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There is an ancient bicycle parked on platform 2 at Carrog station. It belonged to "old Emyr".

Old Emyr was Emyr Wyn ap Sion who was born in about 1852 in a long vanished cottage on the hills behind the old A5 from Carrog to Corwen. He joined the Great Western Railway at Carrog on opening in 1865 and worked there, man and boy, until his mysterious disappearance.

Never an ambitious man, he started as a lamp boy, trimming wicks and filling the oil lamps with paraffin to place them on the signal posts, as well as keeping the station lit.

He graduated to porter and remained so for all his working life, never aspiring to a higher grade or to a move to a more important posting. As such, he became a local "character", part of the establishment and a well loved figure in the village.

He would, every day - and he seldom took a day off in 62 years - ride down the hill on his bicycle, the very one to be seen on platform 2. Old Emyr had saved long and hard from his meagre pay for this treasured steed and it was always polished immaculately in keeping with the surrounds he maintained in the station.

No-one knows why he chose a woman's model. At the end of his long hard day it was his habit to retire to The Grouse Inn for a pint or several before retrieving his beloved bicycle for the ride home. It is not recorded how often he fell off.

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Old Emyr's Bicycle        

On Saint Llados night, February 22nd 1927, there was no moon, and there was a severe snowstorm imminent. By midnight, when Old Emyr staggered from The Grouse a full blizzard was blowing, said to have been the worst for very many years.

The drifts were piling high and legend has it that many lanes were already blocked hedge high. He would have had to cross the old pack-horse bridge back to the station and it is not known whether it was visible or not in those conditions. In any case Old Emyr was not seen again. The fields were searched and the river dragged to no avail. It was never possible to arrange a funeral or erect a memorial.

 

The decrepit bicycle you see parked on platform 2 is Old Emyr's.

It has never been significantly moved in nearly 80 years because he sometimes comes to look for it.

Whenever Saint Llados night is moonless and the wind is in the North East, whether or not there be snow, Old Emyr is sometimes seen as a tottering shadowy figure, appearing half frozen, soaked and trailing river weeds, passing across the road bridge to the station and down the ramp to platform 2 to see that his pride and joy is still there.

 

They say that, if ever he finds it is not there, a ghostly retribution will fall upon the railway, the station and the village.

                                             Leave it alone!

 BY ROY NUNN

This article was first published in Steam at Llangollen magazine in 2006.

emyrs bike