Today was our first day of Santa Experiences and we were extremely busy. Yesterday's snow helped to make our stations look very picturesque which I'm sure offered great photo opportunities for our visitors.The music in the Santa marquee together with our travelling musician and magician ensured our guests were entertained from the minute they entered Wirksworth station until the arrived back from their trip to the North Pole. The volunteers who decorated our stations did a wonderful job especially the Christmas trees. The 'snowing' Christmas tree at Duffield station was a constant source of amusement to both young and old. Many thanks to everyone who participated in delivering a really first class Santa experience to all our guests. A special mention must go to our young team of fitters who were on hand to assist with departures and arrivals on platform one as well as ensuring passenger areas were cleared of snow. Just after the 12.30 North Pole departure Wirksworth station suffered a power cut due to a blown fuse in our main supply box. Ironically at one point we had three Western Power employees on site and the defective fuse was replaced in no time by our own electrical contractor.
The weather has been a constant source of worry and late afternoon following an update from the Met Office a decision was taken to postpone tomorrow's Santa experiences. Our visitors, staff and volunteers safety is our primary concern and with this in mind it was felt postponement was the only option bearing in mind the 8-15cm snow fall predicted in our area between 04.00-10.00 on Sunday. Leigh spent a busy time telephoning our pre-booked customers and re-arranging bookings for the three replacement services which have been scheduled. The Catering Staff tried out a new afternoon tea menu to a group of more than willing volunteers with very positive feedback. The Miniature Railway provided a steam hauled service this afternoon much to the delight of our younger visitors and the EVRA shop was open on platform one.
This evening a special Carol service train will be journeying along the valley. This is a free train service for our local community to enjoy organised by Neil F.L. Thanks to the train crew and Ben for giving up their time on a cold, dark winter's evening to help ensure the success of this innovation.
Compliments of the Season,