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This railway was opened in May perhaps 1911 by neighborhood postman Griffith Llewelyn. It was identified simply just as Llewelyn’s Miniature Railway but most of the finance experienced been offered by four neighborhood businessmen together with Southport dentist Prosper Ladmore.
The very first loco on the line was a Bassett Lowke ‘Class 10’ No.18 ‘George the Fifth’ but this was sold a pair of a long time afterwards to the Rhyl Miniature Railway and changed by a much larger ‘Class 20’ from Bassett Lowke No.22 ‘Prince of Wales’. In 1923 this was joined by one more ‘Class 20’ No. 21 ‘Prince Edward of Wales’ which came from the Fairbourne Railway.
These two locos continued to operate at Southport until eventually the late-sixties and have been renamed on a typical basis, in some cases carrying two names at the similar time! (one on each aspect). Eventually they settled down to long lasting names – ‘Prince of Wales’ turned ‘Princess Elizabeth’ and ‘Prince Edward of Wales’ turned ‘King George’.
At the finish of 1933 the line was placed into receivership and was taken above by neighborhood engineer Harry Barlow who experienced now been associated with the line for a number of a long time.
It prospered under Barlow’s control and in the late-nineteen forties he extended the observe and started developing a fleet of new diesel-electric locos. In 1950 he crafted a new teach for Southport Pier (‘The Silver Belle’) and the adhering to yr he crafted and operated the Pageant of Britain railway at Battersea Park in London.
Barlow retired at the finish of 1968 and sold the railway for £20,000 to a pair of neighborhood enterprise owners. The two steam locos have been not incorporated and have been afterwards sold independently – ‘King George’ was auctioned at Christies in May perhaps 1969 for £950.
The railway at Southport was sold in 2001 and yet again in 2016 and continues in operation now and nevertheless uses some of the locos and carriages crafted by Barlow in the 1950s and sixties. It is now the oldest constantly operated miniature railway in the world.
What happened to the steam locos? ‘King George’ ended up at the Whorlton Lido Railway in Co Durham wherever it operated for a lot of a long time prior to currently being sold into non-public ownership wherever it survives now.
‘Princess Elizabeth’ was obtained by Monthly bill McAlpine and went to Steamtown Railway Museum in Carnforth wherever it ran for 20-odd a long time. In 1983 it produced a short return to Southport to seem in a gala weekend. In 2000 the entire railway at Carnforth was sold to Hollywood motion picture director Francis Ford Coppola. ‘Princess Elizabeth’ now resides in working order on his California estate together with the original Southport loco No, 18 ‘George the Fifth’ which was obtained from Carnforth at the similar time.
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