The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) has got into the Jubilee family spirit by offering free travel for children over the half-term break between, from Saturday 2nd June to Sunday 10th June.
With the AA predicting that most people will stay in the UK over the
extended Bank Holiday and during half-term week because of the Queen’s
Diamond Jubilee, the railway decided to offer an affordable opportunity for
families to enjoy a ride by steam train through the glorious Cotswolds.
“Our railway has a long association with the Royal Family,” points out Colin
Fewell, the GWSR’s commercial director.
“The Royal Train used to be stabled overnight at Toddington or Bishops
Cleeve during important race meetings when the Queen, or Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, visited Cheltenham for the Festival.
“More recently, HRH The Princess Royal opened Cheltenham Racecourse station in 2003, while she has also visited the line on other occasions, including enjoying a footplate experience course.”
There is plenty to do and see on the railway this weekend.
Steam trains are operating between Cheltenham Racecourse and Winchcombe station, which is an ideal place for a picnic on the grass under the shade of the Corsican Pines.
A classic diesel railcar service operates out of Toddington, as far as
Laverton on the northern extension to Broadway.
The railway is currently divided by an embankment slip, the £670,000 repair
of which is approaching completion. Meanwhile a classic bus service links
Winchcombe and Toddington stations.*
The ‘Flag & Whistle’ tea rooms at Toddington are well worth a visit, where
local photographer and railway volunteer Jack Boskett is staging an
exhibition of his photography, which remains until the end of July.
And on Saturday 10 June, around 120 classic vehicles are expected to fill
the car park at Toddington for the first of two Classic Car weekends on the
railway this year.
And as a musical bonus, the acclaimed local jazzy blues group The Indigo
Kings will play two sets in the Flag and Whistle at Toddington Station from
about lunchtime on Saturday June 10th. This group has been inspired by 1930s jazz clubs and the songs combine great swing rhythms with Chicago style blues and a sprinkling of vintage pop.
Adds Colin Fewell: “We may be operating ‘two railways’ at present because of
the embankment disaster but there is plenty to enjoy. Starting from
Cheltenham Racecourse you could enjoy a very pleasant day taking in a steam train, classic bus and a vintage diesel railcar – and provided they bring a fare-paying adult, youngsters up to age 15 can travel for free!
Full information on www.gwsr.com
The railway’s Emergency Appeal is now within £60,000 of its £1m target and
the railway is urgently appealing for donations and share purchases to help
complete the job, which will enable track to be re-laid over the embankment
which collapsed in January 2011. The embankment has now been rebuild with some remaining drainage works to be completed.
For news, information and train times visit www.gwsr.com
Source:Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway Plc