The Queen Of England once travelled around Nigeria in this coach – Pulse Nigeria
The Queen Of England once travelled around Nigeria in this coach
Here lies the train Her Royal Majesty, the Queen of England and the Duke of Edinburgh rode in 1956.
In 1956, the Queen of England and the Duke of Edinburgh paid Nigeria, a visit, travelling by rail through Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, and Calabar.
A special coach befitting royalty was built especially for The Queen. Francis Jaekel, who had served the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) for 27 years, transported the royal couple around Nigeria because of his vast knowledge of the train routes.
All these wouldn't have been possible if Sir Lord Lugard, Governor General of Nigeria from 1901-1919, who was interested in connecting towns in the colony for economic purposes, did not champion the construction of the railway system.
But, 61 years later, lying in abject dispair in a damp train shed at The Nigerian Railway Corporation, were some disused locomotive trains and abandoned coaches including the one Queen Elizabeth travelled in style.
A facility manager from the Jaekel Mueum tells The Guardian, “The Queen of England rode on that coach when she visited Nigeria in 1956.” The old coach sat in the heart of Ebute-Metta, the old NRC logo etched on its side, once radiant but now worn and dull. However, some committees are working hard towards raising funds to commence work on the property and all the artefacts in it.
The coach that housed the Queen of England has now become a playground for children whose parents live in the train shed meant for pensioners of the railway corporation. This train shed was however used last year as the site of the premier Lagos Bienniale. During this period, the train shed was home to art installations, paintings, and drawings by artists from all over the world.