Model pair take crowd for a ride in Bulkington

This Is Wiltshire: Thelma Boulton, centre, and husband Neville, right, with fellow enthusiasts Claire and Mick Richardson in their garden (TP48661) By TrevOr Porter Thelma Boulton, centre, and husband Neville, right, with fellow enthusiasts Claire and Mick Richardson in their garden (TP48661) By TrevOr Porter

Former aircraft engineer Neville Boulton and wife Thelma have found a model way of entertaining youngsters – trips on a miniature railway.

The retired jumbo jet flight engineer has turned his skills to building working scale engines and rolling stock to run around the garden of his home in Bulkington.

Each Easter Bank Holiday Monday the couple and fellow enthusiasts stage a running day on the line they dub Great Bulkington Railway. Steam and electric powered engines run on a 1,000 ft line, which includes a 40ft tunnel.

Mr Boulton said “It was a beautiful warm sunny day and crowds flocked into the garden. Just after 1pm the first visitors started to arrive and by 3pm there were long queues for the trains.”

Drivers David Wood (electric Class 20), Mick Richardson (Polly) and David Clarke (GWR tank loco) all worked hard, backed up by catering crew Mike and Claire Richardson.

“Altogether we carried over 170 passengers and sold loads of drinks and cakes at the catering halt,” said Mr Boulton.

All year the couple and fellow members of the West Wiltshire Society of Model Makers put on rides at events to raise money for charities.

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