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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 13 August 2007

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WLLR On The Right Track For A Fantastic Future!

WHO would have guess that 6 schoolboys playing with an old locomotive back in 1967 would lead to what is now regarded as one of the best examples of small scale family tourist attractions in West Lancashire.

The hope is that now, according to West Lancs. Council, that this small scale venture will over the next few years become a major part of the development of Tourism for the region. The West Lancashire Light Railway that runs along the old Henry Alty clay pit, ran its annual Gala Weekend on 11 August and 12 August 2007 to celebrate its success over the last 40 years.

One of the original 6 told me that:- “I remember the first loco was a diesel that we got for £25. I do not think at that stage we would have known what it would develop into. Thankfully one of the group, Jonathan had a dad, Harry, who was one of the directors at Alty’s Brickworks and he gave us permission to lay some track down and put our engine on. I do not know if he realised that 40 years on we would still be running our beloved locos.”

The event at the site not only had all the WLLR locos running, but also at had a guest loco, that has recently been built in the UK, by Hunslet Steam, called 'Jack Lane'.

Also attending was the Chairman of West Lancashire District Council, Cllr Bill Cropper who before that day never visited the railway. “I am extremely impressed with this site. It has not only a fantastic family atmosphere, but is so welcoming to all who venture in to see the locomotives on display. It is also very rewarding to see these unusual industrial locomotives still running and a tribute to the countries history. We will do our best to help this group to develop their ideas.”

Happy Birthday WLLR, and good luck for the years to come.

To find out more visit the railways website  or log onto our Mersey Reporter advert page.

Click here for exclusive video footage of our interview with  West Lancashire District Council, Cllr Bill Cropper. (For low download speeds and mobile phones use this link.)

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Click here to see how to turn a train around.

Past reports link:- Date:- 14 Jul 2006 Date:- 11 Dec 2006

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