Regional Railways was one of the three passenger sectors of British Rail created in 1982 that existed until 1997, two years after privatisation. The sector was called Provincial. Regional Railways was the most subsidised of the three sectors. Upon formation, its costs were four times its revenue; the sector was broken up into eight franchises during the privatisation of British Rail, ceased to exist on 31 March 1997. Upon sectorisation in 1982, three passenger sectors were created: InterCity, operating principal express services. In the metropolitan counties, local services were managed by the Passenger Transport Executives. Regional Railways inherited a diverse range of routes. Expresses ran to non-principal destinations or on less popular routes, such as Birmingham or Liverpool to Norwich, or Liverpool to Scarborough, were chiefly operated by older locomotives and second-hand InterCity coaches; these services were operated by Sprinter units – Class 158s on express services. There were the internal Scottish Region local services and expresses, the latter including the Edinburgh-Glasgow push-pull service.
Local services ran on both main lines and branch lines, were operated by first generation diesel multiple units dating back to the 1950s. Longer distance trains were formed of older coaches and locomotives of Class 31, Class 40 and Class 45 which were of similar vintage. In the early 1980s, large numbers of diesel multiple unit and locomotive-hauled coaches were found to contain asbestos. Removing this would be a considerable cost and generating no extra revenue, coupled with the unreliabile old locomotives and DMUs prompted BR to look for a new generation of diesel multiple units; the prototype Class 210s, in service on a trial basis since 1981, were considered too expensive to be put into production, so BR looked elsewhere for new designs. The first, used bus technology from the Leyland National, in classes numbered in the 14X range. Not long after introduction to service, large numbers of them suffered from a number of technical problems with their gearboxes. In Cornwall it was found that their long wheelbase caused intolerable squealing noises and high tyre wear on tight curves, they had to be replaced by the old DMUs.
The solution lay elsewhere, although after much modification, the Pacers proved themselves in traffic. BR needed something midway between the Class 210s. In 1984/1985, two experimental DMU designs were put into service: the British Rail Engineering Limited built Class 150 and Metro-Cammell built Class 151. Both of these were less bus-like than the Pacers. After trials, the Class 150 was selected for production, entering service from 1987. Reliability was much improved by the new units, with depot visits being reduced from two or three times a week to fortnightly; the late 1980s and early 1990s saw the development of secondary express services that complemented the mainline Intercity routes. Class 155 and Class 156 Sprinters were developed to replace locomotive-hauled trains on these services, their interiors being designed with longer distance journeys in mind. Key Scottish and Trans-Pennine routes were upgraded with new Class 158 Express Sprinters, while a network of'Alphaline' services was introduced elsewhere in the country.
By the end of the 1980s, passenger numbers had increased and costs had been reduced to two-and-a-half times revenue. The British Rail Class 323 electric multiple units were built by Hunslet Transportation Projects between January 1992 and September 1995, although mock-ups and prototypes were built and tested in 1990 and 1991. Forty-three 3-car units were built for inner-suburban services in and around Birmingham and Manchester, including the Cross-City Line in the Birmingham area and services to the new Manchester Airport railway station. Many vehicles carried standard BR blue livery. From 1986, Provincial adopted a version of the prototype Class 150 livery: "aircraft" blue over white, with a light blue stripe at waist level. All new units, plus a few existing ones, such as selected Class 304 EMUs, received it; some units and coaches received the livery with "Regional Railways" branding. The Class 158s, introduced in 1989, appeared in "Express" livery: dark grey window surrounds over light grey, with light and dark blue stripes at waist level.
This colour scheme was applied to some Class 156 units around privatisation. After privitisation many vehicles continued to carry basic RR colour scheme, but with the addition of different branding, e.g. "Central Trains". The final British railway vehicle to carry Regional Railways livery was a Class 153, repainted in July 2008 into East Midlands Trains livery; as part of the process of privatisation between 1994 and 1997, Regional Railways was split into several different shadow train operating units, which became independent train operating companies: Pettitt, Gordon. The Regional Railways Story. OPC. ISBN 9780860936633. OCLC 921239163
Brynmawr (. The town, sometimes cited as the highest town in Wales, is situated at 1,250 to 1,500 feet above sea level at the head of the South Wales Valleys, it grew with the development of iron industries in the early 19th century. Until the reorganisation of local authorities in 1974, Brynmawr sat within the county of Brecknockshire. Prior to the Industrial Revolution Brynmawr was a small village settlement called Gwaun Helygen, lay in the former county of Brecknockshire. With the expansion of the Nantyglo Ironworks housing was required for the workers and Brynmawr turned into a prosperous town. Although coal mining has ceased, a large mining museum has been established at Big Pit in nearby Blaenavon. Brynmawr has an estimated population of over 6,000 people. At the 2001 Census 5.75% of the 16-65 age group spoke Welsh, but the proportion of children able to speak Welsh was much higher at 30.54%. The town had the only Welsh-medium primary school, Ysgol Gymraeg Brynmawr, in Blaenau Gwent with 310 pupils ranging from nursery to year 6 until 2010, when the school re-located to a brand new, purpose-built building in Blaina.
