When old photos of the world’s first heritage railway turned up at the back of old cupboards of another railway, the question asked by Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway volunteers was “are there any unseen old photos of our railway?”
The short answer was YES, with some pictures dating back to 1949, which never been published before.
The photos of the LCLR were taken in 1962 by C W Underhill from Derbyshire on the original site at Humberston.
There had been plans to celebrate the 60th anniversary at the new site at Skegness Water Leisure Park in 2020, but this has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
At Cleethorpes, Peter Bryant, a director of the CCLR, had found the old photos when tidying drawers.
Now, some of the earliest photos of the CCLR have been found by LCLR volunteer Peter Balderston.
Not long after the Cleethorpes line was opened by Mr Botterill. Cleethorpes Borough Council took over the line in the winter of 1958/59.
In 1974, 1975 and 1976 Peter was a driver on the miniature railway in his summer vacations from university, by this time the gauge had changed to a unique 14¼” (the railway is now 15”, in common with other railways such as the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch and the Ravenglass & Eskdale).
Other photos came from Lincolnshire railway photographer and a volunteer at the LCLR, David Enefer.
Another LCLR volunteer, Chris Bates from Horsington, turned up an old sepia postcard from 1950 which shows the miniature railway. He had acquired it when writing the book Railways of North Lincolnshire with fellow enthusiast Martin Bairstow.
The LCLR’s spokesman John Chappell said: “We’ve been delighted to help our friends and neighbours in the north of the county to showcase their early days. It’s a sign of the friendship between Lincolnshire’s unique heritage railways. We wish the Cleethorpes line every success in reopening after the coronavirus shutdown and hope it will soon be possible for our railway in the Skegness Water Leisure Park to operate again”.
CCLR Director Peter Bryant said: ”Photographs of the old Cleethorpes Miniature Railway are surprisingly hard to come by, so we’re very pleased that our friends at the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway have been able to find these and share them with us. Our railway has evolved considerably throughout its 70 year history and it is fascinating to see changes in these photos”.
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