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Danson Park Railway Bexleyheath Kent

Discussion in 'Miniature Railways' started by lynbarn, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. lynbarn

    lynbarn New Member

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    Hi jammy Dodger do you happen to have any photos you can share on here would love to see what she looks like now.

    So this is three down and one still to find.
     
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  2. Jammy Dodger

    Jammy Dodger New Member

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    I have some before and after photos but have not worked out how to post them.
    Look at lakeshorerailroad.co.uk which is our website. Failing that my avatar shows me driving Adiela as she is called today.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
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  3. Jammy Dodger

    Jammy Dodger New Member

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    'Adiela' was originally built in 1939/1940 by Mr Bell and Mr Burgoyne, to run on the latters Crowthorne Farm Railway in Berkshire, and looked very different to as she is seen today. She was originally completed as an 0-8-0 plus tender locomotive and numbered '1003'. Upon Mr Burgoynes death, she was sold to a Mr Hammet who operated a number of railways in and around London. Now named 'Austerity', she was employed initially at East Ham, where a leading truck was very quickly added during a rebuild, making her a 2-8-0 plus tender locomotive as there were issues with derailing.

    She then ran for a very short time at another of Hammets lines, Danson Park, but was unfortunately not up to the job required for various reasons, one of which being a poor steaming riveted boiler. She was then cast aside and over time dismantled, with parts being used on other locos. Her tender was then used by another loco and is still in existence to this day.

    The dismantled 'Austerity' was eventually bought by William Jennings, who soon began rebuilding the locomotive into a 2-6-2 plus tender but never completed the rebuild. In the early 1970s Jack Wakefield and Don Proudlock bought the part re-built chassis of 'Austerity' and through 1975-76 following Jack Wakefields retirement, Don Proudlock and new business partner Michael Henderson completed the re-build, with the loco entering service as 'FCNDelM No.27' joining then Atlantic locomotive 'Mountaineer' on the Wednesday before the Bank holiday weekend of 1976, which turned out to be the busiest Wednesday of the summer season.

    From then she ran regularly up until requiring boiler repairs in the autumn of 2010. She then went away for repairs and a very heavy overhaul of her chassis, with various parts being replaced, returning to service in time for the 2014 summer season and has ran very well ever since. In 2016 she acquired a new pilot in the style of those seen on ex-Fairbourne Twinning locomotives 'Sian' and 'Katie'.

    Posted from Lakeshore Railroads website.
     
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  4. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    https://www.lakeshorerailroad.co.uk/adiela
     
  5. LC&DR

    LC&DR New Member

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    Lake Shore at Danson Park 1962.jpg

    Sorry to re-open an old topic. This is "Lake Shore" at the lake end loop at Danson Park taken by me in 1962, "Lake Shore" was at that time the regular locomotive. Livery was green. "Princess" the red engine was used much more frequently a few years previously, but there was also a 4-4-0 "Kestrel" in blue livery based upon a Irish prototype which I saw at the shed but never on a train. There were two loops at each end of the single track running line with spring operated points. Kids occasionally dropped stones into the blades. From the western loop the line continued to a long two road green corrugated iron locomotive and carriage shed. Water was obtained using a bucket dipped into the lake and into the tender using a funnel which had a fine mesh filter to stop sticklebats (we called them "Tiddlers" ) getting into the tank. There was a second running line in parallel closer to the shore which was out of use and disconnected from the loops. It was lifted some time in the 1950s, but I can remember it because I used to walk along the rails. I suspect it was an earlier line which was considered to be too close to the lake shore.
     