The town centre's primary shopping areas are contained within Beaufort Street and on Market Square, the focal point of the town where many events are hosted. The former Market Hall is now a cinema and theatre presenting films and productions from the local amateur operatic society; the business community offers many traditional, family orientated and independently run shops, such as Tutta Bella, Durbans Shoe repairs, Perfectday Bridal and many more. The Tabor Centre, situated in Davies Street, is a multi purpose community venue with rooms available for hire. Brynmawr is home to many artisan food producers, such as the Award winning Miss Daisy's Kitchen, Specialist vegan and gluten free food producers Daddies Little Pickle, the Little Dragon Pizza Van, who organise the annual Brynmawr Street Food Festival. Parc Nant y Waun is a nature reserve incorporating 22 hectares of grassland and reservoirs, opened in 2007. Home to many wildlife species, it includes a picnic area, an outdoor classroom, an angling club.
Brynmawr RFC is the local rugby union club, affiliated to the Newport Gwent Dragons. Brynmawr has a 350-seat cinema, the longest continually running cinema in Wales; the Market Hall opened in 1893 and has been renovated. As of April 1, 2017 the Market Hall Cinema has been closed since November 2016 after Blaenau Gwent Council conducted a series of asbestos tests in the building; the Market Hall was reopened by Hollywood star Michael Sheen on July 12 2017. Notable people include professional wrestlers Adrian Street, "Flash" Morgan Webster, singer-songwriters Huw and Tony Williams and indie pop singer-songwriter Marina Diamandis, known professionally as Marina and the Diamonds. T Rowley Jones, Welsh Rugby Union, 1978. Brynmawr Rubber Factory Brynmawr Furniture Brynmawr Experiment Brynmawr Foundation School Brynmawr Town Council website Old photos of Brynmawr Aerial photograph of Brynmawr Photos of Brynmawr and surrounding area on geograph.org.uk History of Brynmawr, Wales at thomasgenweb.com, with excerpts from Brynmawr: A Study of a Distressed Area, by Hilda Jennings
National Rail in the United Kingdom is the trading name licensed for use by the Rail Delivery Group, an unincorporated association whose membership consists of the passenger train operating companies of England and Wales. The TOCs run the passenger services provided by the British Railways Board, from 1965 using the brand name British Rail. Northern Ireland, bordered by the Republic of Ireland, has a different system. National Rail services share a ticketing structure and inter-availability that do not extend to services which were not part of British Rail; the name and the accompanying double arrow symbol are trademarks of the Secretary of State for Transport. National Rail should not be confused with Network Rail. National Rail is a brand used to promote passenger railway services, providing some harmonisation for passengers in ticketing, while Network Rail is the organisation which owns and manages most of the fixed assets of the railway network, including tracks and signals; the two coincide where passenger services are run.
Most major Network Rail lines carry freight traffic and some lines are freight only. There are some scheduled passenger services on managed, non-Network Rail lines, for example Heathrow Express, which runs on Network Rail track; the London Underground overlaps with Network Rail in places. Twenty eight owned train operating companies, each franchised for a defined term by government, operate passenger trains on the main rail network in Great Britain; the Rail Delivery Group is the trade association representing the TOCs and provides core services, including the provision of the National Rail Enquiries service. It runs Rail Settlement Plan, which allocates ticket revenue to the various TOCs, Rail Staff Travel, which manages travel facilities for railway staff, it does not compile the national timetable, the joint responsibility of the Office of Rail Regulation and Network Rail. Since the privatisation of British Rail there is no longer a single approach to design on railways in Great Britain; the look and feel of signage and marketing material is the preserve of the individual TOCs.
