Screen Archive South East is a public sector moving image archive serving the South East of England. The archive's collections of magic lantern slides, films, videos and associated materials capture the many varied aspects of life, work and creativity from the early days of screen history to the present day and serve as a rich and invaluable historical resource.
This film is part of Free
Beech Hurst Miniature Railway Under Construction
Join these ardent amateur navvies as they attempt to double the size of the Beech Hurst Miniature Railway
From the collection of:
It's 1974 and volunteers of the Beech Hurst Miniature Railway in Haywards Heath become modern-day navvies as they construct a 50 yard tunnel using the cut-and-cover method. This expands the railway's route to about 800 yards in total. Meanwhile, the work of the railway goes on - ferrying happy passengers through gardens and bowling greens, using an assortment of locomotives of both 5 and 3.5 inch gauge.
The Beech Hurst Miniature Railway began operations soon after Easter Saturday 1954, following a successful partnership with the then Cuckfield Urban District Council, who had been given the house and grounds at Beech Hurst for development into a recreation ground for the local community. Three miniature railways societies combined to construct the railway which would run alongside other amenities like bowling greens and public gardens. This film shows the railway's expansion following the construction of a 170 yard long tunnel built, as one can see, entirely with volunteer effort. The current fare for one lap around the entire circuit is £1.