A group of volunteers on the East Lancashire Railway have been celebrated this week after clocking up a whopping 2000 years-worth of service between them.
The heritage railway is a popular tourist attraction on the Greater Manchester and Lancashire border, bringing around 200,000 visitors annually.
It has now awarded its most dedicated volunteers – which its chairman says are the railway’s ‘lifeblood’ – with Long Service Awards.
He added that they had helped the attraction to ‘bounce back’ from an ‘incredibly challenging’ 18 months caused by the pandemic.
But not all their volunteers have returned post-pandemic, and the ELR is calling out for people to maintain the railway, run the heritage trains and host events and experiences – basically, to be the ‘cogs that keep the railway running’.
58 staff and volunteers were recently given plaques for their dedication to the ELR over the last 50 years.
They’ve collectively spent more than 2,000 years working for the heritage attraction, with its longest-serving volunteers working there for more than 50 years.
Lois Veevers Hatton and Peter Lord have both been with the ELR for 52 years, while Richard Law and Phil Bailey have spent 51 years volunteering.
These people are credited with ‘rescuing the railway from disappearing’ back in the late 60’s, preserving it for future generations.
Ten further volunteers were given silver awards for more than four decades of service, with the remaining honoured with bronze awards.
East Lancashire Railway chairman Mike Kelly, a fellow volunteer himself, said: “Our volunteers have and continue to be the absolute lifeblood of the heritage railway.
“Put simply, without them, we could not function, so it’s only right that we step out to salute their incredible selfless and unwavering service.
“Our Long Service Awards provided the perfect opportunity to celebrate their contribution and to thank them for their dedication that stretches back decades.
“This was more important than ever after the last 18 months which have been incredibly challenging for the railway due to the coronavirus pandemic, which put our future in jeopardy.
Featured image: Facebook – East Lancashire Railway
Kids & Family
Tyson Fury and wife Paris announce they are expecting their seventh child
Tyson Fury and his wife Paris have revealed that they are now expecting their seventh child, as per an announcement made over social media.
Amidst the ongoing saga between himself and Oleksandr Usyk following their title fight being called off earlier this week, an update that frustrated both Fury and fight fans everywhere, the Manc boxer took to Instagram to share some “fantastic news” that cheered him up.
Posting a story on Thursday evening, Tyson shared of the two of them on a date night along with the caption “God is great… 7th baby incoming”.
The pair already have three boys, all called Prince, and three girls, Venezuela, Valencia Amber and their recent child, Athena. Paris shared the story on her profile too.
Elsewhere, Tyson must now wait for his would-be Ukrainian opponent to fight Daniel Dubois in a mandatory bout before the two can meet at Wembley, which was originally scheduled to take place on 29 April this year.
Fury-Usyk had looked to be all but confirmed as early as December, but a dispute over the “material terms critical to the fight” has seen it postponed indefinitely.
For now, the 34-year-old from Wythenshawe has nothing to focus on other than becoming a dad for the seventh time in 14 years.
Featured Image — Tyson Fury/Paris Fury (via Instagram)
Kids & Family
There’s a big 3D animal egg hunt happening at Chester Zoo this Easter
Chester Zoo is gearing up to launch a new Easter egg hunt when schools are out next month – but there’s a bit of a twist.
With Easter right around the corner, and schools soon to be out across Greater Manchester, if you’re looking for something a little different to do with the kids that keeps them both entertained and educated at the same time, then Chester Zoo has got you covered.
The UK’s largest charity and conservation zoo is launching the ‘Really Wild Egg Trail’ at the start of April.
All set to be a proper “educational adventure”, the trail will see giant 3D eggs hidden around the zoo’s 128-acre site – but the catch is, each of the hidden eggs belong to animals that you might not expect to hatch from eggs.
With an interactive map specially designed by National Geographic, there’ll be a total of six hidden eggs to seek out.
Once little explorers have found all six eggs hidden around the zoo, they can then make their way over to the on-site gift shop to pick up a Nat Geo Kids magazine that’s usually worth £4.99 for free.
“This Easter you can expect something a little different at Chester Zoo,” Customer Development Manager Elinor Trigg said ahead of the start of the trail next month.
“From the largest lizard in the world to tiny invertebrates, this educational adventure will help to shine a spotlight on our world-leading breeding programmes that are helping to save some of the most endangered animals on the planet, while connecting children to the natural world.”
“We’re home to more than 27,000 animals here at our charity zoo,” she continued.
“The trail is a wonderful way to learn more about some incredible, endangered species and, at the same time, take part some Easter-egg fun.”