Abermule 26/01/1921

The Abermule train crash happened one hundred years ago this January. As well as personal tragedies – 17 people were killed – there were far reaching effects for Machynlleth. And, once the cause of the disaster had been established as human failure, for signalling arrangements on single track railways worldwide.

Lord Herbert Vane-Tempest was the youngest child of the fifth Marquess of Londonderry and Mary Cornelia nee Edwards and the last member of the Londonderry family to live at Plas Machynlleth. As a Director of the Cambrian Railways he used the first carriage on the train which took the brunt of the head-on collision.

He was killed, along with his valet James Henderson, and Harold Owen Owen of Garthgwynion whom he had invited to sit with him.

Lord Herbert, who gave his name to Glanmerin Lake, was a bachelor. There was no-one to succeed him at Plas Machynlleth and in December 1948 the 7th Marquess presented the house and the grounds to the people of Machynlleth.

On an obscure chunk of railway in India, fairly recently, in the cab of an ancient locomotive was the message “CHECK THE TABLET! REMEMBER ABERMULE!”

Digwyddodd damwain dren Aber-miwl gan mlynedd yn ol ym mis Ionawr eleni. Yn ogystal a’r trychinebau personol – lladdwyd 17 o bobl – bu effeithiau pellgyrhaeddol ar Fachynlleth ac, unwaith i achos y drychineb gael ei briodoli i fethiant dynol, ar drefniadau arwyddo ar reilffyrdd trac sengl ar draws y byd.

Yr Arglwydd Herbert Vane-Tempest oedd plentyn ieuengaf 5ed Ardalydd Londonderry a Mary Cornelia, Edwards gynt, ac aelod olaf y teulu Londonderry i fyw ym Mhlas Machynlleth. Ac yntau’n Gyfarwyddwr Rheilffyrdd y Cambrian, byddai’n defnyddio’r cerbyd ym mlaen y tren a gafodd y gwaethaf o’r gwrthdrawiad penben.

Fe’i lladdwyd, ynghyd a’i was James Henderson a Harold Owen Owen, Garthgwynion, yr oedd wedi’i wahodd i eistedd gydag ef.

Dibriod oedd yr Arglwydd Herbert (a roddodd ei enw i’r enw Saesneg ar Lyn Glanmerin). Doedd ganddo neb i’w olynu ym Mhlas Machynlleth ac ym mis Rhagfyr 1948 cyflwynodd y 7fed Ardalydd y ty a’r tiroedd i bobl Machynlleth.

Yn eithaf diweddar, yng nghab hen injan ar ddarn anghysbell o reilffordd yn India, cafwyd hyd i’r rhybudd, “CHECK THE TABLET! REMEMBER ABERMULE!”