Review – Firsby To Spilsby

Great Northern Railway Society Newsletter

Review by Adam Cartwright

The Lincolnshire Wolds Railway Society has been producing short booklets for a few years now – its website currently lists 9 books.

Opened in 1855 the Horncastle branch was highly profitable for many years, helped by the development of Woodhall Spa as a leisure resort; the owning company remained independent until 1923. A slow decline set in and the branch closed to passenger traffic in 1954 though it remained open to goods until 1971, six months after the closure of many East Lincs lines. The main line connection at Woodhall Junction was unusual in that trains had to reverse in order to the bay platform which had no run round facilities. Sadly, little of the old branch still remains; the stations at Horncastle and Woodhall Spa having been demolished. The main buildings at Woodhall junction still stand, being the home of GNRS member Alan Stennett.

First impressions of the book are excellent; it is well designed and produced and the content doesn’t   disappoint either. The highly readable text is basically a précis and update of the same author’s Oakwood Press book on the Horncastle branch published almost 30 years ago. It is supported by excellent photographs, some in colour and many of which are new to me. It is remarkable how much has been packed into such a short book, considering that a small number of photos have been printed over two pages. That is not a criticism, by the way – the images in question are high quality and well worth enlargement. I could not find any errors beyond a few minor grammatical issues.

All in all a highly professional introduction to the Horncastle branch and great value too. I only wish other current publishers would give so much care and attention to publishing standards. I will definitely be buying other books from LWRS – especially because it helps to extend their line south to Louth.

Having both books in my collection I suggest that the serious historian still needs the Oakwood Press volume which goes into much greater detail about the process by which the Horncastle company was formed and obtained its Act of Parliament. The LWRS publication is presumably aimed more at the ‘casual’ visitor to LWR who needs a somewhat ‘lighter’ read. As such it is an excellent publication: in particular the printing by a local (Louth) company is first class. A big “well done” to the LWRS – it just shows what can be achieved! Ed



  • Volunteer’s Day, Sunday 25th March

    Volunteer’s Day, Sunday 25th March

    Then come along to our Volunteer’s Day on Sunday 25th March and see what we do! Not many people realise that the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway is staffed entirely by volunteers. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to meet new people from all walks of life and gain new skills. There is a …Read More »
  • Mother’s Day Special

    Mother’s Day Special

  • Join us for breakfast on New Year’s Day!

    Join us for breakfast on New Year’s Day!

    Steam trains will be running on Monday 1st January at the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway and visitors can start the day with a delicious Full-English breakfast for only £5 including a drink of your choice at Ludborough station’s popular Steaming Kettle Buffet. Trains run hourly from 10.45am to 2.45 pm and …Read More »
  • Guy Fawkes Night Spectacular!

    Guy Fawkes Night Spectacular!

    Sunday 5th November at Ludborough Station! · Meet Guy Fawkes on the train and discover how he plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliament · Steam trains running hourly from 2.45 to 5.45pm · Laser light show at 7pm in the front parking field after the last train returns …Read More »
  • Jacket Potato Day – Sunday 8th October

    Jacket Potato Day – Sunday 8th October

    Come and enjoy a delicious Jacket Potato in our popular Steaming Kettle Buffet at Ludbrough station on Sunday 8th October. Choice of fillings: Tuna, Cheese or Baked Beans with salad garnish. £4.50, not including drinks. Steam trains running hourly from 10.45am to 3.45pm.Read More »
  • All set for the second day!

    All set for the second day!

    Our 1940s Weekend continues on Sunday 3rd September! Step back in time at our biggest event of the year!   1940s music with singer Marlaina Ruby and ‘Banjo Billy’  performing throughout the day at Ludborough events field and singer ‘Airborne Angel’ at North Thoresby – 2pm at the New Inn. Mock-battle by …Read More »
  • Railway Film Show at Fulstow

    Railway Film Show at Fulstow

    On Saturday 9th September there will be a special showing of ‘Britain on Film – Railways‘, a major new collection of rare archive film charting the history of the UK’s railways at Fulstow Village Hall. Starting at 6.30pm, entry is £5 which includes a light buffet. Advance tickets are available at Ludborough …Read More »
  • Book now for Santa!

