Statfold Barn Find
AS A RAILWAY ENTHUSIAST, I HAD for some years heard of the Statfold Barn Railway near Tamworth.
The railway at Statfold Barn is open to the public three times a year and you can only visit by invitation. Full details on visiting can be found at: www.statfoldbarnrailway.co.uk
An invitation costs £10 and must be bought in advance. A friend and I went in September and everything I had heard about the place had been understated.
Wall-to-wall narrow gauge locomotives, trains, workshops, museum and a 3 mile railway you could ride on all day - wonderful. Seventeen years ago, Graham and Carol Lee built a 2ft gauge railway around the ornamental lake in their landscaped garden. They also built a period looking engine shed to go with it.
Graham’s engineering business had acquired the Hunslett Engine Co. which in turn had acquired a number of firms connected with the building of standard gauge and narrow gauge locomotives. Graham traced and acquired the last locomotive the company had made in 1971, to a sugar mill in Indonesia. From that grew the wonderful working collection he has today.
There are a number of very interesting motor vehicles there as well. On the railway side, there are many examples of internal combustion-engine locomotives and light rail track ins pection vehicles. In one shed was a Land Rover converted to run on the railway.
There were two very derelict looking early commercial vehicles, one of which was a Mack Bulldog, the second had Cary on the radiator, a make of which I have never heard. This was still on solid tyres. Next door, a restored 1930’s Mack truck. There was a 1920’s Godfredson lorry being restored. Two Ford Mustangs and a TVR Tuscan parked alongside some wonderful big American Trucks.
There were, I think, some 12 locomotives in steam and hauling trains, including a goods train. In the Round House were some of the unrestored locomotives awaiting their turn in the fully equipped workshops.
If you think you have trouble with your car restorations, just have a look at these! Not only do they restore their own locomotives but they take in work from outside including boiler and firebox rebuilding. A fascinating day.