Two record-breaking events in one month at the Leighton Buzzard Railway
Two events within the past month at the Leighton Buzzard Railway proved to be record breaking, providing much-needed funds towards the extension currently under construction.
Father’s Day, Sunday 17 June, saw what was believed to be Bedfordshire’s first-ever whisky festival. More than 400 passengers attended the event, which saw a total of 70 whiskies and other spirits available to taste. Hourly tutored tastings, the price of which included being led by knowledgeable experts though at least three themed whiskies, along with a bespoke engraved tumbler, sold out well in advance of the day.
A fish and chip van, to keep customers well fed during the day, and local gin producer Willow Tree Distilling were also in attendance and well received. Festival organiser Rocky Lancer said: “The festival was a trial to see whether there was an appetite for a whisky festival in Bedfordshire, and we were delighted with the response from customers, many of whom were new to our railway. We’ll definitely be repeating it next year.” In addition to the positive customer feedback, the event raised just under £1,500 for the current Double Arches Extension appeal.
Sunday 8th July saw the visit of Chase from Paw Patrol to Stonehenge Works station. The day saw double-headed non-stop trains carrying passengers to meet the famous character, all of which were full. Chairman Terry Bendall noted: “With five full trains, each with seven coaches, we carried a total of 754 passengers.Today’s figure may well be an all-time record, even beating last year’s visit of Paddington, and we look forward to welcoming a new character next year.” Visitors to Stonehenge Works were also able to experience the miniature railway, along with a new climb-on train and sand pit, as well as seeing the progress on a replica signal box for children to play in, currently under construction.
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