Recordings Trevithick's Train


Trevithick Bi-centenary Celebrations


21st February 2004 marked the 200th anniversary of the world's first high pressure steam locomotive to haul a load on rails. This brainchild of Cornish engineer Richard Trevithick pulled ten tons of iron and 70 passengers over a distance of nine and a half miles - from Penydarren in Merthyr Tydfil to Abercynon, where the Glamorgan and Aberdare canals met.

The local bicentenary project is being run by the Trevithick Bicentenary Working Group, which includes Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council in conjunction with a number of community, environmental and rail professionals and enthusiasts.

Worldwide interest has been expressed. The Royal Mail issued a set of "Classic Locomotives" commemorative stamps, and the Royal Mint produced a special £2 coin.

The bicentenary was celebrated in the Merthyr/Abercynon area on the 21st February 2004 and included the following events:

* The re-dedication of the Trevithick monument north of Merthyr town centre.
* The naming, by Pete Waterman, of an EWS locomotive at Merthyr train station
* The unveiling of Trevithick artwork at the new Tesco store in Merthyr
* A commemorative walk along the original route of the engine.
* A gala evening at Cyfarthfa Castle on February 21st with live music from The Siwsánn George Welsh Road Show, and the opening of a special exhibition by Rolf Harris.
* A welcome for the route walkers and re-dedication of the memorial at Abercynon fire station.

Further events for 2004 have included:

* July: A festival in Merthyr Tydfil focusing on transport.
* The official launch of the tramroad route as a walking and cycling route as long - term tourist attractions.

The music project

* A Trevithick musical -Trevithick's Train - has been written and published by Gary Waghorn, Roger Plater, Phil Morgan and Siwsánn. Trevithick's Train is in the flexible format of a Do-It-Yourself musical, and the songs exist in both Welsh and English. There are several instrumental compositions, and the length of the musical and content of the dialogue can be customised according to need by schools and drama groups. It can be performed by any number of performers. The scenario is the world's first steam rail journey, from Penydarren to Abercynon.

* A professionally produced CD, released in February 2004, begins with Siwsánn singing the musical's two songs, The Journey and Celebration, with instrumental backing by Phil, Gary and Roger. The CD features a version of the musical Trevithick's Train in English, including the songs, dialogue, and instrumental music.

* The CD then includes all the instrumental tracks separately, before featuring the Welsh versions of the songs, (Y Daith and Hyl Gyl) followed by Taith Trevithick - the musical including dialogue - in Welsh.

* The musical is registered with The Performing Rights Society (PRS). Any parties interested in using any of the material should sign appropriate performance forms and pay for use through PRS channels.

The musicians

Gary Waghorn

Gary has been singing and playing the guitar since his youth in Mountain Ash, South Wales, recording in some of Britain's most famous studios and appearing extensively on stage and TV in many countries. His former bands include Mountain Child, Slack Alice and he was lead guitarist and banjo player with Bonnie Tyler. Gary is composer of most of the Trevithick CD tracks, and is a former mining electrician. He also plays in the duo Bel Fargo with Roger Plater

Roger Plater

Roger's musical background covers a range of styles including classical, jazz-rock, and folk. He has played recorder, clarinet and accordion in Europe and the USA in various Welsh music performances, including a live show with Twin Town actor Dorien Thomas. He also toured Britain with the ensemble of Traditional Songs of Wales, the best-selling Saydisc album sung by Siwsann George, for which he was arranger and musical director. Roger's involvement with Welsh music has included conducting research for S4C, composition for independent television productions, and television and radio broadcasts in Wales and abroad. He is also the other half of the duo Bel Fargo with Gary.

Phil Morgan

The composer of the music for the song Chidren of Cyfarthfa, Phil has played guitar and keyboards in several bands from the South Wales area. The Way, Sovereign Showband, and Gallery - covered Blues, Soul and Pop. Later he set up and operated a sound studio in the Aberdare area, recording the Stereophonics in their formative years. As a mining engineer, Phil worked as Area Noise Control Engineer for British Coal.

Siwsánn George

Wales' leading exponent of Welsh traditional song, Siwsánn's singing career began in the early 1980's with her group Mabsant, and became the first Welsh singer to represent the British Council abroad. Frequently contracted by them and other organisations to promote Welsh music throughout the world, Siwsánn had to curtail her travelling in 1997, due to serious illness. Her 1994 solo CD Traditional Songs of Wales (Saydisc & Past Times) is a landmark in her career, and in the history of Welsh music. It has outsold most other albums of its kind, and tracks have featured on a special series for Polydor Japan. Siwsánn's earlier albums are now collectors items, and the Siwsánn George Welsh Road Show (SGWRS) has performed extensively at home and abroad. Siwsánn is an experienced broadcaster on TV and radio, and her singing is often featured on film, most recently alongside acclaimed actors Rachel Thomas, Daniel Evans and Glyn Houston. Now registered as a disabled performer, Siwsánn is also an experienced voice-coach, teacher, and translator.

Contact Details
Siwsánn George
Telephone 01443 742370
E-mail siwsann.george@getreal.co.uk

Booking For further information and live performances, please contact Siwsánn George or Gary Waghorn tel: 01443 741508

External Links www.trevithick2004.co.uk

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This page was last updated on 10 August, 2004