In this new programme life long enthusiast Robin Butterell explores the fascinating world of miniature railways. Using much rare and previously unpublished archive footage Robin takes the viewer on a journey that examines the very origins of British miniature railways. On the way we explore the influences of Sir Arthur Heywood, father of minimum gauge railway development, and examine his important legacy. On a visit to the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Robin introduces us to Ursula and Effie, full-size replicas of Sir Arthur’s B9s famous locomotives.
The contribution of model and miniature builders Bassett Lowke and Henry Greenly are not forgotten with examples of their important development work also being included. As well as the public lines there are rare archive glimpses of private garden railways and a variety of seaside operations. Most of the railways featured here have either changed beyond recognition or indeed ceased to exist, making this programme a true record of yesterdays scene. Other lines have been revived through the undaunted enthusiasm and dedication of their supporters. Robin Butterell has run and been involved in miniature railways all his life and his knowledge of the subject comes from his first hand experience.
In sharing that enthusiasm he hopes that a new generation of miniature railway supporters will keep the legacy of steam and the associated engineering disciplines alive and for the pleasure of future generations.
Some of the lines included Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway (1927), Kerrs Miniature Railway (1937), Great Yarmouth (1937), Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway (1929 / 1953), Captain Holder’s Keeping Railway (1935), Llandudno (1949), Bridlington (1951), Fairbourne Railway (1948 / 1958), Belle Vue (1966), Blackpool Pleasure Beach (1949), Rhyl Miniature Railway (1949), Greywood Central Railway (1940s), Shillingstone (1965), Hastings (1967), Hilton Valley Railway (1969), Brockenhurst (1965), Stapleford Railway (1970s)