had been made by the same gentlemen who had promised to make their line. The proposal to make this line direct to Brecon was, of course, opposed. They were not satisfied that they should join them at Talybont the previous year, and they were not satisfied that they should give them the "go-by"lastyear. He must tellthemthatit was not only opposed but-bearing, smelling, or seeing their move- ments, they brought out a competing line they came out with a scheme by which Bwlch hill was to be tun- nelled, and Pwll-du bridged on the high ground behind Tretower, and so on to Abergavenny. He had been told by some people that that scheme was the right one and theris the wrong one. Although to carry out their project would entail the cutting of two millions more of cubic feet of earth than in their own scheme, their opposition cost them a fearful lot of money. They had to checktfceir surveys, and employ a host of parties, clerks and others, to check their work and to oppose them, but they got such a case against them as thoy knew they could never survive, and they were allowed to effect a junction at Talybont and make use of their line to Brecon. At the time they got their line authorised, which was just twelve months ago, they were acting in concert with their contractor, Mr. Dickson, and although he did not commence the line in 1864, which he was under con- tract to do, he rendered such important and essential services and had advanced sums of money, and had obtained for them those deposits, and backed them, which in the fight they could not find a better. Of the year 1866, they ail knew how Overend and Gurney failed, and how various establishments in London succumbed to the panic, and how the whole condition of bank matters was altered. Their Act was passed in July, 1866, and they were left in power of con- structing their line without any means of doing it. They put themselves into communication with the contractor, and desired to know what he was going to do with regard to them. He frankly confessed that the alteration which had taken place in the market rendered it impossible for him to make the line,— coming to that opinion in consequence of the great crashes that had taken place, the bank panic having communicated itself to the principal contractors, they bad succumbed to the general pressure, and the state of things was so bad that he could not carry on the line under the conditions he said he would. Con- sequent on this determination being come to, he (the speaker) had spent six months of incessant labour, anxiety, and worry, over the matter, and it ultimately became his duty to apply to one of the head com- panies. It was then he experienced the difficulty of obtaining an interview with the directors; of knowing the right person to go to; but he at last succeeded in obtaining a hearing, aud the end of it was he was unsuccessful. He was told that the conditions under which the company would spend money to mke lines was that the places they made them from should offer the temptation of a large traffic their line did net offer this temptation, and therefore they could not undertake it, whatever they could do afterwards in the way of working the line and it at last cime to this that if they could raise the amount of money mentioned in the statement, they could manage. They had canvassed the neighbourhood, with various suc- cess some persons had received them at once in a satisfactory manner they said, "we are prepared to second your measure," but others had required a deal of explanation to show how the matter stood and he really believed they should have succumbed to the difficulties they bad to contend with had it not been for his worthy friend the chairman. (Cheers.) He would never fail to acknowledge his readiness in coming forward he was almost the only landed proprietor in the neighbourhood who had done so. He did not want the railway himself, as he had told them, but he was aware there were others who needed it more, and that it was one of those steps of civili- zation which a country was disgraced by being without he accordingly volunteered his assistance, and he did not doubt that by his help they would be able to carry out their scheme. (Hear, hear.) They would all have to say in such case that he had warmly contributed to their success. He hoped for his own part he should never have to undergo the amount of solicitation, snubbing, &c., (laughter) he had undergone in the matter he hoped, for many reasons, the matter would be successfully carried out. Of course in making their applications they had received some admirable excuses; he had reci-ived a letter that morning, an extract of which he would read it said, I received your letter, and I'm sorry I cannot attend the meeting at the Bear, as I am engaged to be at the same time at another place the scheme has mv best wishes, as railway communication is much needed to Crickhowell I am glad to learn the subject has been revived with some prospect of, being accom- plished the landed proprietors ought to give it their best support." He had many sucli letters, and many expressions of approval, both