At the request of NYMR, Esk Valley Railway management and volunteers decorated and manned the station at Whitby to celebrate the 40s Wartime Weekend. Despite adverse publicity in the Whitby Gazette the week before that the event was cancelled, we ‘Kept Calm and Carried On‘ so to speak. Only one aspect had been cancelled…Scarborough Borough Council and Welcome to Yorkshire’s Food Festival which historically has been held in the town centre,
Ryedale Folk Museum were also convinced that the station event was cancelled but to their great credit turned up anyway, as did we, for the whole weekend and displayed some fascinating 40s memorabilia at the station. We even improvised, at very short notice, temporary display stands for the museum exhibits – true wartime spirit! We all had a great time interacting with the passengers despite the lack of steam trains on Friday and Saturday. Sunday made up for it though with each service ‘topped and tailed’ with two steam trains throughout the day!
On Saturday evening, a dance was organised in town at the Metropole Hotel by Linda, who owns a guest house in Whitby. Again the adverse publicity gave the impression that this event was also cancelled, but Linda and her volunteers went round the town yet again with more posters and reassurance that the event was taking place. It was a sell out and well over a thousand pounds was raised for Help the Heroes charity. All in all this was a successful local community partnership promoting the railway and tourism for the area. This will certainly be built upon in Whitby for next year.
Many thanks to my team and also Angela, Amy, Rob and Jim, volunteers from Ryedale. This is what it is all about – working together