Unlike September October was a busy month. There were 4 events in particular. First was Brogdale’s 2 day Apple Festival which saw us running flat out each day. Second was a half-day visit from the Heyward Society (miniature railway enthusiasts) when we ran 3 steam engines. Third the posting of our new website and last we started selling tickets for our Santa Specials.
The Apple Festival was jam-packed for most of the day, with the Railway running 2 top and tailed sets with, on occasions a small train on backup duties to mop up the queues. In spite of the occasional wait it seems that our passengers enjoyed themselves which is always the main thing.
Our usual informal Festival survey of passengers showed a balance between local and international visitors. As usual the locals tended to come from Faversham, Sittingbourne, Whitstable and Thanet area, with a few from Dartford and bits of South London. Visitors from a little further away included Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Harwich, Glasgow, Oxford and Swansea. A number of our international guests came from Arnhem (Holland), Beijing, Durban (Sth. Africa), Frankfurt-am-Main, Fukuoka (Japan), Hamburg, Hong Kong, Karlsruhe (Germany), Kaliningrad (Russia), Michigan, Moscow, Munich, New York, Ohio, San Francisco, Sochi (Russia) Tokyo, and Stuttgart. In our own miniaturised way it seems our fame has spread around the globe!
The visit by the Heyward Society was our chance to really steam up. Much appreciated by the Society we ran a variety of steam engines helped by additional expert volunteer drivers. These were our ‘N’ Class, ‘King George V’ and’ Lord Howe’, the last two by kind permission of the Torry Hill Railway. From feedback it seems the Society were very positive about their time with us.
Our new website now offers an integrated service providing railway information, plus the ability to add an on-line booking system (due next year) and opportunities to comment on our pages. Our thanks to Dan and his magic fingers for developing and maintaining the system.
We are now taking bookings for our Santa Specials which we will be running on the first three Sundays in December. Tickets and running information only available from our on-site booking office at Brogdale open every Sunday 11 am untill 4.00 pm. Our Santa Special offers a train ride (so wrap up nice and warm!) followed by a special rail trip to Santa’s Grotto, a meeting with the great man himself, a present for the kids and some sort of bribe for the parents. One of our Sundays combines with Brogdale’s Christmas Fair on the 3rd December.
As ever, new members, especially DIYers, signalmen, guards/drivers are more than welcome to join our Railway Society. If you’d like to see what we 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 visit it’s best to avoid rainy days!