Model railway opens for first time since Covid

By Alice Wright

A model railway at a charity in Markfield has opened its doors for the first time since Covid. Shuttlewood Clarke Foundation holds an impressive model railway at Ulverscroft Grange which is run by volunteers.

The railway was moved to its current site in 1989, after originally being built in a factory in Mountsorrel in 1977, which was owned by the charity’s founder, David Clarke.

Volunteer for 20 years, Bob Lee said: “I was just gobsmacked by it and the size of it, the technical side, I was hooked, and I’ve been coming ever since.”

During the move to The Grange, the railway was extended to 38ft in length including new junctions. It also took ten years to build the layout and to operate it again. The railway also includes a fully working 210 lever signal box.

Model railway in action

Volunteer and ex-BT engineer, Stephen Freer said: “It keeps your brain ticking over because there’s always something to think about.

“A year or two back now we were a bit short of signallers and you realise there’s an awful lot about railways that you don’t know.

“During Covid I missed it, but you find something else to do. I’ve got a model train set myself, I also repair for a model shop, so I’ve been busy.”

The model railway is currently open on Fridays 11am-3pm at Ulverscroft Grange in Markfield.

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