For this week’s trip into the archives we continue the recent theme of island transport with a picture contributed by reader John Watson showing the miniature railway which once ran behind the old pavilion at Ettrick Bay.
The railway started running, on a circular track which included a tunnel, in June 1936, just four months before the last Bute tram services ran to and from the beach - the railway presumably being seen as an added attraction to persuade visitors to go to Ettrick Bay even without the excitement of a trip on a tram - though the outbreak of the Second World War and the resulting impact on tourism on the island led to the attraction being closed and dismantled in 1943. R
emarkably, though the railway itself was fairly short-lived, the engine, named Samson, survives, and can still be seen in the Strumpshaw Steam Museum in Norfolk.
The only person in the picture John is able to name is a John MacPhail, the gentleman in the flat cap: if you recognise any family members among the other faces, we’d love to hear from you!