However, National Rail continues to use BR's famous double-arrow symbol, designed by Gerald Burney of the Design Research Unit. It has been incorporated in the National Rail logotype and is displayed on tickets, the National Rail website and other publicity; the trademark rights to the double arrow symbol remain state-owned, being vested in the Secretary of State for Transport. The double arrow symbol is used to indicate a railway station on British traffic signs; the National Rail logo was introduced by ATOC in 1999, was used on the Great Britain public timetable for the first time in the edition valid from 26 September in that year. Rules for its use are set out in the Corporate Identity Style Guidelines published by the Rail Delivery Group, available on its website. "In 1964 the Design Research Unit—Britain’s first multi-disciplinary design agency founded in 1943 by Misha Black, Milner Gray and Herbert Read—was commissioned to breathe new life into the nation’s neglected railway industry".
The NR title is sometimes described as a "brand". As it was used by British Rail, the single operator before franchising, its use maintains continuity and public familiarity; the lettering used in the National Rail logotype is a modified form of the typeface Sassoon Bold. Some train operating companies continue to use the former British Rail Rail Alphabet lettering to varying degrees in station signage, although its use is no longer universal; the British Rail typefaces of choice from 1965 were Helvetica and Univers, with others coming into use during the sectorisation period after 1983. TOCs may use what they like: examples include Futura, Frutiger, a modified version of Precious by London Midland. Although TOCs compete against each other for franchises, for passengers on routes where more than one TOC operates, the strapline used with the National Rail logo is'Britain's train companies working together'. Several conurbations have their own metro or tram systems, most of which are not part of National Rail.
These include the London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, London Tramlink, Blackpool Tramway, Glasgow Subway, Tyne & Wear Metro, Manchester Metrolink, Sheffield Supertram, Midland Metro and Nottingham Express Transit. On the other hand, the self-contained Merseyrail system is part of the National Rail network, urban rail networks around Birmingham, Cardiff and West Yorkshire consist of National Rail services. London Overground is a hybrid: its services are operated via a concession awarded by Transport for London, are branded accordingly, but until 2010 all its routes used infrastructure owned by Network Rail. LO now possesses some infrastructure in its own right, following the reopening of the former London Underground East London line as the East London Railway. Since all the previous LO routes were operated by National Rail franchise Silverlink until November 2007, they have continued to be shown in the National Rail timetable and are still considered to be a part of National Rail.
Heathrow Express and Eurostar are not part of the National Rail network despite sharing of stations. Northern Ireland Railways were
Cardiff is the capital of Wales, its largest city. The eleventh-largest city in the United Kingdom, it is Wales's chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural institutions and Welsh media, the seat of the National Assembly for Wales. At the 2011 census, the unitary authority area population was estimated to be 346,090, the wider urban area 479,000. Cardiff is a significant tourist centre and the most popular visitor destination in Wales with 21.3 million visitors in 2017. In 2011, Cardiff was ranked sixth in the world in National Geographic's alternative tourist destinations. Cardiff is the county town of the historic county of Glamorgan. Cardiff is part of the Eurocities network of the largest European cities. A small town until the early 19th century, its prominence as a major port for the transport of coal following the arrival of industry in the region contributed to its rise as a major city. In 1905, Cardiff was made a city and proclaimed the capital of Wales in 1955. At the 2011 Census the population was 346,090.
The Cardiff Built-up Area covers a larger area outside the county boundary and includes the towns of Dinas Powys and Penarth. Since the 1980s, Cardiff has seen significant development. A new waterfront area at Cardiff Bay contains the Senedd building, home to the Welsh Assembly and the Wales Millennium Centre arts complex. Current developments include the continuation of the redevelopment of the Cardiff Bay and city centre areas with projects such as the Cardiff International Sports Village, a BBC drama village, a new business district in the city centre. Sporting venues in the city include the Principality Stadium—the national stadium and the home of the Wales national rugby union team—Sophia Gardens, Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff International Sports Stadium, Cardiff Arms Park and Ice Arena Wales; the city hosted Commonwealth Games. The city was awarded the title of European City of Sport twice, due to its role in hosting major international sporting events: first in 2009 and again in 2014.
The Principality Stadium hosted 11 football matches as part of the 2012 Summer Olympics, including the games' opening event and the men's bronze medal match. Caerdydd derives from the earlier Welsh form Caerdyf; the change from -dyf to -dydd shows the colloquial alteration of Welsh f and dd, was also driven by folk etymology. This sound change had first occurred in the Middle Ages. Caerdyf has its origins in post-Roman Brythonic words meaning "the fort of the Taff"; the fort refers to that established by the Romans. Caer is Welsh for fort and -dyf is in effect a form of Taf, the river which flows by Cardiff Castle, with the ⟨t⟩ showing consonant mutation to ⟨d⟩ and the vowel showing affection as a result of a genitive case ending; the anglicised form Cardiff is derived from Caerdyf, with the Welsh f borrowed as ff, as happens in Taff and Llandaff. As English does not have the vowel the final vowel has been borrowed as; the antiquarian William Camden suggested that the name Cardiff may derive from *Caer-Didi, a name given in honour of Aulus Didius Gallus, governor of a nearby province at the time when the Roman fort was established.
