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This railway was opened in May possibly 1911 by area postman Griffith Llewelyn. It was acknowledged merely as Llewelyn’s Miniature Railway but most of the finance had been presented by four area businessmen together with Southport dentist Prosper Ladmore.
The 1st loco on the line was a Bassett Lowke ‘Class 10’ No.18 ‘George the Fifth’ but this was marketed a couple of a long time later to the Rhyl Miniature Railway and changed by a more substantial ‘Class 20’ from Bassett Lowke No.22 ‘Prince of Wales’. In 1923 this was joined by a different ‘Class 20’ No. 21 ‘Prince Edward of Wales’ which arrived from the Fairbourne Railway.
These two locos ongoing to operate at Southport until the late-1960s and have been renamed on a normal foundation, sometimes carrying two names at the very same time! (a single on every side). Eventually they settled down to long term names – ‘Prince of Wales’ turned ‘Princess Elizabeth’ and ‘Prince Edward of Wales’ turned ‘King George’.
At the conclude of 1933 the line was placed into receivership and was taken over by area engineer Harry Barlow who had previously been included with the line for quite a few a long time.
It prospered less than Barlow’s command and in the late-forties he prolonged the observe and commenced creating a fleet of new diesel-electrical locos. In 1950 he created a new prepare for Southport Pier (‘The Silver Belle’) and the following calendar year he created and operated the Festival of Britain railway at Battersea Park in London.
Barlow retired at the conclude of 1968 and marketed the railway for £20,000 to a couple of area small business house owners. The two steam locos have been not included and have been later marketed individually – ‘King George’ was auctioned at Christies in May possibly 1969 for £950.
The railway at Southport was marketed in 2001 and again in 2016 and proceeds in procedure now and however uses some of the locos and carriages created by Barlow in the nineteen fifties and 1960s. It is now the oldest consistently operated miniature railway in the environment.
What happened to the steam locos? ‘King George’ ended up at the Whorlton Lido Railway in Co Durham where it operated for many a long time before currently being marketed into personal ownership where it survives now.
‘Princess Elizabeth’ was acquired by Invoice McAlpine and went to Steamtown Railway Museum in Carnforth where it ran for 20-odd a long time. In 1983 it made a temporary return to Southport to seem in a gala weekend. In 2000 the entire railway at Carnforth was marketed to Hollywood motion picture director Francis Ford Coppola. ‘Princess Elizabeth’ now resides in doing the job purchase on his California estate together with the unique Southport loco No, 18 ‘George the Fifth’ which was acquired from Carnforth at the very same time.
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