Plowmans garden centre railways close in Dorset

THE 7¼in-gauge line at Plowmans Garden Centre, Ferndown, Dorset has had to cease operations.

The garden centre is one of nine that has closed after the owning group went into administration on March 27.

There were two railways here. The original was Plowmans Railway, with two Roanoke petrol locos.

The West Parley MES operated the railway at Plowmans Garden Centre until recently. GNR 4-4-2 No. 284, built by Tom Snoxell c1955, is seen in operation on May 29, 2017. It also ran for many years on the Thames Ditton Miniature Railway, Surrey, where it was numbered 251. In the background is a 6wPH, built by WPMES member Phil Cutler. PETER NICHOLSON

It ran for many years, but only during the Christmas period, and totally within a decorated polytunnel.

The other, an extensive outdoor track, was laid when the Dobwalls Collection of locos was acquired.

Following the sale of the collection to Australia the line has been operated by the West Parley & District Model Engineering Society.

Unless a new owner is found for the garden centre the railway will have to be relocated.

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