Richard Foster,

Model Rail (UK) - - The Club Room -

Ed­i­tor Min­erva Model Rail­ways has un­veiled im­ages of dec­o­rated sam­ples of its ‘O’ gauge Man­ning War­dle ‘K’ 0‑6‑0ST – see page 14. The Leeds lo­co­mo­tive builder in­tro­duced this de­sign in 1864 and it proved pop­u­lar with light rail­ways and con­trac­tors alike. If Min­erva’s new of­fer­ing has got you think­ing about pos­si­ble ‘O’ gauge mi­cro lay­outs but you’re un­de­cided about what to build, th­ese im­ages from the vaults of Rail Ar­chive Stephen­son will soon help you make your mind up! Brian Stephen­son kindly sup­plied th­ese pho­to­graphs when Min­erva an­nounced its ‘K’, back in May last year. They were taken by pho­togra‑ pher Colling Turner dur­ing a visit to cap­ture the re­mains of the Selsey Tramway in 1935. The Hun­dred of Man­hood & Selsey Tramway opened in 1897. It was only the sec­ond rail­way to be built by light rail­way en­tre­pre­neur Hol­man F. Stephens and it linked Chich­ester with the blos­som­ing sea­side re­sort of Selsey, a dis­tance of just over seven miles. As be­fit­ted a Colonel Stephens line, it was built to a bud­get and was de­lib­er­ately built to tramway stan­dards in or­der to save money. Most rail­ways of this ilk hit a boom pe­riod be­fore the First World War but suf­fered af­ter it. The tramway was no ex­cep­tion. Be­fore the war it had enough in the cof­fers to raise the track 10ft above the level of the sur­round­ing land, af­ter se­ri­ous flood­ing in 1910. How­ever, by 1924 it was strug­gling fi­nan­cially. It re­named it­self the West Sus­sex Rail­way, pos­si­bly in an at­tempt to make it­self more at­trac­tive for a takeover. The South­ern Rail­way looked into buy­ing the line but to no avail, and it closed in Jan­uary 1935. Turner’s won­der­ful pho­to­graphs cap­ture the post‑clo­sure scene at Chich­ester sta­tion. Th­ese im­ages are full of at­mos­phere. What’s par­tic­u­larly strik­ing is how neat every­thing has been left. Man­ning War­dle ‘K’ R hi­ans­g­bi­nege Rno pcakrked in front of the re­mains of the Sh­ef­flex rail­buses. The track is tidy, with just a layer of sur­face rust on the rails. Th­ese im­ages of­fer a win­dow into a by­gone world. The sta­tion and even the gas works are long gone, and poor or­wilndags irneg­druo­cecdk to a pile of scrap. It’s hard to imag­ine that such scenes ever ex­isted. But if you’ve or­dered a Min­erva Man­ning War­dle, you’ll at least be able to try to recre­ate a lit­tle slice of what life was like in this part of West Sus­sex.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.