The Grand Opening Gala at the Apedale Valley Light Railway has been and gone. And what a weekend! We welcomed more than a thousand people through the gates. The passenger train service began to resemble the Circle line on a busy day! It’s really difficult to pick out the highlights, but for me it was seeing many, many happy people on the train. A lot of them were local to the North Staffordshire area, and we look forward to seeing many of them again.
Saturday saw the marking of a twinning arrangement between the Moseley Railway Trust and the Frankfurt Feldbahn Museum in Germany. Two senior members of the FFM had journeyed over to see us. There were the speeches and unveiling of plaques. Sunday saw the formal opening of the AVLR by Sir James Hawley, the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, with the Mayor of Newcastle Under Lyme, Councillor Mrs Ann Heames also in attendance. Sir James drove the loco “Stanhope” through a paper banner. Unlike certain railways, we managed to properly rip our banner thanks to judicious use of a Stanley knife beforehand. Sir James seemed rather keen on driving the engine, and it was looking as though we could send the regular crew home at one stage! Once extracted from “Stanhope”, Sir James and Councillor Heames unveiled yet another plaque.
If you came to see us over the weekend, I’d like to say a big thank you. If you’re one of the MRT’s volunteers or one of our exhibitors, I’d like to say an even bigger thank you. It’s been a real team effort to get us this far.
And now onto the next challenge. With all these plaques, we need some more walls on which to mount them – and that means building a museum. All we need is somewhere between £250k and £500k. So, if you can help, get in touch here. We accept all major credit and debit cards.