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Link to Silent Auction all lots

Pop king Pete Waterman offers private tour of his giant model railway for ELR fundraiser

LEGENDARY pop producer Pete Waterman is offering a private tour of his model railway to help secure the future of the East Lancashire Railway (ELR).


The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is the star lot in an online auction of memorabilia and experiences which is hoped will raise £10,000 towards the survival of the cherished heritage attraction, whose future was thrown in doubt by the Coronavirus outbreak.


Thought to be the largest mainline O gauge model railway in the UK, Pete’s pride and joy depicts Leamington Spa station from the late 1950s, where the young pop guru’s life-long fascination with locomotives began.


East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society President Pete has been working on the painstaking project since 2003.


The auction also provides enthusiasts with a rare chance to get their hands on some unique railway memorabilia including ELR nameplates alongside the opportunity to take a footplate ride on some classic engines.    


The remaining lots include:



The online auction has already proved popular, attracting bids of over £3,000, and will run until June 20th.


Pete Waterman O.B.E commented: “The East Lancashire Railway is one of the most important heritage railways in Britain.


“I’m delighted to take part in their fundraising efforts. My model railway has provided me with countless hours of enjoyment. I look forward to sharing it with the lucky auction winner.”


East Lancashire Railway Chairman Mike Kelly said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support the public has shown the ELR during these unprecedented times.


“Our online auction will raise vital funds to ensure the future of the railway for generations to come.


“It’s a chance for railway enthusiasts to get their hands on some prized memorabilia and money-can’t-buy experiences.”


The ELR launched a £200,000 emergency fundraising drive in March after the Coronavirus crisis forced it to close its doors.


Contributions to the East Lancashire Railway Support Fund have poured in from as far afield as Australia, America and the United Arab Emirates, pushing its total to over £100,000.


Operating from Bolton Street Station in Bury, East Lancashire Railway is a long-standing favourite for children and adults alike, running a host of events all year round including a Sping Bank Holiday 1940s weekend, murder mysteries, ale trails and the Santa Special Christmas trains - as well as well as regularly playing host to the iconic locomotive The Flying Scotsman. 


Visit to take part.


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Fund raising auction of Railwayana

In order to raise funds for the ELR Support Fund David Wright has donated three of his Bachmann Branchline OO Gauge locomotives to be auctioned through E-Bay. All monies raised will be forwarded to the ELR Support Fund.

Click on the photograph to go to the relevant E-Bay page for details and bidding.

Bachmann Hughes/Fowler 5P/6F "Crab" 42765

Bachmann Type 2 British Railways Diesel D5054

Bachmann British Railways Class 08 Diesel D3232


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ELRPS - Notice of Ballot Results

Dear Society Member


You may be aware that due to government restrictions relating to the control of Covid19 it was not possible to hold a formal Annual General Meeting.  As the ELRPS Ltd is a Company Limited by Guarantee there are certain legal requirements imposed by the Companies Act, these are the approval of the annual accounts by the membership and the election of directors. 

In addition, members were requested to vote on the acceptance of the proposed revisions to Articles of Association which were necessary to allow the Company to seek charitable status.


The original plan was to have ballot papers with eligible members in ample time for them to be returned by 21 April 2020.  Regrettably, and totally outside the control of the directors, we encountered several difficulties that delayed the delivery of papers and in some instances, they were not received by members until after the original submission date.

  • Due to social distancing requirements within the work place the printers had to operate with a reduced staffing level which delayed the production of the AGM documentation.

  • Royal Mail took 14 days to approve the licence for the replied paid envelopes.

  • Further delays were encountered at the mailing house due to staffing levels.

  • Finally, there were delays in the delivery process by Royal Mail.


As soon as the above delays were identified the ballot return date was extended to 7 May 2020.  Notification of the extension was publicised on the ELRPS website, on the Facebook page and by mail shot to all eligible members for whom a current e-mail address is held on the Members Database.


The results of the ballot are detailed below:

Ballot results table

This equates to a 15.5% return of ballot papers and as advised on the forms, and in accordance with the generally agreed arrangements for postal and proxy voting, any non-returned papers are treated as a vote in favour of the motions.


I am pleased to advise that the revised Articles of Association are to be submitted to Companies House and an application for charitable status is being prepared for submission to the Charity Commission.


On behalf of my fellow Directors may I thank you for your continued support.


Yours sincerely

Chris Moore

Chair – East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society Ltd.

Eric Allan - © Rory Lushman

Eric Allen – 90 on Saturday

On Saturday 25th April, Eric Allen celebrates his 90th birthday and he is still around the railway on gala days etc. Eric started volunteering on Bury Platform in the 80s and he held the Station’s master role at Bury, intermittently switching with Harry Hatcher for a period. He has also worked as a Guard and refurbished lamps, including painting, cleaning, sourcing wicks etc. Eric continued working right through to his retirement in 2013.


Intensely private about his personal life, Eric is always ready to give you the benefit of his life experiences.


Happy birthday Eric.

© Rory Lushman

Pete Waterman's Appeal video


Pete Waterman leads the ELR National Funding Campaign

Pete Waterman - President of the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society - urges train fans and ELR supporters to donate to the East Lancashire Railway Support Fund to allow the railway and its 800 volunteers to reopen after Covid-19 forced the charity to close its doors.

Click here to watch a short video - Appeal Video


The music mogul and famous train enthusiast says it has “taken 30 years to build the railway to what it is today” but with no income, no volunteers and just three members of staff not furloughed, it will struggle to open again post lock-down.

The hit maker behind the likes of Kylie Minogue and Rick Astley, has been President of the East Lancashire Railway preservation society for over  13 years.