written and verbal. He had asked his friend, the contractor, who was here, how many cubic feet of earthwork, or how many perches of land the best wishes would obtain (laughter), but he did not seem to think they would go far. They must have something more than wishes many cf them had heard a charity sermon preached—although they were generally asked for their prayers and good wishes in the cause, he never recollected an instance where they were not asked for the cashl (Laughter). Therefore, however desirable their approval might be they could not prornotethe undertaking without the hard cash he hoped those gentleman who had given them their good wishes would take shares, and, if they could not take many, he hoped they would take a few to show their good-will. It was certain they could not carry the matter out without assistance, and he had proved to them, by practical demonstration, every other resource had been tried, and it was a matter of positive fact that unless they could get a certain amount of local support-unless there was an interest shown in the matter beyond good wishes-they could not hope to succeed. He would allude to the position in which they at present stood. Up to 1864 they were authorized to make the line from Abergavenny to Crickhowell, and by 1866 to extend it to Talybont, and under certain contingencies from Talybont to Brecon. His exertions to find a contractor resulted in finding a gentleman who was willing to take the line on the terms of conditions which had been men- tioned in the statement he belonged to the firm of George Bolton and Company, at present writing from Barnard Castle, Durham. They were engaged on the Cockermouth and Penrith line of railway, which had been amalgamated with the Great Western system he believed these works there were expected to termi- nate in the course of a month or two, and they had sufficient confidence in the district, and the elements of traffic which it afforded, to embark a considerable part of their price in the ultimate prospects of success, by taking shares in their ra-ilway. He would tell them at once what the terms were. They had an interview with them on last Wednesday—that is, the directors,, and himself-and the result of that interview was that they agreed, on being put in possession of the land, to make the line from Abergavenny to Crickhowell for X33,000, and they would take nearly one-third in the shares of the company. Now, this was as good a contract as it was possible in the present day to get. The firm was highly recommended as gentleman who would fulfil what they undertook, but tr.ey wanted to see a subscription list such as would offer a fair prospect of having the line carried out. The subscrip- tion list they asked for was XIO,000 they would take £ 10,250 in the shares of the company, and that would leavezC22,250 to be provided in cash-in hard sovereigns. Although it was originally designed to raise it by shares a plan would be resorted to, DOW invariably rpsorted to by railway companies, and that was their borrowing power. They had borrowing powers to the amount of X16 000. The contractors agreed for cash they must remember, but they were quite willing to enter upon the works on condition that the means of raising a fund of X16,000 existed. If they could get possession of the land, and a subscription of £ 10,000 they would be pretty sure to get the line made; but how about the extension of 1866? He must say they could not take all these things at once. They would s, e by experience what was done in other places. He alluded to the extension from Craven ArmstoKnigbton, the whole of which was now open, and constituted a line from Craven Arms to Llandovery. What had that extension done? A few years ago the Central Wales was in great distress, but as sooa as they got down to Knighton somebody began to look at it, and they found they could work it at 45 per cent. on their receipts. He believed they had in connection with their own line the elements of success, and if they saw they had a right to deserve that success in starting their undertaking, they would find, when they had once started, the means of assistance not so far off as they supposed. The line might be made for £ 10,000 per mile. ilfr, Davies, after dealing with a few statistics as to the probable cost, dealt with the prospects of traffic. He thought they were as good as they would meet with in any districts around. Look at the gentlemen's seats there was a population of so many hundred i n the valley, what [jroportion of that popu- lation were what they called first-class passengers ? If they got a great number of first-class passengers, they got a good traffic. They not only, however, travelled themselves, but they received a great number of visitors in the course of the year, and they-the greater part of them-would travel first-class, and along their line. He was talking to a traffic manager, a man of great experience, yesterday, and he said, "Your's will be a capital little line for passenger traffic-you havea lot of people continually travelling." He would not only wish to speak of the passenger