Rail museum event offers aticket to bygone days

Visitors crowd the platform as the vintage Pecket 0-4-0 sadle tank engine pulls into the station.
Visitors crowd the platform as the vintage Pecket 0-4-0 sadle tank engine pulls into the station.

A Ripley railway museum rolled back the centuries with a three-day event celebrating vintage transport and the styles of yesteryear.

The Midland Railway hosted its second vintage weekend of 2016 over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Midland railway centre's Anne Deeth waits for the visitors to board the train.

Midland railway centre's Anne Deeth waits for the visitors to board the train.

The events give the museum chance to bring out some of the painstakingly well-preserved rolling stock in its museum exhibits, allowing visitors to ride the rails as passengers might have done in the early days of rail.

Museum development officer Alan Calladine said: “It was an extremely successful weekend, very encouraging—both in visitor numbers and the kind of comments we got.

“I think people are just amazed they can travel in the carriages—the oldest one dates back to around 1865.”

As well as the real-life steam trains, there were model layouts running all weekend, and lots of other activities as volunteers dressed up in costume to entertain visitors.

Driver and fireman Marnie and Eugine Wheelright signal they are ready to roll.

Driver and fireman Marnie and Eugine Wheelright signal they are ready to roll.

Alan added: “The highlight for me is the reaction of the children. They’re really taken aback when they see someone coming along the platform in a bowler hat, tailcoat and cane.”

There will be more delighted young faces to come as the museum begins work for a teddy bears picnic at the end of September and then the winter Santa Specials.

For more details, see www.midlandrailway-butterley.co.uk.