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Santa Claus - © Rory Lushman

© Rory Lushman

'The Santa Train' - review on tripadvisor

"Well what can I say apart from “I believe”! My husband and I took my granddaughter (2 yrs) and daughter and son in law on the Santa Train today for the third year running. There is so much for the children. There is also a small cafe and shop. Every year you think they can’t better last years but once again they have pulled out all the stops and it was magical. All staff (Santa’s Elf helpers) are sooooo friendly. They enter into the spirit of Christmas so well at times I actually felt myself welling up. The children were mesmerised. I don’t want to single any one person out (not even the great man himself But I have to mention Mrs Christmas Tree . She is absolutely lovely. It has now become our tradition to have Mrs Christmas Tree pictured with my son in law and granddaughter. May you live for ever and ever Mrs CT, which she will children as she is magical.
I defy anybody not to get taken in by the magic performed here. From the beautiful toys, chocolate and drink for the children to a miniature bottle of sherry (and plastic cup) and mince pie for the adults hiccup! To the magician, Father Christmas, Elf’s and the singalong with the brass band.
So so well done again and already can’t wait for 2020."

Peter Shackleton - 20 years service award - © Rory Lushman

© Rory Lushman

Peter Shackleton - 20 years service award

Peter Shackleton, now 82 and one of our oldest volunteers was awarded a certificate and embossed tie to celebrate his 20 years’ service as a member of the Station’s Team at Bolton Street Station, Bury. 


Other staff took time away from their Santa duties to help celebrate this momentous occasion.  The certificate and tie were presented by Chris Moore ELRPS Chair at Bolton Street.

Vote for Bury Standard 4 Group

© Steam Railway Magazine

Vote for Bury Standard 4 Group

In February 2020, the Heritage Railway Association will be hosting its annual awards ceremony, and Steam Railway Magazine are asking you to decide who should win the Steam Railway Magazine Award.

Option number four is Bury Standard 4 Group: ‘The restoration of BR ‘4MT' 2‑6‑4T No. 80097 at the East Lancashire Railway’ and you can vote for Bury Standard 4 Group here.

"This is about celebrating the very best that preservation has to offer, and the only HRA magazine award decided by the public, so make sure your voice is heard".

Voting will close on December 16. The winners will be revealed in a future edition of Steam Railway. Votes are limited to one per person.

Santa Specials platform staff - © Rory Lushman
Catering staff - © Rory Lushman

Santa specials - great first weekend success

At the end of the highly successful first weekend of Santa Specials ELR Chairman, Mike Kelly, said.


"This weekend saw the beginning of the ELR’s annual Santa Specials season and marks the most challenging and frenetic period in the railway’s calendar.


Long before the first Santa train leaves Bolton Street Station the commercial and operational teams get to work during the summer in planning for the month long event which will stretch the ELR’s paid and volunteer resources to the limit.


The logistics are breath taking with a record 113 train trips accommodating over 41,000 visitors, where some 18,000 presents have to be colour coded, picked and packed into new reusable bags; around 23,000 bottles and sherry and mince pies are consumed where it’s all hands on deck".

© Rory Lushman


An appeal from ELR Chairman, Mike Kelly


Dear Colleagues,

Firstly, can I thank all volunteers for their help with present picking this year, is has been very much appreciated.  


However, we now have additional trains meaning that there are many more presents to pick. 
Could I please call on you support once again to meet this added demand?

I should be grateful if you have some time available next week, between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm on any of Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday (but not Tuesday); would you please let Sophie or Mathew know if you are able to support this?
Thank you once again,

Mike Kelly

Film crew 24.08.19.jpg

ELR on the television

Earlier this year the ELR was invited to take part in the filming of a ten-part documentary illustrating the life and work of four heritage railways.

​A two-person crew has been filming throughout the summer showcasing our people, events of interest and involving a lot of input from railway staff to show heritage railways in a positive light.

UKTV have created the series currently being broadcast on Thursday evenings at 8pm on the Yesterday Channel. The programmes show the ELR in a very good light with many recognisable people and events. The whole series can be viewed online here.

David Layland retirement.jpg

David Layland retirement

The ELR held a surprise party for David Layland for his retirement from the roles of Deputy Manager and Financial Controller. A number of ELR staff and members of his family were all there as part of the surprise and Chairman mike Kelly presented David with a model of City of Wells.


Although David is retiring as an employee of the railway his financial expertise will not be lost as David is continuing his volunteer post as Finance Director. He will also be continuing as a volunteer guard on the railway.


David joined the ELR some eleven years ago from a finance role at the Post Office. During his time as a member of the ELRPS he served as the Membership Secretary of the society.


ELRPS meets Queen Victoria

The ELRPS display stand has been out and about again during the year. One high point was meeting Queen Victoria at the 175th anniversary celebrations of the opening of Manchester Victoria station. Along with seven other railway societies the display stand was in attendance to meet the public and celebrate the opening of the station.


This year the Society display stand has attended a variety of public events starting with Prestwich Clough Park celebrations in May, including others such as Hazel Grove Model Railway Show in October and Blackburn Model Railway Show in November. Culminating in the Manchester Model Railway Society show on 7/8th December at the Barnes Wallis building in Manchester.


The custodian of the display stand is Company secretary John Tate who, along with Peter Aspinall, sets up the display at events. Gerald Leach, Martin McNay, Geoff Spencer, Mark Rosebury, Ken Lewis, Graham Corners, Don Vause, and Keith Whitmore help John and Peter man the stand. John’s long-suffering wife Susan helps and supports the team. More details can be found on the Display Stand Volunteering page.

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