I paid my first visit to Cadeby in
October 1968, in the company of four
school friends. We were heading for
the pits and scrapyards of South
Wales, by a fairly circuitous route.
Later in the day, we would check out
Chasewater, Bridgnorth and the
Dowty RPS at Ashchurch. But first -
the Rev. Teddy Boston at Cadeby
rectory in Leicestershire. We had left home, in North
Yorkshire, early that morning - it was about 9am
when we called, unannounced. "Could we have a
look at your railway please?".
"Make yourselves at home - I've just got to conduct a
quick service - I'll be with you in a short while" (or
words to that effect). And he was - still in cassock,
which seemed to make a good wiper for the rain-
covered seat of the Motor-Rail which was
cranked into action. "Jump into that v-skip and
come for a ride"
We were treated really well - a guided tour of
the model railway (it was the current "Railway
of the Month" in the Railway Modeller), then tea
and advice re. our later visits - "ask for Ken
Vincent at Ashchurch".
I paid three or four more visits over the next 10 years - then no
more. Then in 1986, sadly, Teddy died - the Rev. W Awdry's "fat
clergyman" of Thomas the Tank Engine fame was no more.
Fortunately for the railway and the enthusiast world, an
arrangement with Teddy's widow Audrey meant
that the railway would continue, operated by
the army of volunteers who had "helped" over
the years. Then recently announcements
appeared in the magazines that the house was
to be sold and the railway closed to the public.
A final open weekend would be held in May
2005 - the last "normal" operating day would be
Saturday 9th April. I thought perhaps it was
time for one last visit.
As usual for these events, Pixie (Bagnall 2090 of 1919)
was in steam, operating trips along the line with the
two items of passenger stock - low-sided open wagons
fitted with slat seating! I'm not convinced they are
sprung either... A trip actually consists of two runs out
and back - no running round, for there are no loops -
Pixie would haul the train out and propel it back again.
A full trip, out and back once, takes a little over a
minute and a half, as will be seen from the video clip
So we had our ride, took some photos,
had a look at the model railway (not
operating to the same extent as I'd
seen previously), had a cup of tea and
sticky cake, then left. Great fun!
Lineside action - a final view of the Cadeby Light
A ride along the line
Out and back - the full length of the line - just
over a minute and a half...