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Did you ever take a pedal car ride around Lewis's Miniature Roof-top Roadway? I did, it was magical. Intended primarily as a children's road safety aid it was also good at drawing customers to the store, it had traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, junctions, round-abouts etc. There was no charge but usually a long queue. The cars were the "Rolls Royce" of pedal cars wonderfully made by disabled coal miners in a South Wales factory, the Austin J40's, as they were called, were well equipped with lights, brakes, etc, (Google Austin Pedal Car for more info') you can still get one for about £3500 (I've seen them up to £9500).
I was gutted when Lewis's closed, I found it hard to believe such an iconic store could be trading normally one day and closed for good the next; the closure was reported on the Midlands News, staff were working normally one day and turned up for work the next only to find they were locked out.
Memoirs of an HLSS Anorak
Hi Folks, it's confession time - My Name's Peg and I'm a Train Spotter, or at least I was until just before my 15th birthday. During my period of being active you would find me regularly doing my homework on Snow Hill Station's platform 7. This wasn't a special journey for me it was a way of breaking up my journey home from school, which involved two buses, first one from the top of Hockley Hill into the city, getting off at the top of Snow Hill. If I was in funds I'd call into the Wimpy Bar and treat my self to a burger and coffee before continuing on to the Station where I would set-up camp on a bench on platform 7 (not far from the metal labeling machine and the BSA gun display cabinet.) The days of steam were rapidly coming to an end (1961) but if you were fortunate you could still catch a glimpse of a Castle, Hall or Manor class steam loco. I'd stay at the station until 7.00 pm to see what was hauling the 7.00 pm London to Glasgow Pullman before setting off for my second bus to home. In the latter days the loco at the head of the Pullman Train was most likely to be a British Rail Class 52 Diesel (The Western Class), such as Western Monarch, Western Huntsman and the like, which had now become the Western Region's Flagship loco fleet hauling the prestigious trains of the day.
If I was fortunate I would not have spotted the loco before, but if I had the visit had largely been a waste of time. Ah well, that's life!
Peg. PS for Anoraks, retired and otherwise: the loco in Peg's thought is Western Huntsman No. D1024, just about to return holidaymakers from Locking Road Station, Weston-Super-Mare to Birmingham Snow Hill, sometime in August 1964.