    Book now for Santa!

    Our ‘Santa Special’ trains are now filling up fast. Some tickets are still available for Sat 9th, Sun 10th and Sat 16th December. Each child will receive a specially chosen gift from Santa and grown-ups are served mulled wine and mince pies. Prices are £11.00 for children aged 12 and …Read More »
  • Bank Holiday Weekend Special

    Bank Holiday Weekend Special

    The Lincolnshire Wolds Railway will be running steam trains this coming Bank Holiday Weekend and there will be a classic and vintage car show at Ludborough station. It’s a great place to take the family and experience the bygone age of steam travel.  As well as riding on our heritage …Read More »
  • 1940s Weekend

    1940s Weekend

    Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd September 2017 Step back in time at our biggest event of the year! Forties music, song and dance Re-enactors Vintage vehicles Hot food and refreshments Lancaster flypast on Sunday (subject to operational conditions) and much more! Trains running hourly 10.45am – 4.45pm each dayRead More »
  • Summer Special

    Summer Special

    Sunday 30th July 2017 Pimm’s & Canapés served to you on the 1.45pm train A glass of Pimm’s or soft drink and a selection of sweet & savoury canapés Adults £10. Children £7 (including picnic box). Advance booking only. For tickets email: More »
  • Father’s Day special

    Father’s Day special

    Treat dad to a ride on a real steam train and a delicious roast chicken lunch in our station buffet on Sunday 18th June. Book your table now at More »
  • Spiritual Medium Night

    Spiritual Medium Night

    The Lincolnshire Wolds Railway will be holding an evening with Grimsby Spiritual Medium Paul Humphries in the marquee at Ludborough station on Saturday 20th May at 6.30pm. Tickets must be booked in advance and are £10, which includes tea, coffee and light supper. Call 07940719209 or email More »
  • Veteran Car Event at Ludborough

    Veteran Car Event at Ludborough

    An amazing range of cars dating from the early 1900s will be on show at the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway on Sunday 14th May when members of the Veteran Car Club visit Ludborough station during a weekend tour of North Lincolnshire. The vehicles will be on display in the parking field …Read More »
  • Easter Bonnet Winner

    Easter Bonnet Winner

    Congratulations to four year old Arianna Dulieu who was the winner of the LWR Easter Bonnet Competition on Easter Monday and thank you to everyone else who took part!Read More »
  • Family Fun Weekend

    Family Fun Weekend

    Continues on Bank Holiday Monday 1st May Three engines in steam including our guest loco ‘Wissington’ Traditional Punch & Judy Shows at 11am and 2pm ‘Earth Bound Misfits’ performing bubblelogy Face Painting Falconry Display Morris Dancers Barbecue Marquee with Craft Stalls including bath bombs/soaps, Crafting paper books, bee keepers stall, cake stall, wood …Read More »
  • All aboard the Fish & Chip special!

    All aboard the Fish & Chip special!

    Everyone knows that Grimsby fish & chips are the best in the world and this summer the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway is offering passengers the chance to enjoy a traditional Grimsby fish and chip supper, served with a glass of wine, bottle of beer or soft drink on board its special …Read More »
  • Steampunk Weekend

    Steampunk Weekend

    Sunday 28th and Bank Holiday Monday 29th May Come and experience  our Steampunk weekend under the event name of “Nanty Narkin”, which is Victorian slang meaning “great fun”. Victorian vagabonds will be doing pop up performances during both days Traditional Punch and Judy shows 11:30-14:30 Raptor Falconry flying displays 11:00- …Read More »
  • Easter Eggstravaganza

    Easter Eggstravaganza

    Saturday 15th, Sunday 16th and Monday 17th April. Steam trains running hourly from 10.45am to 3.45pm each day. Family ticket for two adults and up to four children only £18. Lots to do over the Easter weekend! Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday. Join in the fun and see how many …Read More »
  • Ain’t she sweet!

    Ain’t she sweet!

    The guest loco at the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway 2017 ‘Spring Steam-up’ is ex-sugar factory engine Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 Saddle Tank ‘Wissington’, which will be appearing at Ludborough courtesy of the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway Society. Wissington will be operating at our Steampunk-themed event on Sunday 28th May and Bank …Read More »

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