Gwili Railway celebrates passing out ceremony for their youngest female fireman Jemma Samantha Laurence
Jemma Samantha Laurence Age 19 first visited the Gwili Railway in September 2016 and became a volunteer soon after. She enjoys working on all aspects of the railway, starting with events and guard duties before commencing her training as a Fireman in March 2017 and after 19 turns she has now successfully passed out as Fireman. She has worked on the footplate of the Welsh Guardsman and Moorbarrow on high days and low days. Jemma never worries about the early starts or physical endeavours of life as a fireman.
She is also a trainee guard – although she prefers footplate. She is now employed during summer to work on the Strawberry cream teas throughout 2017. The railway knows such a dedicated worker is an asset to the volunteer team and we can’t wait for her to pass out as a driver when she is 21.
Her main trainer/fireman has been Paul Booker who is a very valued and committed volunteer on our steam locomotives and is a driving force for our team.
“Jemma is the future of our heritage railway, we need more volunteers like her and it proves a steam railway isn’t just for men of a certain age. We always need new volunteers as we are getting busier every day with our new extension and the varied events I have planned.” Scott Artus Marketing Manager and press photographer.
Story and Photography by Scott Artus
The Gwili Railway was formed in 1975 and, by 1978, had purchased and rescued about eight miles of trackbed and was running an initial steam-hauled service on a one-mile section of it. The Gwili Railway has the distinction of becoming the first standard-gauge preserved railway to operate in South West Wales when it re-opened the one-mile section of the Carmarthen-Llanpumsaint route from its base at Bronwydd Arms, three miles north of Carmarthen. Since then, the railway has expanded to Danycoed and the company continues to hope to expand to Llanpumsaint.
For more information visit: gwili-railway.co.uk