Although some sources repeat this theory, it has been rejected on linguistic grounds by modern scholars such as Professor Gwynedd Pierce. Archaeological evidence from sites in and around Cardiff: the St Lythans burial chamber near Wenvoe,. A group of five Bronze Age tumuli is at the summit of the Garth, within the county's northern boundary. Four Iron Age hill fort and enclosure sites have been identified within Cardiff's present-day county boundaries, including Caerau Hillfort, an enclosed area of 5.1 hectares. Until the Roman conquest of Britain, Cardiff was part of the territory of the Silures – a Celtic British tribe that flourished in the Iron Age – whose territory included the areas that would become known as Breconshire and Glamorgan; the 3.2-hectare fort established by the Romans near the mouth of the River Taff in AD 75, in what would become the north western boundary of the centre of Cardiff, was built over an extensive settlement, established by the Romans in the 50s AD. The fort was one of a series of military outposts associated with Isca Augusta that acted as border defences.
The fort may have been abandoned in the early 2nd century. However, by this time a civilian settlement, or vicus, was established, it was made up of traders who made a living from the fort, ex-soldiers and their families. A Roman villa has been discovered at Ely. Contemporary with the Saxon Shore Forts of th
Abergavenny Brecon Road railway station
Abergavenny railway station was a station on the London and North Western Railway's Heads of the Valleys line serving the town of Abergavenny in the Welsh county of Monmouthshire. The first section of the Merthyr and Abergavenny Railway from Abergavenny to Brynmawr was opened on 29 September 1862; the line was leased and operated by the London and North Western Railway which acquired the smaller railway company on 30 June 1866. The L&NWR was itself amalgamated into the London and Scottish Railway in the 1923 Grouping. Abergavenny opened on 1 October 1862. After the ceremonial first train as far as Govilon on 29 September, public services commenced on the first day of the L&NWR's lease of the line; the station was situated on a steep descent from Govilon, with the line carried on an embankment rising to the hillside south-west of Abergavenny and reaching a gradient of 1 in 34. It was located north-west of the centre of Abergavenny which had a population of c. 9000 during the line's lifetime. Two platforms were provided, with an additional excursion platform on the Up line to the west of the road bridge carrying the line over the Brecon Road.
At the east end of the Down platform was a loading dock. Brecon Road was the location of locomotive sheds, a goods shed and yard, as well as the shed for the District Engineer's coach and engine; the yard had two operational parts: the coal yard known as the lower yard, where there were railway barracks used as sleeping accommodation for train crews, the upper yard with storage and stabling sidings. Stables, a weighing machine and a pumphouse stood opposite the gasworks on the Down side of the line; the pump, which drew its supply from the River Usk, was powered by steam until c. 1928 from which time electricity was used. A private house was provided near the station as offices for the District Traffic Superintendent until more spacious facilities were built at Brecon in 1867; the building was extended in 1890. Two signal boxes, No. 1 and No. 2, controlled the upper yard and lower yards as well as engines coming on and off shed. No. 1 was in operation from July 1964 when use of the upper yard ceased.
No. 2 box, adjacent to the stone three-arched bridge carrying Union Road over the line, marked the point from which the line was truncated westwards in 1958. A private siding served the gasworks from c. 1870 to July 1960, while another siding was provided for the Union Workhouse from 1872 to 1951. Once it began working the Merthyr line in 1862, the L&NWR found the facilities for servicing locomotives at Abergavenny Junction unsatisfactory and set about providing proper arrangements at Brecon Road station; the site chosen was 300 yards from the gasworks on the Up side of the line. By the end of 1867 works were underway on two buildings adjacent to one another: one of eight roads and one of four roads. In the south-west corner of the site was a 42 feet turntable which by 1899 was relocated nearer the road bridge crossing the neck of the yard and extended to handle ROD 2-8-0s; the turntable lasted until 1953. The shed buildings were extended by Webb in 1896 who enclosed the vacant area to the rear of the four-road building to extend the roads to 290 feet in length.
