A Letter from Nantwich

  September 2023 (original version written in April 2012)  

Take a trip round the church with the train

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NANTWICH Methodist Church Centre holds an important place in Methodism.

   Apart from being the last Methodist Church in town, its former Minister, the Rev Malcolm G. Lorimer, was the Superintendent of the Cheshire South Circuit of the Chester and Stoke-on-Trent District of the Methodist Church.

   The Hospital Street church is one of 37 in the Cheshire South Methodist Circuit.

   See this page for more details of local churches of all denominations.


One-third scale engine pulls miniature carriages

 

NANTWICH Methodist Church Centre, in Hospital Street, used to be the schoolrooms of the church which stood across the street.

   The church is now a development of apartments for elderly residents with some sold and the rest on the market with a nearby estate agent. (See here).

   One thing that the building has become known for  in recent years is a scale-model narrow gauge railway at the side of the church which now revels in the title "The Church with the Train".

    When the church centre acquired the title, it was

  

 

decided that they should have their own engine and carriages. Before then, the train that was run was one belonging to Paul Durant.

    A new engine was purchased, powered by two 12-volt batteries, with the engine driver controlling the speed with a small hand switch. But that was superseded in the summer of 2013 by another train owned by Paul - a

one-third scale model of  a train made by Kerr Stuart in Stoke-on-Trent.

      The nameplate on the side of the new engine was placed there with much pride by Paul. The engine is

 

named H.G.Pattman after his grandfather.

   The engine is powered by anthracite beads, which look like lumps of small-scale coal, bought from a Stoke-on-Trent source.

   The free-rides railway which provides fun for children of all ages - that is, adults can ride too! - began in 2007.

   It runs most Saturday mornings (depending on the weather) while the church centre is open for "Drop 'n' Shop" - a facility allowing parents to leave their children in good hands enjoying activities while they go shopping.    See here for more details.

Group hit target

- and more

A GROUP of church members, under the name of Friends of Nantwich Signal Box, launched an appeal to raise 5,000 to enable them to buy the items to make a new coach for the train which would be able to carry a wheelchair.

   The new carriage, which can be adapted to be an ordinary carriage, is now used on the train.

   The group raised more funds  than they needed for the carriage and the excess was shared between:

 

o Contingency for the project to protect against price fluctuations;

 

o Maintenace of the railway track and rolling stock;

 

o The construction of a replica signal box (the work on which has begun in the area where there will be an extension of the track to around double its current length); and

 

o Methodist Church funds.

 

 

The "station's" name on a safety barrier. "Drop 'n' Shop" is the monthly Saturday morning facility for parents to leave their children in good hands while they go shopping.

  

 

Getting steam up . . . the train is all set for customers to take a ride.

   The wheelchair coach is the blue-sided one behind the engine. In this image the centre section, which is removed to enable a passenger's wheelchair to be carried, remains in place, giving extra seats.

   Note the narrow gap between the high wall and one of the entrance doors to the church. For that reason, a guard rides on the train keeping an eye on the passengers preventing anyone coming into contact with the bricks.    

 

 

 

Left: Paul Durant who provided the trains, and Richard Calder who did the autocad computer drawings for the wheelchair coach and helped with the brakes and more.

 

 

 

Images in this feature are by

Eddie George

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wheelchair coach in the storage shed before it is attached to the train.

 

Passengers who use a wheelchair will propel their own on to the  carriage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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