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Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railways to host evening of carols

North Gloucestershire > Entertainment > Experiences

Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Thursday, 22nd November 2018, 09:20

Last year's event raised money for children's charity Winston's Wish Last year's event raised money for children's charity Winston's Wish

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway will once again be hosting a special night in aid of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The Carols by Steam Train event takes place on Saturday 8th December and will involve — you guessed it — Christmas Carols and a magnificent steam train.

John Page, one of the event organisers at Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, has been helping run the event for over a decade and explains the plan for the night.

He said: “We’ve been running this event for longer than I can remember, at least 10 years now.

“The train departs Toddington station at 7pm and then takes the passengers to Winchcombe, where the carol service will begin at the station.

“After the service, the train will continue to Cheltenham Racecourse and then head back to Toddington, arriving at about half past nine.”

The Carols by Steam Train event runs annually, and alternates charities every year, between the RNLI and Winston’s Wish.

Faith Harvey, from the RNLI Cheltenham and Tewkesbury fundraising branch says the event always proves to be a great night.

She said: “It’s such a fun evening and it’s always popular. We had about 200 people last time and there’s a really lovely atmosphere on the train.

“The Cheltenham Junior Silver Band will be performing for us at Winchcombe station, and there’ll be mince pies, mulled wine and Father Christmas might even make an appearance on the train!”

The last time the event was raising money for the RNLI, in 2016, over £1600 was collected, and Faith hopes that this year that total will be higher.

She continued: “We sell out every year we do this event, and all the proceeds go directly to the RNLI headquarters.

“Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway are wonderful and very supportive of the charity, and we’re always so grateful to everyone involved for helping us raise money for such an important cause.”

The event is a firm fixture in the railway’s Christmas events calendar which includes the ever-popular Santa Specials. After Christmas, the railway is running until New Year’s Day, after which the railway closes for winter maintenance until resuming on Saturday 9th March.

John added: “Christmas really will be the icing on the railway’s cake this year. We re-opened the line to Broadway on Good Friday 2018 and since then the number of people travelling on our trains has broken all records.

“Yet the railway is run by volunteers — including all of the Christmas trains. It’s extraordinary and, as a volunteer, I’m thrilled that the railway is bringing so much joy to so many people.”

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