traflje, bjjt of the coal and lime traffic. If they sent to Llangatto^k, in nine cases out of ten they could not get any coal, and even admitting there was plenty of soal at Llangattock they could not always get it. As they probably all knew, the London and North Western Railway Company were doubling their line to Bryn- mawr, on the prospect of getting more coal traffic. Well, they themselves had in their vicinity the Radnor- shire, Cardiganshire, and Breconshire coal district, and would get, no doubt, a share of the traffic. There was another very important item of traffic, and that was steam coal. The traffic in that commodity had increased so much that the railway companies could scarcely have believed it themselves. They had the Aberdare district, which was very much increasing, and he did not see why in time they could not carry coal to Liverpool, instead of its being taken as now, down through Hereford and Shrewsbury. They all knew that some parties in Manchester were finding money to effect a line from Manchester to Milford Haven, and he assumed Milford Haven was destined to be a large port some day, and if it were a large port it must have a large traffic. The line they intended to project was the route of the old mail road from London to Milford, and an immense quantity of steam coal must eventually be sent that way. Mr. Davies here referred to a survey of the Monmouthshire coal fields, showing what their resources were. He then read an extract copied from the Mining Journal into the Monmouthshire Merlin of 1861, in which a great future for the Monmouthshire coal fields was pointed out. There was only one place in the world, and that in Prussia, that had a finer seam of steam coal than they. He showed how, by their coal from Abertillery and other places in the district being conveyed down the Brynmawr line to their intended junction at Llan- foist, they might benefit largely by the coal traffic, and the way he pointed out was a great saving of distance on the present route. The line down the Pembroke way was authorised, and they had power to make a line from Whitland to Carmarthen, and from Llan- dovery to the shore of Milford Haven. There was a line between Defynnock and Llandovery, and it was easy to point out the communication between the line they bad powers for and Milford Haven. (Cheers.) With that prospect before them, would anybody say they could not do what the Cambrian and the Brecon and Merthyr had done, and take Y,20 per mile per week. If they could do that he thought that would be a safe return for them. With regard to the con- struction, his friend Mr. Jones, the contractor, was present, and he had remained from Wednesday to attend the meeting. He was very much p,'eased with the country, and very much satisfied with the prospects the line offered. He believed he would tell them the line ought to be constructed for £10,000 per mile. The Chairman remarked that the road from Little Mill was constructed for Y,5,000 per mile. Mr. Davies continued that there was another ques- tion he would wish to speak on, and that was the question of preliminary expenses. Now the prelimi- nary expenses were large. There was no doubt about that. Perhaps if he were to tell them the amount, they would be startled, but they had made arrange- ments about them. They would not come upon the backs of the shareholders of 1864, and they would not be called for until the time the line was made. They were certain to get their railway, because the sub- scriptions they had made would be applied to the making of the line at once. They would not be mopped up to pay preliminary expenses it would not go to pay lawyers (laughter) and so on, so that whatever happened they would get their line. Mr. Davies then stated that the Board of Directors was subject to their approval, as was also the secretary if they could not place confidence in them they could remove them and supply their places with others. He con- cluded by hoping that the alternative mentioned in the directors' statement would not have to be resorted to —that they would have to go to Parliament in the ensuing session to abandon the line. The directors, Mr. Thomas, and himself, had undertaken a great risk, aDd had placed themselves under a heavy liability, and the large sum they bad stood for would be forfeited if the line were not made. They might escape by going to Parliament for power to abandon the line, and it now remained with themselves to say whether they would give them their support to go on, and he called upon all to render what aid they could in taking shares. (Cheers). Mr. Walford asked if they would require, over and above the sum they had to raise, anything to put the contractors in possession of the land. Mr. E. J. C. Davies said they apprehended the LIO,000 would cover the expenses of the land. Arch- deacon Davies, through whose grounds the line would probably pass, had taken fifty shares, and would take half of the land in shares. (Hear, hear.) Mr, Martyn J. Roberts (cheers) rose to propose the first resolution. He said that in the original resolution the words used were, "that in