Brecon Road shed was used by the Great Western Railway, notably for banking engines working from Abergavenny Monmouth Road to Llanvihangel. Designated L&NWR shed no. 31 under the charge of a District Locomotive Superintendent, the allocation was around 40 locomotives. In 1919, 37 L&NWR Coal Tanks were allocated here and were used on light passenger trains and, in 1947, nine L&NWR 380 Class designed for the hill-climbing required by the route were allocated. Little modernisation was carried out by the LMS which coded the shed 4D in 1935 and it became part of British Railways on nationalisation in a unchanged state. Recoded 86K by the Western Region in 1950, as use declined, the roofing from all but two of the shorter roads was removed. At this time, 16 L&NWR 0-8-0s were allocated here, although this was to change when the withdrawal of freight facilities between Abergavenny and Merthyr left the shed as little more than a stabling point; this took official effect from 22 November 1954 and final closure of the shed came on 4 January 1958.
Decline in local industry and the costs of working the line between Abergavenny and Merthyr led to the cessation of passenger services on 4 January 1958. The last public service over the line was an SLS railtour on 5 January 1958 hauled by GWR 6959 No. 7912 Little Linford Hall and L&NWR Coal Tank No. 58926. Official closure came on 6 January; the line between Brecon Road goods yard and Abergavenny Junction remained open for goods traffic until 4 April 1971, the last section of the Abergavenny and Merthyr line to close. The site of the old station is now a local doctor's surgery. After closure of the line, the station building was offered to let; the site of the locomotive depot has been taken over by modern industrial units. Awdry, Christopher. Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0049-7. OCLC 19514063. CN 8983. Butt, R. V. J.. The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt and stopping place and present.
Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199. Clinker, C. R.. Clinker's Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England and Wales 1830–1980. Bristol: Avon-Anglia Publications & Services. ISBN 978-0-905466-91-0. OCLC 655703233. Conolly, W. Philip. British Railways Gazetteer. Hersha
Western Region of British Railways
The Western Region was a region of British Railways from 1948. The region ceased to be an operating unit in its own right on completion of the "Organising for Quality" initiative on 6 April 1992; the Region consisted principally of ex-Great Western Railway lines, minus certain lines west of Birmingham, which were transferred to the London Midland Region in 1963 and with the addition of all former Southern Railway routes west of Exeter, which were subsequently rationalised. The Great Western Railway was established during the 19th century. Although run down by the Second World War, its management opposed its nationalisation into British Railways. After nationalisation under the Transport Act 1947 and amalgamation with the other railway companies as British Railways, the new Region continued its enmity with its powerful neighbour, the London Midland Region, born out of the London and Scottish Railway. There were few incomers to the Region at senior level: for example, the Chairman of the Regional Board from 1955, Reggie Hanks, came from the motor industry but had been a Swindon Works apprentice.
In the 1956–1962 period, a range of express trains were named and their coaches given GWR-style chocolate and cream colours. Major changes came on the appointment from outside as Regional Managers Stanley Raymond and Gerry Fiennes; some revenues were increased. Adjusted for transfer of Banbury northward to LMR and Dorset and Cornwall from SR, the assets of WR reduced over the decade 1955–1965 and from 1963 to 1965:- Major new investment in infrastructure did not go ahead until after 1955; the earliest projects included the rebuilding of stations at Banbury and Plymouth, both postponed since the 1940s. Bristol Parkway station opened in 1972; the Western Region built a large number of steam locomotives to GWR designs including 341 pannier tanks after the advent of diesel shunters. Both 2-6-0 tender and 2-6-2 tank engine variants of the BR Standard Class 3 were built by the Western Region, it was the first region of BR to eliminate steam traction under the 1955 Modernisation Plan. While the other BR regions introduced diesel-electric locomotives the Western Region went its own way by purchasing a complete range of diesel-hydraulic locomotives covering the type 1 to type 4 power requirements.
