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Lazybeach Special

Lazybeach Special

Lazybeach Special

Lazybeach Special

Lazybeach Special

The first three wagons of the Lazybeach Special.

Lazybeach Special

The fourth wagon of the Lazybeach Special.

Lazybeach Specia guard's van

At the end of the Lazybeach Special is, of course, a guard's van.

'… a third-class carriage is a community,
while a first-class carriage is a place of wild hermits.'

G.K. Chesterton 'Smart novelists and the smart set' in Heretics (1905).

These vehicles were inspired by a brace-and-a-half of Rowland Emett illustrations (see below). Though the management, as usual, got carried away.

A fourth wagon was inspired by Penrhyn Quarry Railway worker's carriages – though, as ever, the management of Whittlecreek and Eaton St Torpid Heritage Railway cut costs. Why pay for new seats when some pews from a local chapel could be 'upcycled'?

After the fourth carriage had been built it dawned on the management that there was a not-very-close approximation to the world's first excursion train, organised by Thomas Cook on 5th July 1841 (see illustration below).

The passengers have wandered off. They may come back after they've had afternoon tea in the cafe. Only Brando is still perched on the roof.


The wagons were adapted from Binnie Engineering kits of 32mm gauge Gyn Valley Tramway four ton granite wagons, regauged to 45mm using different GVT axleboxes (also from Binnie Engineering). The couplings are LGB.

The beach huts were scratch-built from lollipop sticks. The deckchairs were once coffee stirrers and cocktail sticks. The 'pews' are from lollipop sticks and, just for variety, kebab skewers. And, just in case you were wondering, yes the 'black swan' weathervane does turn around to face into the breeze.

Inside the beach huts are batteries and a remote control sensor to power a yet-to-be-built 'rail car'. In the meantime Nellie is quite capable of operating these summer excursions.

Emett cartoon

Emett cartoon

Emett cartoon

The Rowland Emett illustrations which inspired the Lazybeach Special

Just don't ask where the rest of the inspiration came from.
It's probably not legal to put it in tins, jars or other containers.

That said, the management have a long-standing memory of someone with a row of miniature beach huts on their mantlepiece…

Thomas Cook's first excursion

An imaginative reconstruction of the pioneering railway excursion from Leicester to Loughborough organised by Thomas Cook (1808–1892) in 1841. This did not inspire the fourth coach. Though the idea of a brass band behind the loco is rather tempting… But the likely repertoire of Wesleyan hymns is distinctly less tempting.

Thomas Cook's earliest excursions were to promote the temperance movement, although the company soon became synonymous with package holidays. After the company acquired the notoriously intemperate Club 18–30 in 1998 Cook's mortal remains in Leicester's Welford Road cemetery entered the Guinness Book of Records as the most-frequently and fastest-rotating corpse-in-a-grave.

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Text and previously unpublished images copyright Bob Trubshaw 2018–2019