I'm new here and wondered if this would be the place to enquire about the Radwell Minature Railway
. This was a 10 1/4" line built around 1920 by WJ Bassett-Lowke's partner Harry Franklin at Radwell, a small village about 5 miles north of Bedford, UK.
This very ambitious line is referred to in various B-L publications and ran alongside the Midland main line in a large field backing on to Franklin's cottage. It had about 3/4 mile of track, an impressive girder bridge, a corrugated iron tunnel and a proper station complete with footbridge and signalling.
Most references say the line was taken up during the war, but I know that this is wrong because I saw it, derelict but complete, in about 1960-62. Living a few villages away I had just begun my local exploring phase when I noticed this long low shed, partly collapsed, behind a road side hedge. Inside I was amazed to find rails and paced out the entire line through the undergrowth, ending at a securely locked shed in the station yard.
Peering through the mildewed windows I could just make out the outline of a Highland looking 4-4-0, complete with a louvred chimney. I summoned up the courage to approach the front of the cottage to ask for permission to see inside the shed, but the old gentleman who came to the door (who I now presume to have been Franklin himself) told me to clear off in no uncertain manner!
Long and hard I tried to persuade my father to accompany me there, but when eventally we did return the site was occupied by a housing estate.
Does anyone know what became of the equipment, and in particular the little 4-4-0, said by B-L to have been called 'Highland Mary'? There are a couple of pictures in the Felmersham Village history site
. (Look toward the bottom of the page).