These included the Warship locomotives, which were based on proven West German designs, the British-designed Class 14, Hymek and Western types. One of the major improvements on the Western Region, on the Eastern Region East Coast Main Line, was the introduction on the Great Western main line of the InterCity 125 trains in 1976/7 bringing major accelerations to the timetables. Allen G. Freeman, The Western since 1948, Ian Allan ISBN 0-7110-0883-3
Hereford is a cathedral city, civil parish and county town of Herefordshire, England. It lies on the River Wye 16 miles east of the border with Wales, 24 miles southwest of Worcester, 23 miles northwest of Gloucester. With a population of 58,896, it is the largest settlement in the county; the name "Hereford" is said to come from the Anglo-Saxon "here", an army or formation of soldiers, the "ford", a place for crossing a river. If this is the origin it suggests that Hereford was a place where a body of armed men forded or crossed the Wye; the Welsh name for Hereford is Henffordd, meaning "old road", refers to the Roman road and Roman settlement at nearby Stretton Sugwas. Much of the county of Herefordshire was Welsh-speaking, as reflected in the Welsh names of many places in the county. An early town charter from 1189 granted by Richard I of England describes it as "Hereford in Wales". Hereford has been recognised as a city since time immemorial, with the status being reconfirmed as as October 2000.
It is now known chiefly as a trading centre for rural area. Products from Hereford include: cider, leather goods, nickel alloys, poultry and cattle, including the famous Hereford breed. Hereford became the seat of Putta, Bishop of Hereford, some time between AD 676 and 688, after which the settlement continued to grow due to its proximity to the border between Mercia and Wales, becoming the Saxon capital of West Mercia by the beginning of the 8th century. Hostilities between the Anglo-Saxons and the Welsh came to a head with the Battle of Hereford in 760, in which the Britons freed themselves from the influence of the English. Hereford was again targeted by the Welsh during their conflict with the Anglo-Saxon King Edward the Confessor in AD 1056 when, supported by Viking allies, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, King of Gwynedd and Powys, marched on the town and put it to the torch before returning home in triumph. Hereford had the only mint west of the Severn in the reign of Athelstan, it was to Hereford a border town, that Athelstan summoned the leading Welsh princes.
The present Hereford Cathedral dates from the early 12th century, as does the first bridge across the Wye. Former Bishops of Hereford include Saint Thomas de Cantilupe and Lord High Treasurer of England Thomas Charlton; the city gave its name to two suburbs of Paris, France: Maisons-Alfort and Alfortville, due to a manor built there by Peter of Aigueblanche, Bishop of Hereford, in the middle of the 13th century. Hereford, a base for successive holders of the title Earl of Hereford, was once the site of a castle, Hereford Castle, which rivalled that of Windsor in size and scale; this was a base for repelling Welsh attacks and a secure stronghold for English kings such as King Henry IV when on campaign in the Welsh Marches against Owain Glyndŵr. The castle was landscaped into Castle Green. After the Battle of Mortimer's Cross in 1461, during the Wars of the Roses, the defeated Lancastrian leader Owen Tudor was taken to Hereford by Sir Roger Vaughan and executed in High Town. A plaque now marks the spot of the execution.
Vaughan was himself executed, under a flag of truce, by Owen's son Jasper. During the civil war the city changed hands several times. On 30 September 1642 Parliamentarians led by Sir Robert Harley and Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford occupied the city without opposition. In December they withdrew to Gloucester because of the presence in the area of a Royalist army under Lord Herbert; the city was again occupied from 23 April to 18 May 1643 by Parliamentarians commanded by Sir William Waller but it was in 1645 that the city saw most action. On 31 July 1645 a Scottish army of 14,000 under Alexander Leslie, 1st Earl of Leven besieged the city but met stiff resistance from its garrison and inhabitants, they withdrew on 1 September when they received news that a force led by King Charles was approaching. The city was taken for Parliament on 18 December 1645 by Colonel Birch and Colonel Morgan. King Charles showed his gratitude to the city of Hereford on 16 September 1645 by augmenting the city's coat of arms with the three lions of Richard I of England, ten Scottish Saltires signifying the ten defeated Scottish regiments, a rare lion crest on top of the coat of arms signifying "defender of the faith" and the rarer gold-barred peer's helm, found only on the arms of one other municipal authority: those of the City of London.
Nell Gwynne and mistress of King Charles II, is said to have been born in Hereford in 1650. Another famous actor born in Hereford is David Garrick; the Bishop's Palace next to the Cathedral was continually used to the present day. Hereford Cathedral School is one of the oldest schools in England; the Harold Street Barracks were completed in 1856. During World War I, in 1916, a fire at the Garrick Theatre killed eight young girls, performing at a charity concert; the main local government body covering Hereford is Herefordshire Council. Hereford has a "City Council" but this is a parish council with city status, has only limited powers. Hereford has been the county town of Herefordshire. In 1974 Herefordshire was merged with Worcestershire to become part of the county of Hereford and Worcester, Hereford became a district of the new county. Hereford had formed a historic borough and was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. On 1 April 1998 the County of Hereford and Worcester was abolish