Warley Model Railway Club
Railway modelling in most scales and gauges
Warley Model Railway Club, Unit 1F Pearsall Drive, Oldbury, West Midlands, B69 2RA
Registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) Charity No: 1153792
By Mac Strong
A simple roundy-
A history of Felldown.
Lord Jeremy (‘Jerry’) Bilt, a Victorian era industrial tycoon of Dutch extract (Van der Bilt) spent part of his fortune building a country house fit for his status. He employed an architect to design him a suitable dwelling and that man came up with a house in the form of a ‘castle’. When his lordship was younger he had spent many hours walking the Fells and Downs of England so he called his estate and home ‘Felldown’.
It was difficult to transport materials to the site by road, and the pile of materials at the bottom of the hill grew so much the local comics referred to the build as ‘Castle Felldown’. A narrow gauge railway was put in place to get the materials to the site. This proved a useful addition and having read about Sir Arthur Heywoods’ estate railway he decided to keep the railway in place as his estate railway when the house was finished.
In the Second World War it was requisitioned for 'secret work', when once again the railway proved its worth for moving materials onto site. The house was eventually returned to the family but they were feeling the pinch and decided to open the house to the public. This created a demand for rides on the railway so with a little realignment, removal of unused sidings etc, the railway became part of the visitor experience, allowing the visitors vehicles to be kept in a car park out of sight of the house with visitors being transported by the railway from the car park to the house.
For more information contact Mac Strong
|Gallery-The Early Years|
|Gallery - After Harry Mitchell|
|Gallery - Pearsall Drive|