Talyllyn’s TIC rivals the TARDIS!

Posted on 5 Jul 2019

Move over Doctor Who! The Talyllyn TIC Telephone Box project is bringing history and culture alive for visitors as well as providing more inspirational ideas for exploring our fabulous Brecon Beacons National Park.

Bigger on the inside it may not be, but as one of the smallest Tourist Information Centres in the UK, the TIC Telephone Box provides a whistle stop tour of time, giving a clear picture of the historical legacies left behind by the people of Talyllyn. 

The Llyn Syfaddan History Group were able to redevelop the K6 model telephone box, designed in 1935 by architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, thanks to a grant of £5,907 from the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund.

Roger Reece, of the Llyn Syfaddan History Group, said it was due for closure when the History Group saw an opportunity for a makeover of this much-loved Talyllyn feature. “As part of the British Telecom’s Adopt a Kiosk Scheme, Llangors Community Council became the proud owners of the phone box in July 2017, with the History Group taking over responsibility for its development and management. The box has received a much-needed re-vamp – it has been repainted and repaired, and bi-lingual interpretation installed along with an array of local photographs and advertising space for businesses.

“Transforming it into a mini Visitor Centre to promote our local history and culture, the visitor opportunities in the area, and our local businesses, is a delight to see.”

Within the iconic red box, which has stood proudly in Talyllyn since 1966, are a suite of leaflets, details of walks including railway features that can be visited and other historical features in the Llangors area and around the lake.

Sustainable Development Fund committee members were inspired to support the development of the Talyllyn TIC Telephone Box as the project chimed closely with the Authority’s duties – supporting local communities, promoting what makes the National Park special, and protecting the natural landscape for all to enjoy.

The newly elected Chair of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Cllr Gareth Ratcliffe, said he is looking forward to reading the recollections of village life from the TIC Memory Box. “It is so important to remember past generations and the part they have played in shaping the Brecon Beacons National Park,” he said. “This memory box is a wonderful example of how communities are recording history and current memories which can be reminisced over in years to come.

“Talyllyn has some extraordinary heritage. The 1816 Hay Tram road ran through the village from a canal wharf in Brecon to Hay on Wye – and on to Herefordshire and the Kington Railway. At 36 miles, at the time this was the world’s longest railway network. From the 1860s to the early 1960s Talyllyn was a bustling railway junction where the Brecon and Merthyr and Mid Wales railways came together. It also hosted what was at the time of construction the longest dedicated railway tunnel in the world. It is legacies like this we must preserve in the National Park and as the Chair of the Authority I am honoured that we are supporting communities to celebrate their local culture and heritage.”

The work to document the past two centuries in Talyllyn has created a buzz in the village – the official opening on the 3rd July will celebrate the past year’s work in style.

Roger Reese added: “We are proud of the TIC Telephone Box. It has brought us together as a community and we hope it will inform and delight people for years to come.”

For more information about Llyn Syfaddan History Group and its work visit the group’s website – https://www.llangorsehistory.org/ For more information on our Sustainable Development Fund visit www.beacons-npa.gov.uk or email ceri.bevan@beacons-npa.gov.uk or helen.roderick@beacons-npa.gov.uk

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