the opinion of this meeting it is a great shame," and he had altered it to it is to be deplored yet he thought he could, with truth, have allowed it to remain as originally worded. The resolution he had to propose was as follows That, in the opinion of this meeting, it is greatly to be deplored that the town of Crickhowell, formerly one of the most important in the county, should be the only one left without railway communication." He thought that after the trouble Mr. Cox Davies had taken in the matter it would be a great shame to allow it to drop through. Most of the undertakings in this country bad been projected by the English here was one in the hands of Welshmen, and he hoped they would take the matter up with spirit. Mr. Davies had taken the wind out of his sails and had said all that was necessary on the subject, and he could certainly endorse all he had said. Railways always introduced into a country intelligence, business, wealth and com- fort, and he thought this little nook (Crickhowell), which had been so long without a railway, should be provided with one. At the present time there was in railway matters a swing like that to a pendulum at one time there was a mania for railways, and then again it falls to the other side." At this moment there was a slowness in railway matters, but better times were coming. He thought, as a matter of business, a good plan would be to have a committee of investigation to see whether there were any chances of success and to report on the same. Regarding speculation they always looked too much at the direct advantages to be obtained. Now that little bridge at Llangrwyney, although it yielded 4 per cent., the great indirect advantages derived from it were incalculable. The same it was in railways. To estimate fully the advan- tages and form an opinion as to the utility of the speculation, they should look as well to the indirect as to the direct prospect of advantage. Mr. Christopher briefly seconded Mr. Roberts's proposition. He thoughta railway the first and greatest benefit a town could have at the present time. Places that had them not went back instead of forward. Crickhowell, he thought, was receding instead of pro- gressing, Their markets were much less in importance than formerly. After a few other general remarks, he concluded by seconding the proposition, which, being put from the chair, was carried with acclamation. INIR. Walford (Abergavenny) then rose, and in the course of his remarks he said that since the discon- tinuation of the mail coaches Monmouthshire and Breconshire seemed without communication, and was nothing like it was in former days. While the desire of going from place to place was increasing, they had less facilities now than they had before the invention of railways. He thought a railway between Aber- gavenny and Crickhowell could not fail to be re- munerative. (Hear, hear.) He proposed That this meeting recommends the necessity of one final and energetic effort to prevent the abandonment of all hope of the railway during the present generation, and will use every exertion to raise the subscription list to the required arnount-Y,10,000." Mr. Price (Crickhowell) seconded the resolution, which he had much pleasure in doing. The question was, could they raise the subscription to £10,000 in this neighbourhood, and was it worth while to make an effort to do so? From the statement made by Mr. Davies and Mr. Roberts it seemed desirable that they should make this effort. They all experienced the great inconvenience arising from the want of railway accommodation, and those especially who did business out of the place felt it. He felt convinced that the obtaining of a railway would be a benefit to every class of persons in the place, from the richest man to the Irish labourer, and he was sure there was no man but would effect a saving in the course of the year if they could obtain the railway. Therefore, the only thing for them to consider was, whether they were undertaking more than they could do? All he could say was, the neighbourhood was a rich one, and a beautiful one. In the different parishes along the vale there was a population of 25,000 people, and the rate- able value in this parish was from E60,000 to £ 70,000. He was of opinion there was only one thing wanted far the success of this scheme, and that was what Mr. Roberts proposed. (Cheers.) In reply to Mr. Roberts, The Chairman informed the meeting that those gentlemen who took shares were only liable for the amount of their shares and no more. Mr. Thomas Wiliiams thought the people of Crick- howell should show a little public spirit, and they should not only consider their own good but that of their neighbours—they should also consider that it was a public duty, and a patriotic duty, to do all they could to further the interests of the neighbourhood. (Hear, hear.) They were not a-sked to do a great deal, as they had been shown that they could take as few as three shares, and if they could not take two they could, i at least, take one. There were very few persons, he i thought, who would not sacrifice £ 10 if only to see