This month a small but notable piece of rail history goes under the hammer, and we look back on some of the connected history.

On April 14, a railway token goes up for sale with Trevanion Auctioneers, currently with an estimate of £60-£100.

The token was reputed to have been presented to Henry Richards on the occasion of the opening of the Wrexham to Ellesmere railway, he being the first passenger to book at Bangor-On-Dee, on November 2, 1895.

It is framed with a metal railway whistle modelled as a 19th century steam locomotive, measuring 46cm x 34cm overall.

To find out more details about the auction, visit

• Inspired by this piece of rail nostalgia, we revisit a piece by local historian Phil Phillips, on travelling from Wrexham to Ellesmere by rail...

THE spur from Wrexham Exchange Station to the new Central Station did not have a dramatic effect on the face of Wrexham, except perhaps from transforming the semi-rural aspect of St Mark’s church into an industrial one.

It also meant the construction of a major new bridge to cross Bradley Road. It was the construction of the Ellesmere Railway which brought great

changes to the old town of Wrexham.

The first sod of the extension to take the railway out of Wrexham to Ellesmere was cut by the Honourable Mrs George Kenyon on June 11, 1892 and was completed to Ellesmere in 1896 when it was opened by William Ewart Gladstone of Hawarden.

On the route out of Wrexham many old buildings had to be demolished. The first casualty was the former vicarage opposite Priory Street and as the railway drove relentlessly out of the town the Welsh Wesleyan (Methodist) Chapel in Brook Street fell.

The congregation moved to a new building, Jerusalem, in Egerton Street which itself was demolished in 1970. The most famous casualty was The Mount, the second largest house in the town after Bryn-y-Ffynnon. The new railway, later to be called the Cambrian railway, meant that the town well had to be resited in the new viaduct.

The passenger service to Ellesmere ended in 1962, however a freight service continued for some years afterwards but then the track was taken up from Ellesmere as far as King’s Mills, this last stretch being left to serve Rubery Owen and the brickyard at Abenbury.

This last section was taken up in the early 1980s. Although the track was barely 12 miles long, it touched upon three counties, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Shropshire.

The service is remembered with affection as the link between the two towns as it chuffed on its way through Hightown, Marchwiel, Sesswick, Pickhill, Bangor, Cloy, Overton, Trench, Elson and finally Ellesmere.

The evocative picture is of the train about to leave Wrexham central on its way to Ellesmere.

To the left is, I believe, its first bridge, Vicarage Hill and its second, Town Hill. Next stop, Hightown Halt.