As we head towards our summer season, the Board reflected on how well the railway has coped with, at times, challenging weather conditions over the past 3 months.
Visitor Numbers-despite poor weather monthly numbers are up around 7%.
Spring Steam Gala – This event was significantly affected by the ‘Beast from the East’. Despite everyone’s best efforts which meant we were able to run over 3 days, visitor number were down 58%.
Flying Scotsman – On static display. We were pleased to welcome the Mayor and Mayoress of Rossendale to open the tours. The event was sold out.
Manchester Rock Choir – We are grateful to everyone in the choir who sang their hearts out, in freezing cold conditions over the weekend of the 17-18 March to help raise nearly £500 for the ‘Home for Wells’ fund which is nearing £60,000.
Every pound is very welcome https://www.preservationforgenerations.co.uk/a-home-for-wells
Day out with Thomas – The ELR have been awarded a further two years up to 2020 from Mattel.
English Tourism Week – Heritage Tourism across Greater Manchester and beyond is substantial and rising. The ELR is the second biggest paid attraction across Greater Manchester with some 200,000 visitors annually, supported by nearly 800 great working volunteers. Visitors enjoy a unique experience of steam and diesel locos along with a range of vintage transport. We were pleased to welcome James Frith MP for Bury North to the railway to celebrate all that is best in preserving and showcasing heritage transport.
FXP – Check out some very loyal ELR customers. Ian Manson and David Sigsworth have been coming down to the ELR twice a year for the past 13 years to enjoy driving our steam locos.
Pictures courtesy of Nigel Valentine.
I am ending this blog with some very sad news. Brian Sutcliffe, a longstanding stalwart of the East Lancs Railway, died suddenly yesterday (25 March) from a heart attack. Brian’s love affair with the railway goes back to 1982 over 36 years ago and where he served on both the ELR Company Board and Holding’s Company. Brian was at ELRPS Society Council meeting I attended last Thursday and was in fine form as we all know and love him. Our condolences goes to Kath and her family at this difficult time.