He is one of Britain's best-known rail enthusiasts and is the owner of significant collections of historic rolling stock including at one stage being part owner of the iconic Flying Scotsman The pop guru’s love of trains has taken him on many a journey around the UK - and Pete, 73, even has his own model railway at home.


The East Lancashire Railway Support Fund was set up after all operations at the railway came to a halt in March due to Coronavirus. With the closure now predicted to last until the end of June at the earliest, Pete is urgently asking the public to donate to the on behalf of the registered charity (number: 1186648) and ‘pay it forward’ to help reach the target of £200,000 needed to ensure its survival.

The appeal comes as £54,000 has been donated from hundreds of donations, but much more is needed for the attraction to survive - with bosses revealing it costs around £2,000 just to get a steam engine down the track each day.



A personal message and update from Mike Kelly on Covid-19

Dear Friends

Please click on the link below to hear a personal message from me, as Chairman. It's to let you know how we are still getting on with everything, working behind the scenes, even though, obviously, the railway cannot run any trains at the moment.

Click here to go to the YouTube page 

Very best wishes to everyone,

Mike Kelly
Chair, East Lancs Railway

Click here to go to the Just Giving web-page

Keith Ringwood - © David Flood

© David Flood

Earlier this week we received a phone call to inform us that one of the long serving volunteers Keith Ringwood passed away on Monday morning. Keith had been in a home for some 2 years but was rushed into hospital last Friday evening and passed away in the early hours of Monday.


Keith had served for four years on the Society Council in the past as well as helping out at the different shows with the Society display team. Wherever the display stand was taken, he was there to help and enjoyed every minute of it. He also helped Roger Boldsworth in his shop at Bury to raise funds for the Black Five, 45337, which is now awaiting its return to Bury from Llangollen.


Always a stalwart when it came to the Santa season, you would find Keith every day of the Santa specials in Roger’s coach ‘stuffing’ leaflets into the goody bags. He was always there to help do the ‘stuffing’ of the ELR Magazine be it in the Buffet on platform 3 till midnight or even on 2 occasions at John Tate’s home in Sale.

Keith Ringwood

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ELRPS Annual General Meeting - Message from Chris Moore

Due to delays with Royal Mail, our printers and the mailing house, all associated with effects of Covid-19 on businesses, the Annual General Meeting ballot papers which should have been with all members by 7th April are now unlikely to be received until 16th April, therefore the closing date for return of ballot papers has been extended to 7th May.


It is important that you read the documents and cast your vote as this provides you the opportunity to help shape the future of the Society.


Keep well and best wishes in these difficult times




Chris Moore



Union of South Africa - © Liam Barnes

© Liam Barnes

60009 ‘Union of South Africa’ to return to the ELR

ELR General Manager, Tracey Parkinson, has announced “No. 60009 ‘Union of South Africa’ will be returning to the ELR in the very near future.”


“Lee Kenny, Cath Richards and myself have worked with the owner Mr John Cameron to work out a mutually agreeable running period for the locomotive now that its main line career has come to an end.  No. 9 is currently at the National Railway Museum, York, and is ready to move just as soon as we get the green light to shift it."


"I am sure John will be coming to visit his locomotive as often as he can and we will of course make the engine and John most welcome.  This news does at least provide hope and something to look forward to in the very near future.”

important notice

Operational Update from ELR - Mike Kelly - 23 March 2020

Tracey Parkinson, our General Manager, has provided an update from today’s ELR COBRA meeting.  With no trains operating and no revenue coming in we have taken the decision to furlough a number of employees for the time being.  Some core of staff have been retained to cover essential tasks and provide an on site presence.


Ongoing assistance and additional security measures – A request will  go out to ask for volunteers to help by attending site to check security and to provide a presence as various locations.  Several people have kindly offered to provide us with support.  We will pair these people up and take the necessary precautions.


Unfortunately, just a few hours after the railway closed the workshop at Baron Street was burgled. Around £10,000 of brass and copper fittings for locos were stolen and will have to be replaced at our cost.


Message today from Tracey – The closure and the burglary is a devastating blow but now we absolutely must protect our people and secure the site so that we have a railway to re-open again.


Please don’t forget to help us financially if you can by going to the JustGiving website.

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Note from the Chair - Chris Moore

You are probably aware that following the guidance issued by Public Health England the Society Annual General Meeting has been cancelled, there is however a requirement for the Society annual accounts to be approved by the membership and directors elected for the current year.


To achieve these requirements, you will shortly be receiving an information pack containing:

  • The minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting

  • Annual accounts

  • Various reports

  • Revised Articles of Association

  • Ballot paper and pre-paid envelope


The reason for issuing revised articles is that in order to obtain charitable status our Articles of Association need to closely follow the model articles issued by the Charity Commission.  When drafting the revised articles, we have sought to preserve the existing rights and privileges of membership whilst following the additional requirements imposed.  The most significant changes are that Associate Members will be able to attend and vote at General Meetings of the Society, and the introduction of Proxy Voting which will allow the whole membership to influence the future development of the Society.


There was a proposal to be put to the AGM for an increase in membership subscriptions, but given the current climate, this proposal has been deferred.


Please complete and return the ballot paper.


I sincerely hope that you and your family remain well, and that normality will soon return






HM Government and Public Health England advice on corona virus

Following the latest advice issued by HM Government and Public Health England in respect of corona virus the 2020 Annual General Meeting of the Society has been postponed.

All members tours have been suspended until further notice.

In addition, the party planned for 27th March, to celebrate the re-opening of Bury Transport Museum following the Heritage Lottery Fund refurbishment, has been cancelled.

Similarly, the Scotsman on stage event has been postponed until a date later in the summer.

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