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Monday, 12 February 2007

A local attraction......

Did I tell you that I live in Lancashire? Well I do, and one of our biggest local attractions is the East Lancs Railway. My Wonderful Man is a bit of an anorak where steam trains are concerned - he doesn't go trainspotting exactly, but he does take lots of photographs of steam engines. We are lucky enough (for him) to live quite near to the ELR line running from Rawtenstall to Heywood. This means in summer (and sometimes winter) we hop (hop being the operative word for me at the moment!) on the train and spend the afternoon at Bury Station at the Trackside Bar. Not very exciting I hear you say but the Trackside sell a fantastic array of real ales! Ah, now I've got your attention. They also do good food, so we have lunch and then whilst MWM is busy photographing the engines I sit on the platform sampling the real ales and people watching.
Sometimes, for a change, we get off the train at Ramsbottom and have lunch in the Railway Inn opposite the station. They do good food and have a lovely decking area outside which is ideal in summer for whiling away the hours before the last train back. There's also lots of lovely little shops in Ramsbottom and a Sunday market.

ELR puts on lots of attractions, one of our favourites is the Santa Special train which runs regularly at weekends in the run up to Christmas. It's fantastic for children and the adults enjoy it too. Last year we took three of our grandsons - Sam (7), Kai (3) and Harry (3), Sam has been every year since he was 2, it was Kai's second time and Harry's first. Next Christmas we will probably take our other two grandchildren Gracie Jean (1) and Nate (1) - that should be fun we'll have to rope them together!! :) The staff of ELR go to a lot of trouble decorating the train and the station and even dressing themselves up as elves, snowmen, fairies etc. There is also a small brass band walking up and down the train playing Christmas Carols which is great fun. Then of course the highlight of the trip is the appearance of Santa who gives each child a quite substantial present. All adults receive a little goodie bag containing a small bottle of sherry and a mince pie. I can thoroughly recommend it for anyone with children/grandchildren. Follow the link to see some photos.

http://www.east-lancs-rly.co.uk/php/photoindex.php?collection=Santa%20Specials&path=photos_Santa_Specials

Another attraction I would recommend is the1940s Wartime Weekend. This takes place at the end of May and features military re-enactments, wartime trooptrains, military & civilian stalls, military vehicles etc etc. Coach loads of people arrive from far and wide all dressed in 1940's garb, which makes perfect people watching. They even bring their children dressed in typical 1940's clothes sporting gas masks! It's a great atmosphere and a great day out which doesn't cost a fortune.


Here's a couple of photo's showing some of the outfits people wear......
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If you want to see more of what ELR have to offer follow the link...

http://www.east-lancs-rly.co.uk/index2.php