The Puffing Billy Story
Back in 1969 a 10 year old Ian Morrell took his first ride in a Butlin’s road train called Puffing Billy. The ride and the train captured Ian’s heart and imagination, he planned one day to own his very own Puffing Billy.
Just over 40 years later Ian decided to make his childhood dreams come true and he planned to buy one of Butlin’s had scrapped all of their old stock.
Determined to fulfill his dreams of owning his very own train Ian bought a redundant diesel tug that was originally used to move aircraft and cargo around a military base. He then stripped this down to its chassis and completely restored the engine and the gearbox ready to form the basis of his project.
Ian did not have any plans to work from apart from his memory and an old photograph of himself riding in the original train. Using the newspaper in the drivers pocket as a reference for scale he set about building his dream train, over the next few years Ian used every bit of his spare time, ingenuity and engineering skills to create his very own Puffing Billy.
Since then Billy has appeared at local events like Houghton Feast, charity fun days, even had the pleasure of chauffeuring the bride on her wedding day, also touring the North East at Christmas time, allowing Santa and his elves to spread the magic of Christmas to both children and adults. Billy is also the star of his own Children’s books, which are sold throughout the year.
Quite a fascinating journey that started with a 10 year old boys holiday dream. Keep a look out, you never know where this magical little train will appear next
A series of stories about a magical little road train called Puffing Billy, his fantastic adventures with young William & his very clever Grandad, follow the stories, enjoy the puzzles and watch out for the next book in the series.