One of the best kept secrets in Leeds has celebrated its 70th anniversary this year.
West Riding Small Locomotive Society (WRSLS), off Bradford Road, Tingley, has been making scale replica models of some of the most famous trains that have ever graced the UK's rail network since the end of the Second World War, Yorkshire Evening Post reports. Now, the group celebrated its anniversary in style with an annual open event. It demonstrates the longevity and popularity that model railways still have across the country.
WRSLS' site was first bought for a penny in 1945 and members created the first circular track in October 1949. The original is still used and has been delighting visitors ever since. Nowadays, the site is used for birthday parties and weddings and remains to be one of the hidden gems that the city of Leeds has to offer.
The past weekend's (June 8th and 9th) saw the society put up a marquee, tombola, stalls, train displays and a cafe. Of course there was the showpiece event where people could ride the passenger locomotives and all for a price of just £2.50.
Stuart Merton, the club's secretary and a retired prison governor, told the news provider: "The secret here is, yes it’s a locomotive society, but there’s a sense of belonging and friendship for the people that come, while we do try to do things for schools and the community as there is an educational element."
Yorkshire has a rich history of railways with nearby York being home to the National Railway Museum. The free-to-enter site is a big hit with visitors from all over the UK and even further afield with a range of classic steam and locomotives on display.
The Scarborough Spa Express is also a huge favourite. The steam engine travels between the likes of York, Wakefield and Castleford before making its way out to the coast. It remains to be popular with railway fanatics, selling out all tickets on a regular basis.