Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Long lost photos of Lincs Coast Light Railway half a century ago found in the Isle of Man

On the last operating day of the 2021 season (the LCLR’s busiest since reopening in Skegness in 2009), a passenger showed members of the Lincs Coast Light Railway team five photographs he had found a few days before in a second-hand shop on the Isle of Man. None of us the members on duty had ever seen them before, although a couple of the current volunteers were identifiable in them.

They show scenes on both of the sites which the LCLR used at Humberston (south of Cleethorpes), where, when built in 1960 to link North Sea Lane to Humberston Beach, it was the first heritage railway to be built on a greenfield site by enthusiasts anywhere in the world — although it always was intended to be “real” public transport to and from the beach and The Fitties Holiday Camp. Before closure in 1985 and the eventual move to the Skegness Water Leisure Park, it carried more than two million passengers.

The photos have been scanned on to two images by the man who bought them. There was a name on the reverse of each of a Manx photographic company (but not an indication that they hold the copyright) and they have not responded to a detailed enquiry about them, or whether they did acquire copyright when buying or printing them.

The photos were shown by Dave Holmes of East Yorkshire, and are accredited to Photo D. Holmes Collection/LCLR


Photo D. Holmes Collection/LCLR

The image with three photos shows:

a) the 1920 Motor Rail Simplex loco, works # 1935 of 1920, with the two ex-Ashover Light Railway carriages at the South Sea Lane terminus of the LCLR’s second formation at Humberston. The loco is # 7 in the LCLR’s fleet which was purchased about 1971 from the Nocton Estates Railway, which operated a 23 mile system using ex-WW1 equipment and rails to transport potatoes and sugar beet across the Fens from the Bardney area to Nocton, between Sleaford and Lincoln. The loco is in the condition in which it ran at Nocton; it was shortly afterwards fitted with a plywood body which has been removed at Skegness and the loco restored to the appearance it had when leaving Motor Rail’s factory at Bedford in 1920.

b) Rear view of the two ex-Ashover carriages which appears to have been taken at South Sea Lane on the same occasion — possibly this was a test train to see how this 20 hp loco would cope with such a heavy load.

c) The LCLR’s steam loco # 2, Jurassic (a Peckett 0-6-0ST, works # 1008 of 1903) raising steam at the second North Sea Lane depot; note the ex War Department Light Railways Class P wagon; the store building on the platform was once a poultry house at the home in Fotherby of the then Company Secretary, the late William Woolhouse!


Photo D. Holmes Collection/LCLR

The image with two photos shows:

a) the LCLR’s first loco, #1 in the fleet, a Motor Rail Simplex, works # 3995 of 1926 (re-bodied when acquired by the LCLR in 1960), with an ex-WDLR Class P wagon attached to its front and two ex-WDLR Class D bogie wagons to the rear, at the Beach terminus of the original formation. This may have been a track lifting train about 1967 when rails and equipment were being recovered prior to the site being abandoned in favour of the new and extended formation approx. 50 yards to the south.

b) Jurassic moving over the junction of the yard and the main line at North Sea Lane on the second formation.


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