a railway there. He was sure it would benefit him to some extent. He would rather than X20 see a railway at Crickhowell. It gave a character to a place. The only thing that could, in his mind, save Crickhowell was a railway. They were sinking lower, and lower, and lower every day. He had lived there forty years, and he did not think the prospects of the place ever appeared more gloomy than they did at the present. They had lost a considerable portion of their markets. Some people said they were gone to Talgarth, and he believed they were right. The traffic of the place was nothing to what it used to be, because of the inconvenience of getting into the town. Commer- cial travellers found it inconvenient to get there and instead of coming into tho town they wrote to ask if it were worth their while to come (laughter), and if they had an order to give them. People in the higher class of life did not know the difficulty they had to get in and out of the place. He was glad the Chairman had accorded his sympathy to the movement. Provi- dence had so far favoured him that he did not know the difficulty they had to contend with. They had no regular conveyance to Abergavenny now, and they had been unable to start one. There was one gigantic scheme started-to run an omnibus, but it came to nothing. (Laughter.) He himself was prepared to sacrifice 91 for tho concern (laughter), but it was of no avail. They werc- destined to go do wn unless they had a railway. There had, he knew, been tremendous labour in the parliamentary proceedings, and he wondered Mr. Davies looked so well as he did. (Laughter). He concluded by proposing, "That this meeting respectfully and earnestly appeals to all land- owners and neighbours who have wealth, influence, or power, to give their hearty assistance to the final effort now being made to secure to the town of Crick- howell the great advantages of railway communication." Mr. William Thomas had known Crickhowell 23 years, and it used to be one of the briskest places in Breconshire. There was a good trade done there 20 years ago, and plenty of traffic was carried on but now he was afraid the place was going down. He approved of the idea of getting a railway, and thought it would be the best thing to be done for Crickhowell. At the request of the meeting, Mr. Jones, the con- tractor, spoke, and said that if they could only get the funds the line would v, ry soon become a fact. Mr. Jones then explained the circumstances under which he became acquainted with the railway. As regarded the cost he thought zE33,000 would make the line, and indeed perhaps a little less. From a conversation he had cn Wednesday last, he concluded that £30,000 would prove sufficient. There were things unforeseen they could not anticipate, which might affect the contract one way or the other. They should be quite prepared to enter upon their arrangements, and he thought that it must prove satisfactory to the sub- scribers to know that the preliminary expenses would be postponed. He thought, too, that the suggestion that an investigation should be made was a good one, and would be a guarantee of good faith to the public. Mr. Thomas Do you think the line favourable? Mr. Jones I think it is very favourable. If it can be carried to Brecon I think there will be no difficulty in making it a profitable line. In making the offer we stipulated as to how many shares we would take, and if we find, in carrying out the concern, we can by taking more shares facilitate the matter, we shall be glad to do so. (Hear, hear.) Mr. M. J. Roberts: I think nothing can be more satisfactory than that. Mr. D. Thomas could not sufficiently express his gratitude to their worthy friend, the Chairman, for the part he had taken to further the prospects of the line. He had done what he could, and he now called upon them to do their part. Mr. Thomas's speech was in support of the line, and contained arguments and facts much the same as those adduced in the foregoing speeches. Mr William Lewis (solicitor, and one of the directors) next spoke. He agreed with the idea of having an investigation made, as it would strengthen the confi- dence of the public, and urged the necessity of doing their best at this time to carry out the undertaking, seeing that if it fell through they would not have another opportunity for some years. He did not believe in what some urged, that the appearance of the valley would be impaired by the formation of a railway in it. He thought, on the contrary, it would rather improve the appparance of it. (Hear, hear.) He was glad to see Mr. Pratt present, and hoped the circum- stance ef his attendance would be productive of good results. He hoped the landowners would re-consider their determination, and give their support to the undertaking. (Hear, hear.) There was no doubt about this, that no class of persons would be benefitted to a greater extent than the landholders. Mr. G. A. A. Davies (one of the directors) spoke of the important benefits that would be conferred on the neighbourhood, and concluded by proposing a vote of thanks to the Chairman. Tais closed the meeting.