All aboard the Wallington train
A twelve metre long play train, complete with a climbing wall, slide, fireman’s pole and driving cab, has now arrived in the West Woods.
Inspiration for the train came from a photograph in a Trevelyan family album that shows the opening of the Great Wallington Railway in 1934. The railway was built by Geoffrey Trevelyan, son of Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan who gifted Wallington to the National Trust in the 1950s, and two of his friends.
Robin Dower, Grandson of Sir Charles and Geoffrey's nephew, has fond memories of the Great Wallington Railway:
'Geoffrey and his friends persuaded Sir Charles to let them build the Great Wallington Railway in the West Wood. They formed the timber track on sleepers with a converted coal bogie as a chariot which sped down 100 yards of steep bank, rattled across a bridge and over a burn up the other side to come to rest at the foot of a large tree. It survived until after the War. Some bits of track were replaced but I recall the pretty terrifying experience of being a rider on its last run in about 1948; the track was becoming wobbly with rot and there were no brakes.'
Thankfully the new Great Wallington Railway is a sturdier and safer affair, having been created by the play company Flights of Fantasy exclusively for Wallington and well tested by Geoffrey's descendents.
Make sure you climb aboard next time you visit Wallington.