Holywath—a Garden Railway
In May this year, fellow Association members Norman Swindle, Bob Stapley, and I, together with five other friends, spent the early bank holiday weekend in Coniston, in the Lake District.
We were aware of the former railway line which ran into Conis- ton from a junction at Foxfield, on the Cumbrian Coast line be- tween Whitehaven and Barrow, and indeed we were able to lo- cate the site of the former station and walk along part of the trackbed. The line was closed to passengers in 1958, and to goods 4 years later. Whilst there, we were informed that the sig- nal box was now located in a garden in the village, and so we went looking for it.
What we found was a delightful garden railway, and at the invita- tion of John Nott, a volunteer, we spent some time exploring it.
We were informed that the railway has been in existence for about 50 years. The gauge is 7¼ inches, and includes a station platform, a workshop and about 400 metres of track, in the grounds of a privately-owned house. The track runs through cut- tings and tunnels, and has several sidings and loops. The signal box has a large bank of levers, which control signals throughout the layout. In the workshop we saw two steam locomotives, and a diesel loco.
Thanks go to John for making us welcome, and also to the owner, Major J. B. Hext, for inviting us to come back to see the railway in operation. We look forward to a re-visit.
Photos from this railway appear on the next two pages.