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Scalefour North 2011

Around the Show

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© All photos are copyright and may not be reproduced without permission.
Photos by Philip Hall.

In the 1880s, Sir J.C.Robinson, the local landowner was keen to develop the Lee Bitten hamlet in to a seaside resort to rival Bournemouth.  A light railway was built from the terminus, adjacent to the pier, connecting with the LSWR Gosport branch at Fort Brockhurst.  The line opened in 1894 but the resort was never popular with the tourists and the line became uneconomic.  Passenger services ended in early 1931 with the line finally closing in 1935.  The track was lifted about 1939 but the station buildings still survive, albeit modified, as an amusement arcade, restaurant and a couple of shops.

The original layout dates from 1979 but was substantially rebuilt and extended by the current owners, East Hampshire Area Group of the S4 Society, during the 1990s.  The original station buildings, modelled by Colin Haywood, were retained in the rebuilding.

The layout is presented at the time of Grouping allowing a mixture of LSWR and SR rolling stock.   Terriers and ex LBSCR class D1 locomotives provide the principal motive power with coal wagons representative of local merchants.  Passengers travel in pull push stock that was recycled from the ineffective LSWR railmotors.  Most stock is fitted with Dingham couplings.