Sunday, 26 August 2018

Progress Saturday 25th August 2018

Dear all,

Our 1950's mixed traction bank holiday weekend got off to something of flying start as a mainly sunny and pleasantly warm Saturday attracted good numbers of guests to our many different attractions. Locomotives 47406 and 31601 both provided services on the mainline and Henry Ellison catered for trips up the Incline. The Jinty is operating its last weekend with us and has indeed provided a lovely sight as it travels long the valley during the summer season. The miniature railway was running to the delight of our younger guests and the catering department and bookshop all had a steady stream of visitors.. A display of 1950's memorabilia attracted allot of interest on platform one, the jazz band proved popular as always and several of our guest entered into the spirit of the event arriving in period dress. At the top of the yard the sounds of distance shunting could be heard as a move around in the Engineerium was completed

Later in the day things took something of a sinister turn as we set sail at 7pm for a murder mystery tour. The initial stages of the story were set out on the platform at Wirksworth, then the team of actors travelled the train with clues and morsels of information as we journeyed south. The crime took place at Shottle, not previously noted as the crime capital of the Ecclesbourne valley, as one of the actors was found slumped against the guards van door. We continued to Duffield where over a 100 budding crime busters contemplated the relative merits of the case over a bag of chips after which each of the actors allowed some questions to ensure the correct guilty party was brought to justice . As people left the platform after having the plot fully uncovered their smiling faces and warm words of thanks confirmed a great evening was had by all. During the afternoon I spoke to a couple who had travelled from London for a weekend in Derbyshire the highlight of which was their murder mystery excursion with us, they do indeed seem to be very popular.

My thanks to everyone involved in another successful day many of whom are never seen by our visitors such as the train crews, Shottle signalmen, crossing keepers etc. The 1950's event and mixed traction are in operation for the rest of the bank holiday weekend.

I leave you with pictures of our main line locomotives looking pristine in the sunshine and scene of the crime at Shottle, don't have nightmares !