What a superb end to 2019 and a cracking start to 2020.
The Middy Santa Specials were all sold out nearly a month before the first train ran and the waiting list was, “The longest we’ve ever had”, said Chris Baddeley, Head of Santa Bookings and, “For the first time we ran 6 days of trains with eight trains a day”.
Right: Santa & Mrs. Santa in their magic brake van.
Then, on New Year’s Day, despite the murky weather, the Steam & Light event drew a record breaking crowd with packed trains and standing room only in the tea room and The Kitchener Arms real ale bar. Trains ran every 20 minutes from 11.00 and the vintage lighting display comprised of some 250 lamps, which really got a chance to shine as the daylight was less than bright. The event was further enhanced by a visit from the Ipswich Transport Museum’s 1939 Dennis Ace bus and several visitors dressed in Edwardian costume.
Right: The Dennis Bus; far right some of the lamps creating a seasonal atmosphere in the Restoration Shed.