The Owner

So far, there have been two owners of the Skarloey Railway in the Railway Series.


Sir Handel Brown I (1875-1950)

Sir Handel Brown I (1875 to November 1950) was the former owner of the Skarloey Railway. He often had other business to attend to, and was never seen in the books.

After World War II, the railway was in a poor state, and the old mines had become ammunition dumps. The owner thought he would have to sell the railway. At this point, the railway was taken over by Mr. Peter Sam, who became the Thin Controller. With the help of David Hugh, his son Ivo, and a number of volunteers, they managed to keep the railway going.

He was married to Dorothy Lloyd in 1920 and had a son named Sir Handel Lloyd Brown II, who took over the ownership of the Skarloey Railway after his retirement. His sister, Jane, married Sir Topham Hatt, the Fat Controller.

The Skarloey Railway's third engine was renamed Sir Handel in his honour.

Sir Handel Brown II (1924-)

Sir Handel Lloyd Brown II is the current owner of the Skarloey Railway. He succeeded his father, who was the previous owner. Sir Handel Brown II was born in 1924, and he is the cousin of Sir Charles Topham Hatt II.

In 1969, he was told by the Thin Controller about Duke. He arranged for Duke to be restored, and he returned to service in 1982. He later purchased two worn out Hunslet Diesels from the National Coal Board and, using parts from both engines, constructed Fred. He also arranged for Ivo Hugh to be built. 

In 1951, he married Rachael Qualtrough, a descendant of the last Bishop of Sodor. They have two children, Rebecca Dorothy (born 1954) and Handel Qualtrough, who has administered the estate since 1994.


Railway Series


  • Sir Handel Brown I is based on Sir Haydn Jones, owner of the Talyllyn Railway between 1911 and his death in 1950 and namesake of Sir Haydn.