© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 We'd decided to have a look at the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway, on our way home from a trip to York. As usual, I checked the railway's website for the timetable - and couldn't find one! - although a scrolling banner advised "Trains Running Weekends and School Holidays" There was no indication of anything special in the offing, either - but when we got there, we found they were having a Sutton Miniature Railway event. "Sutton 45" would mark the closure of the line in Sutton Park, near Sutton Coldfield, 45 years ago - with original locos, original stock, and original drivers too! Yes, really, and they seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as we were. Sutton Belle and Sutton Flyer were built for the Sutton Miniature Railway in 1933 and 1950 respectively, although I understand the parts, from Bassett-Lowke, were constructed much earlier. The petrol- engined No. 4 resembles a GWR railcar. There weren't any Deltics or Peaks in 1946, when it was built! Lastly, "Prince of Wales", SMR No 3, was represented by "Red Dragon" from Southport and the Windmill Farm Railway (rumour had it that the paint was still tacky...) This was our first visit to this recently extended line - and a most enjoyable visit it was too. The interesting route begins at a fine new northern terminus at Kingsway, alternates between the park with its shrubs and lake, and the altogether wilder land on the other side of the sea defence bank. It ends (at present) at the new North Sea Lane terminus, where there are extensive views across the Humber, with passing ships and Spurn Head away on the horizon. Quite a contrast from the sea front at Cleethorpes! The staff here are exceptionally friendly too - and exceptionally keen on clipping tickets! (four clips for a journey of about 3 miles round trip...) The former southern terminus at Lakeside is a fine station by any standards, though the old platform roads are effectively disused now. The railway's museum building is here too, home (on this occasion) of the delightful "Effie" (replica of Heywoods 1875 original). Also resident were "Yvette", a 1946-built 4-4-0 (based on the LNER D49), the fine and chunky- looking "Mountaineer" from Tasmania's Bush Mill Railway, and a steam-outline i/c locomotive based on "Black 5" 5305. By the time we returned to Kingsway, lunch was overdue. We're at the seaside, so... The fish and chips, eaten whilst sitting on the promenade wall watching the shipping in the Humber, were excellent. There will definitely be a return trip. Link: Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway "Sutton Belle" at Kingsway terminus A pair of Suttons - Belle stands as Flyer arrives Sutton Belle at the through platform, Lakeside Sutton beside the Humber - North Sea Lane terminus Sutton Belle at North Sea Lane Sutton Flyer arrives at North Sea Lane Portrait of Flyer Petrol loco No. 4 at Lakeside "The delightful Effie" Yvette in the museum "Mountaineer" "Prince of Wales" at Kingsway Poster "Sutton 45" "Sutton Belle" heads away from Kingsway terminus