Saturday, 8 March 2008

The Grand Opening Saturday 8th March 2008

Dear all
 
Well, the great day arrived and whilst quite cold, the rain held off for most of the day. The atmosphere was great as passengers assembled for the formal opening and the prebooked special trains. Introduced by the splendid Harry Bodkin. in Town Crier garb, John Snell welcomed the crowd and received a rousing and complimentary response from the Mayor of Wirksworth, Andy Pollock. The six car Ecclesbourne Express departed promptly at 1200 and thus began a new era for our Railway. The Buffet Car did sterling service, the Share and Sleeper shop received funds and the Booking Hall's new wisso till began to recover some of the expense of the day and replenish our somewhat depleted funds.
 
Idridgehay was en fete with, what seemed like, the entire village attending the station creating more passengers than has been seen in its entire life. I can only express my sincere thanks to everyone who made this momentous day possible with great attention to detail, seat reservations, antimacassars, coach letters, destination blinds, vehicle preparation and cleaning etc.etc.etc.
 
This has been the busiest day we have experienced in our custody of the Railway and Wirksworth station was really alive and seeing passengers transfer between the Idridgehay and Ravenstor services was truly a delight.
 
I am now raising a glass, unusual for me,  to all involved and hope we are ready to achieve our next ambition - the Dash for Duffield - now that opening will be something else! Clear your diaries for 1st October 2010 - seats will be on sale soon.
 
Best wishes
 
Martin