April was a dry month. The ground cracked up, the rabbits drilled into our embankments and the hedge sparrows, finches and fighting robins got on with what they do. April also saw the cherry orchard on our down-wind leg start to blossom out as did the nearby apple orchards at the top of the loop
April was also Bank Holiday time. The railway was open for the four days of the holiday (Fri-Mon) and got flooded out with families so much so that at times we had to run three trains. We also tried a top and tail and double headed set-ups using two engines pulling some 30 passengers on each trip. People seem to have enjoyed themselves which is the important thing. As usual our thanks to all volunteers who put so much effort into making the holiday a success
Several passengers have suggested we don’t charge enough for their 15 or so minutes of railway travel. Their observations have reminded us our charges have been static for three years but there doesn’t seem to be any need to increase them from the £1.50 we currently charge. Children under two continue to go free of course
Being as we are a international tourist attraction we did an Easter survey identifying where our passengers came from. This time our passengers were mainly local, coming from the Faversham and Sittingbourne area together with those from East Kent (Broadstairs, Canterbury, Herne Bay, Margate, Whitstable). A number came from the London area together with those from Dartford, Gravesend, Chatham and Gillingham, A few came from Ashford and Maidstone. Our more distant visitors arrived from Donegal (Sth. Ireland) Limerick (Sth. Ireland), Weiden in der Oberpfalz (Bavaria), Glasgow (Scotland obviously) Tralee (Sth Ireland) Thursk (Nth Yorkshire), Nottingham, Seoul (Sth Korea), Robina (Australia), Koszalin (Poland) Singapore, Melbourne (Australia), Mold (Wales), and somewhere in Arizona, the Canary Islands and Dover. It is of course possible the three days of the Brogdale Easter Egg hunt might had something to do with it!
During the month we had as surprise visit from the local ‘Creek’ radio station. Passengers and staff were interviewed and had a chance to say how wonderful the Railway is. We think the interview will be going out in May
As mentioned in March work continues on sorting out the interior fittings for the ‘Kerr’s’ closed coach as has trackside weed control along with weekly grass cutting to keep the Railway estate in trim. The signalman’s garden at Barry’s Box has been prepared for potato planting
Cherry Halt, the original terminus of the Railway in its early days is now being reinstated. Unfortunately trains will not be stopping but as they pass by the Halt passengers may care to note the variety of stuffed passengers seated on the platform (subject to weather conditions of course)
Although our regulars will hardly need reminding the Railway runs each Sunday (usually 11am-4pm), Bank Holidays and the various Brogdale Festivals. Subject to availability we can also be booked for birthday parties, weddings and school trips. Details can be found on our current website. Bookings have already started to come in so it might be worth reserving your slot!
Lastly, and as ever, new members, especially DIYers, are more than welcome to join our Railway Society. If you’d like to see what we can offer then contact us via our website to arrange a tour of the establishment and estate- or just visit on a Sunday and take it from there. If you do come over best to avoid rainy days!