Lincolnshire Coast light Railway

Saturday and Sunday 10th and 11th September, 2005

"Major" and an Ashover coach on the very wet Saturday.

The event was part of the Lincolnshire Heritage Open Days for 2005, (Saturday and Sunday 10 and 11 September, 2005), which was in turn, part of Heritage Open Days held all over Europe. The theme in the county was appropriately “Transport in Lincolnshire.” It enabled the handful of volunteers who have been rebuilding the Railway at Skegness Water Leisure Park to show what they have achieved in just over 10 years’ determined work on the site. Despite torrential rain on Saturday which prevented many of the historic trains from being moved out of doors, visitors from as far away as Lancashire, the West and East Midlands and West Yorkshire made the journey to Skegness for this first chance in 20 years to see the unique collection. Many were so enthusiastic, they arrived an hour before the official opening time.

"Major" and the restored Ashover coach

On the Sunday drier weather enabled most of the exhibits to be moved outdoors and to be displayed for photographers and visitors. The result was many people volunteering to help with restoration, track laying and preparation for opening the railway, as well as donations and offers of materials and support. The LCLR’s volunteers were always aware that a static collection of very specialised railway items on display on a weekend when there where many other railway events competing for attention around the country and the county, might limit the number of visitors: they had privately agreed that 50 would be a great success – however to their great delight, they got triple that number.

(photo - Mike Newbold)

The Railway was extensively featured in advance on the BBC Look North regional television programme, in regional newspapers, local and regional radio, specialist railway magazines and websites, thus enabling many thousands more to see progress. Generous help and support from Skegness Water Leisure Park helped prepare the site for the visitors.

So, the Open Days proved to be a significant moment in the Railway’s history, coming 20 years after the closure of the original site at Humberston, south of Grimsby and 45 years after its pioneering line had opened. It was the first line to have been built by railway enthusiasts – a true pioneer among the hugely popular “Heritage Railway” movement. Many visitors told the LCLR’s workers that they had feared the line was dead and gone forever when it closed in 1985 – and were delighted and impressed by the progress in construction of the new line and restoration of its historic locomotives, carriages and wagons.

Now emboldened by the success of the Open Days and the enthusiasm of visitors for what has been achieved, the volunteers feel encouraged to press on with plans for operating public trains, which it’s felt, could be possible within two years.

The LCLR fleet displayed outside the shed prior to opening on Sunday 11th Sept 2005.
Left to right: Restored Ashover coach, Simplex loco "Paul" with Nocton coach and second Ashover,
Simplex loco "Wilton" with Sand Hutton coach

Another view of "Paul"and the Nocton Estates coach.

"Paul" sporting its metal body - first loco in service at Humberston.

Wooden bodied Simplex "Wilton" and Sand Hutton coach.

Star of the show - "Jurassic" in shed awaiting restoration - how long before Skegness
hears the sound of narrow gauge steam traction?

LCLR Historic Vehicle Trusts Ambulance Van and Class D bogie wagon with Simplex loco.

Second class D bogie wagon with class P ration wagon on board.

Driver Jim Smith at controls of "Major" shunts exhibits into position as visitors arrive.

View of site from entrance looking back towards the shed