Lion and Old Locomotive Committee

One of LBSC’s bits of genius was to arrange his series on the Titfield Thunderbolt to coincide with the movie of the same name. He was at the peak of his powers at that time, before his bust-up with Model Engineer magazine robbed model engineers of some possibly great designs. Titfield Thunderbolt was based on the Lion of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway and has proven popular ever since. It has also spawned improvements and research led by the Lion and Old Locomotive Committee whose display is seen here at the Doncaster exhibition in 2019.

The Old Locomotive Committee seeks to promote activities, foster research, encourage communication, preserve artefacts and publish relevant information associated with the locomotive Lion, built in Leeds in 1838 by Messrs Todd, Kitson and Laird for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. Today, Lion is one of the key exhibits in The Great Port Gallery at the Museum of Liverpool.

Its survival is a fascinating story. In January 1923 an interesting old locomotive was noticed still doing duty as a pumping engine at the Graving Dock, Princes Dock on the River Mersey.

This locomotive was subsequently identified as Lion, sold 'Out of Service' to the Mersey Docks & Harbour Board in 1859. She had been used as a pumping engine since 1871.

Late in 1927, a number of members of the (now defunct) Liverpool Engineering Society, conscious of the recent Centenary of the Stockton & Darlington Railway and anxious that the Centenary of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway should reflect the greater importance of the latter enterprise, began to look towards seeking Lion's restoration and with this objective in view, formed themselves into an Old Locomotive Committee.

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Editor: David Carpenter