October was a busy month. Not only was there an outbreak of dandelions and mushrooms trackside and in the big field opposite Barry’s signal box, but also the two day Brogdale Apple Festival with its heavy demand for rides on our miniature railway. The Festival Saturday was hot likewise Sunday morning but then drizzle set in during the afternoon followed by proper rain which emptied the site. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
We always like to claim we are an international railway serving the local community and so the Festival was no exception. By far the majority of visitors to us were families. There were many repeat trips at the insistence of a daughter or son, one lucky kid and patient parent having three rides during the day.
Whilst most of our visitors were local in the sense they mainly came from Ashford, Canterbury, Faversham, Sittingbourne and the Thanet area, some of our customers were certainly more international coming from Cork (S. Ireland), Durban (Sth Africa), Hong Kong, Krabi (Thailand), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Lyon (France), Minsk (Belarus), Nizhny Novgorod (Russia), Singapore, Spisske (Bystre?), Taipei (Taiwan), Torun (Poland), Vancouver (Canada). Less international passengers came from Eastbourne, East Grinstead, Flexistow Glasgow, Plymouth, Macclesfield and Oxford as well as parts of London and somewhere in Essex.
We brought out our latest stride “commuter class” passenger carriers at the Apple Festival. These had been fitted with new bogies by our resident engineers and certainly did the job as they carried around about 15-18 people a go- which helpfully sucked up the patiently waiting queues at peak times during the day.
We also ran “Mogul”, one of our favourite steam engines, which for some passengers came as a novelty. Some queued specially so they could experience the combination of smoke, steam and the occasional cinder.
DIYers, engineers, signalmen, guards/drivers are more than welcome to join our Railway Society. We offer equal opportunities to anyone over 16 and so if anyone would like to see what we can offer then contact us via our website to arrange a tour of the railway estate- or just visit on a Sunday and take it from there.