Just received a post card I purchased on eBay. The picture on the card conjures up very special memories for me from my childhood. Like most young boys at that time I was mad on steam engines. My Grandfather was an engine driver bases at Toton goods yard near Nottingham and whenever possible I would persuade him to take me to where he worked and to see all the engines lined up in the sheds or shunting in the yard.
Whenever we went to the seaside the first thing I wanted to ride on was the Peter Pan railway and to be honest I think if they had let me I would have rode on them all day. Each miniature steam engine was brightly paint red, blue, pink or green and each engine took a maximum of four passengers. What was really great about the Peter Pan Railway was you could go on it and sit in the driver’s seat without an adult present. In our young innocent minds we believed that we were driving them all by ourselves, whilst in reality they were being controlled by the man in the hut who also took the money. There was a bright silver bell to ring and we weaved around flower beds through a tunnel whilst we steered the little engine with a steering wheel, or so we imagined.
I was always taken on holiday either by aunts and uncles or my grandparents as a child. They all worked on the railways so could afford to travel around our coast, north, south east and west and luckily there seemed to be a PPR in every resort around the country when I was growing up. I recall I wondered off one day and a frantic search was started but they needn’t have worried because they guessed where I might have been, I was found standing watching my favourite red engine weaving its way around the tracks
The Peter Pan Railway in the post card was at Butlins Skegness. The PPR in Skegness was next door to the model yacht pond (more or less where the River Rapid ride is today, just before you enter Bottons Pleasure Beach). Later I recall they replaced the Peter Pan engines with sport cars but they never had the same appeal for me.
You could keep your Dodgem cars and your big wheel I was happiest riding the Peter Pan Railway.
Heres a recent youtube clip of the familiar Peter Pan Railway in action
I do hope other readers have happy memories of the PPR wherever you found it, if so please share them.