West Down House

West Down House

West Down House

This is a small mansion, owing it's present structural layout mainly to the Wren family.

In the evening Capt. and Mrs. Lockyer kindly opened the lovely grounds. There is an aviary, where several varieties of rare birds are kept. The great attraction however, was the model railway, on which many enjoyed the novel experience of travelling 'by train' around the grounds, fir grove and gardens. The track which runs around the grounds is 380 yards in length.

There are two locomotives. One is a replica in miniature of an English express, and the other - the latest - is a working scale model of a giant goods engine which is in use on the Chesapeake-Ohio Railway, USA. Both were built entirely by Capt. Lockyer, who even fashions each component in his workshop. He works on the models in the winter, and the American model has taken him six years to construct. It weighs 200lbs, measures over 5 feet in length, and will draw nine people. Anthracite coal is used and the engine can maintain a speed of five miles per hour.

Capt. Lockyer's latest model cost him something around £200 and the track costs about 2s a yard to lay. This railway is a marvellous example of Capt. Lockyer's engineering skill. The beautiful model engine was built entirely by himself, and took years to perfect. It develops sufficient power to draw seven or eight people. (August 1937)

West Down House railway

Captain Lockyer's railway in the 1940's at West Down House.

Train ticket

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