Ernie’s blog post- Cleaning the Princess Marina

Hi my name is Ernie and I have spent the last week doing work experience at Newton Abbot Museum and have been lucky to have a chance to work closely with the staff and volunteers and with fascinating objects from the collections.

This 3.5-inch gauge steam model of the Princess Marina was made by Harry Hopley, a local man who operated his steam locos on the sit-on miniature railway at Penn Inn (Newton Abbot).

man with pipe driving a model train, two small boys sit behind him
One of Harry’s other models, the “Mazeppa” being ridden

The Princess Marine is modelled on the Stanier Mogel class locomotive used by the LNS. Since sharing this model on social media we have found out that it was designed by ‘LBSC’, aka ‘Curly’ Lawrence, who was known as ‘a wonderfully eccentric man very famous in model engineering circles’.

Over the last week we have been working to clean up this locomotive and restore some of its romantic majesty.

Young man with glasses and blue nitrile gloves cleaning a red model locomotive
Cleaning is a painstaking process, nitrile gloves must be worn throughout as oils from skin damage metal
Young man wearing blue protective gloves uses a brush to clean a model locomotive
Using a soft brush to clean underneath where the coal sat
Close up of cleaning using a brush
close up of cleaning using a brush
different brushes used to gently clean different areas
inside the drivers cabin of the locomotive, there are many levers and cogs
Inside the ‘drivers’ cabin of the locomotive (not big enough to fit a real person of course!)
model train with the front plate open
The model had many opening parts which were checked over during the cleaning
Red model steam train against a white background
Finally the Princess Marina is now looking her best