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  6. Derek Smith

    Derek Smith New Member

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    Princess 2.jpg There were over the years three miniature ralways in Danson Park but the most widely remembered was the one along the south shore of the lake, which opened in 1949. The main locomotives were a 4-6-2 LMS style loco built by Motor Gear and Engineering in 1946/7, and 'Lake Shore' built by Jennings for use originally at Weymouth. These were all owned by local builder and miniature railway enthusiast Ron Hammett who had a house backing on to Danson Park. The railway was 9.5" gauge and ran from the dam to a spot approximately opposite the island. There was also a smaller locomotive named Kestrel but it was not up to hauling the long trains required so only came out on high days and holidays (or when Ron fancied a drive). The railway was operated by Charlie Barbee, a local man who had experience of traction engines. It was Charlie's untimely death during the 'big freeze' winter of 1962-3 that led to the closure. Ron had been advised to seek warmer climes because of his health and with Charlie gone there was no one willing to take on the railway. The intention was for it to keep operating as Ron had just invested in a new brick and concrete loco shed at a cost of £900 (equivalent to nearly £20,000 in todays money), and he had negotiated a further lease extension on the land with the council. He offered the whole set up with both locos and a new small petrol engine loco for £3,000 to the council but they turned it down. It was then sold off with Princess and some spare track and rolling stock (probably from his long closed Sidcup Railway) going to Alan Bloom (Bressingham) for £600. The rest was sold to two retired businessmen from Plumstead who removed it to Worthing and set up Brooklands Miniature Railway. Ron moved to Bermuda and took a lot of his railway stuff with him including Kestrel, which he ran on a line he built at his home. After leaving Bressingham Princess was sold to a gent at Butterley who intended building a line there. This never materialised and I purchased the loco and the remains of the rolling stock and moved it to Bredgar. Unfortunately I fell ill and was unable to finish the restoration so the loco was purchased by a friend of mine who is rebuilding it and converting it to 10.25" gauge. Lake Shore travelled around a bit after it left Worthing but now resides in private hands in Essex. When Ron died his remaining railway locos were shipped back to the UK and Kestrel plus the other smaller locos reside at a private railway to the west of London. While he was in Bermuda Ron commissioned Severn Lamb to build a second Princess, which he named Prince, but was too long for use on the restricted curves on the Bermuda line. This also now resides with the rest of the collection at the private line. The Austerity mentioned in another post was a 'bitsa' locomotive built in a hurry as originally an 0-8-0 for Vere Burgoyne's line at Crowthorne . It was in this form that it passed to John Minks who ran it briefly at Hornchurch before it went to East Ham where it saw little service but created a lot of public disquiet because of its shrill whistle. When Ron purchased all of Mink's railways he acquired the 0-8-0 with them and set upon rebuilding it as a 2-8-0. Although it is shown on the original tender agreement with Bexley Council as the loco of choice to operate the service at Danson it is doubtful it ever did much work as Ron decided to transfer Princess from Sidcup instead. What is known is that the boiler inspector condemned the boiler as being insufficiently rivetted and the loco was put to one side and gradually dismantled until Jennings acquired the chassis. Hope this answers any questions you may have - if not please message me at dereksmith@medwaypier.co.uk and I will see what I can do to answer your questions.
     
  7. lynbarn

    lynbarn New Member

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    Thanks for the update Derek, I am glad that most of it is still about, I would be interested in keeping a tab on the rest of the collection and if any of it come up for sale I hope the 91/2 gauge group can have first go at getting to own it.
     
  8. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Is this the same loco, or the same type, as Princess that is/was at Bressingham?
     
  9. Derek Smith

    Derek Smith New Member

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    Not sure if much of it would be of interest to 9.5" group as both Princess and Lake Shore have been regauged to 10.25", and as much as I like the 9.5" gauge it is very niche meaning that the owners don't have many places they can take to locos to run compared to 10.25". The other locos that returned from Bermuda are unlikely to come on the market for many years to come - if at all - as the ownership is quite involved.
     
  10. Derek Smith

    Derek Smith New Member

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    As it says in my post, Princess was sold to Alan Bloom and became the first railway engine at Bressingham.
     
  11. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Oops! Missed the bressingham reference.
     
  12. burnham-t

    burnham-t New Member

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    Thanks very much for the extra details. The photo is exactly how I remember the line in the 1950s. Were the carriages painted a light brown, or am I imagining it?
     

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