Inventor creates mini Stourbridge Lion to celebrate the Jubilee

Stourbridge News: Robert Merlyn Farwell with his mini Stourbridge Lion. Buy photo: 221221M Buy this photo » Robert Merlyn Farwell with his mini Stourbridge Lion. Buy photo: 221221M

A STOURBRIDGE inventor plans to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by showcasing Stourbridge’s heritage in the capital.

Robert Merlyn Farwell has built a mini model of the town’s legendary Stourbridge Lion steam engine - the first train to run on tracks in America.

But instead of a boiler, the contraption includes a glory hole for glassblowing - so Mr Farwell is planning to take the model engine and a group of Stourbridge glassmakers to London on a ’bostin day out’ to celebrate the town’s industrial heritage and the Queen’s 60-years on the throne.

He’s also hired a boat on the River Thames especially for the trip taking place on Bank Holiday Monday June 4.

The 65-year-old inventor from Parkfield Road said: “It’s going to be quite unusual as we’ll have the engine on the boat which will be filled with glassmakers making hot glass. I’m trying to promote Stourbridge - and we’re going to have a ‘bostin day out.”

Mr Farwell, who makes energy-efficient studio glassmaking equipment, said he was inspired to create his mini Stourbridge Lion engine after involvement with a project by Stourbridge glassmakers to recreate the famous Portland Vase.

He originally hoped to create a full-sized replica of the famous Stourbridge steam engine - the first locomotive to run on tracks in the USA in 1829.

But he is still trying to drum up support for the project from the likes of Centro, London Midland and Network Rail - so he decided to create a smaller version of the legendary Lion in the meantime.

Anyone wishing to enjoy the Jubilee knees-up on the Thames can book a place or find out more by visiting website www.stourbridgelion.com or calling 01384 374829.

Places are still available on the all-day trip which costs £44 per person and includes return coach travel from Ruskin Glass Centre in Wollaston Road, Amblecote, and an eight-hour boat trip on the Thames with sightseeing stop-offs at Westminster and Greenwich.

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