Hove seafront

Photo:"All aboard" . Click on photo to open large image in new window.

"All aboard" . Click on photo to open large image in new window.

From the private collection of Tony Drury

Photo:View of number one Western Lawns looking west from the Battery . Click on photo to open large image in new window.

View of number one Western Lawns looking west from the Battery . Click on photo to open large image in new window.

From the private collection of Tony Drury

Photo:Passengers riding on the small train, the Coastguard  signal tower can be seen in the background.. Click on photo to open large image in new window.

Passengers riding on the small train, the Coastguard signal tower can be seen in the background.. Click on photo to open large image in new window.

From the private collection of Tony Drury

Western Lawns Miniature Railway

By Tony Drury

A summer attraction

From July 1928 until the start of the Second World War a miniature steam railway was operated for public rides on Hove seafront during the summer months. The small train and its components were built by Mr F Russell Hutchinson of Surbiton and was installed along the southern edge of number one Western Lawns, just west of the RNR Battery and Coastguard station.

Opened by the Mayor

The ride was opened by the Mayor of Hove, Councillor AB Wales, and he had the honour of driving the train on its first official run. The small railway had two locomotives, the main engine was named "Pacific" and the stand-by engine was named "Drummond", it operated on a single straight track, returning to the start point in reverse.

Raised funds for charity

The proceeds from public runs were donated to the Southern Railway Servants' Orphanage, a railway charity, and many local railwaymen lent a hand in the operation and maintenance of the equipment. The last run took place on  Saturday September 2nd 1939; Britain and France declare war on Germany the following day. The railway never reopened after the war, the area on which it ran is still there today, a wide strip of shrubs marks the route of the ride.

This page was added on 08/09/2011.

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