70. LION (1962) film no: 3032

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Featuring the locomotive Lion, this brief film was made on an unidentified stretch of line, probably in Hertfordshire.

Lion is first seen on the track in steam passing under an overbridge. It then recedes from the camera passing an overgrown station platform. It halts by a signal box, and there are close ups of details including the nameplate, worksplate (inscribed Todd, Kitson & Laird, Engineers, Leeds), a view over firebox towards chimney, and the engine crew in cab. The driver steps down and oils round, and the front buffer beam with horsehair buffers can be seen. Finally, the signal is raised, and the engine sets off.

Lion was one of two 0-4-2 'luggage', ie goods, locomotives built in Leeds in 1838 for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, (L&MR No.57), and withdrawn from service c.1858. It was sold as a stationery pumping engine to Mersey Docks where it was rediscovered 70 years later. It was rebuilt by the LMS Railway at Crewe Works in readiness for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway Centenary celebrations due to be held in 1930. With its boiler dating back to c.1845, it is the second oldest working steam locomotive in the world and was also featured in the film, Titfield Thunderbolt (1952).

Lion is in the custody of Merseyside Museums and actively participated in the L&MR 150 celebrations in 1980. After spending some years in Manchester at the time of writing it has recently been transferred back to Liverpool where it will be displayed in the new Museum of Liverpool.


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