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Model locomotive joins the real Lion on display

12 December 2013 by Sam

man next to train model in museum display

David Cook with his father Bert’s model of Lion locomotive

Sharon Brown, Curator of Land Transport and Industry at the Museum of Liverpool, has news of a new addition to the displays:

Lion locomotive is one of our most important objects, and certainly one of the most popular in our collections. Built in 1838 to run on the recently opened Liverpool and Manchester Railway, Lion was taken out of service in 1857 but has a fascinating history and is an important survivor from the early railway age.

Because of her interesting history and distinctive style Lion has always been a popular subject for railway modellers. When Lion went on display in The Great Port gallery in 2011 we searched for a model to display but couldn’t locate one – or one that anyone was willing to part with anyway!

In August this year we were approached by David Cook whose father Bert had made a model of Lion in the early 1980s. Some time after Bert had passed away David found the model in a crate. Also tucked away in the crate was a typed postcard recording that the ‘real’ Lion was displayed at Liverpool Museum (the former name of World Museum, where Lion was originally displayed). Mr Cook tracked us down and offered the model to us for display.

The photographs that he sent us showed a well-made, attractive model of Lion but when Mr Cook delivered the model in October we were overwhelmed by how beautiful and detailed it was.

Bert had made many models throughout his life including steam locomotives, traction engines and a diesel powered road roller. He was a member of the St Albans Model Engineering Society who ran their live steam models on a permanent track in Chipperfield.

The model is now on display opposite Lion in The Great Port gallery and looks superb. Mr Cook recently came back to see it with this sons and said his Dad would have been “chuffed to bits” to see ‘his’ Lion in such close proximity to ‘the real thing’!”

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