JCR seems to have been a pioneer motorist, as two of the family "snap shots" show a large open car, of a make not identified, perilously balanced on planks on the Ballachulish ferry.
Russell's human side is revealed in the family photographs. In one photograph, his wife Eleanor and daughter Margaret, are shown playing with Rolls, a very large mastiff, next to the summer house at Longdene in the 1900s. Another photograph shows a balding Russell with a moustache but no beard, at the breakfast table of Woodlands the house at Merrow, with Toddles the cat draped round one shoulder. But his real companion seems to have been a short legged mongrel terrier Mr Blackie. He features in several photographs, including one with Russell on his steam yacht, with the caption "The dog who owned his master". Mr Blackie also appears in another family picture with JCR at Onich. and a rather grizzled Mr Blackie is shown lying next to Russell, in his bath chair, in 1911, presumably at Longdene.
Together with these photographs, Evelyn's family anecdotes, the efforts of Michael Bishop in the National Archives and elsewhere and the encouragement and contributions of John Keylock, we have for the first time a more rounded view of Russell the man and his business dealings. Quite why and how Russell ever became involved with a slightly obscure Welsh railway may never be known, but he was clearly a man of some business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit. His legacy continues nearly 100 years after his death. The story is of course not yet complete and subsequent posts will cover some of the detail of his life.