Thousands has been spent to repair damage caused by vandals and clear up fly-tipped waste dumped on the tracks of one of the region’s most iconic rail routes.
East Lancashire Railway has warned that preparations for the reopening of the popular tourist attraction next month are sadly being hampered by continuing instances of fly-tipping and vandalism along the track, with the company revealing it has had to run regular clean up patrols over the past few weeks.
Volunteers have removed extensive amounts of rubbish dumped along the heritage railway’s twelve miles of tracks that stretch from Heywood in Greater Manchester to Rawtenstall in Lancashire.
The patrols have already collected six wagon loads of rubbish, which have included items as large as sofas and dining chairs.
The clean up patrol missions have unfortunately also had the knock-on effect of preventing the East Lancashire Railway’s army of dedicated volunteers from focusing on their main priority of preparing the railway for its planned reopening on 1st May.
“It’s really frustrating to see rubbish casually dumped on the railway like this,” said Mike Kelly, Chairman of the East Lancashire Railway.
“The upsurge in anti-social behaviour has put further strain on our already fragile finances, as we have been forced to collect and remove all this waste we have to run special services and hire skips, which costs the railway several thousands of pounds we cannot afford to spend”.
He continued: “As well as the litter, we’ve also suffered extensive vandalism to fences from the individuals who have been using the railway tracks as a dumping ground during lockdown”.
That’s not all either, as with safety trains running during the latest lockdown to maintain the line and prepare for reopening, East Lancashire Railway has also crucially warned that anyone trespassing on the railway is putting themselves in danger too.
“I would like to call on the help of the public,” Mike added.
“And I would ask people to be vigilant and report any instances of trespass they may witness [as] stamping out on anti-social behaviour on the railway will help to keep the public safe and allow us all to focus on our top priority – the re-opening of an attraction that brings joy to so many”.
He also thanked the “fantastic volunteers” who are working to get the railway ready.
The ELR is back! 🚂🚆😊
Standard services will be running from 1st May onwards and Dining Services from 21st May. Pubs and the café will also be opening soon! Find out more here: https://t.co/LxIt6YTd8R
Since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the heritage railway has been fighting for its survival as it has been deprived of vital visitor income for the majority of the past twelve months.
It has only been kept afloat only through its extensive fundraising efforts, loans and grants.
The railway is scheduled to reopen to the public with a number of COVID safety measures in place from 1st May 1st, alongside welcoming visitors to the two station pubs, and the Trackside at Bury and Buffer Stops at Rawtenstall, which will open on the 12th April for outside service.
You can also purchase gift vouchers and book tickets online here.
Featured Image – East Lancashire Railway
BBC is looking for Mancs to take part in next series of Race Across the World
Are you a fan of travelling? Got yourself a bit of a competitive streak in your nature? This might just be your calling then.
The BBC is currently casting for the next series of Race Across the World.
The broadcaster has announced that the BAFTA-winning hit show is set to return to our TV screens for a third series later this year, and producers are now on the look-out for “intrepid duos” of all ages who reckon they’re ready to take a step into the unknown, and embark on an epic race across land and sea – and that includes Greater Manchester residents.
With applications for the next series of the massively-popular show now open, nomadic Mancs are being encouraged to take part.
On a limited budget and away from the luxuries of modern technology and conveniences, those lucky applicants selected to take part in the next series will get the chance to experience life in some of the world’s most beautiful and remote locations.
BBC is looking for Mancs to take part in next series of Race Across the World / Credit: BBC
Navigating their way across thousands of miles, they’ll travel through spectacular scenery and dynamic cities, visit ancient wonders, learn local customs, and take part in time-honoured traditions.
But, as producers are keen to point out, “the physical journey is only half of the story”.
That’s because, as the contestants take on the challenge of travelling across the world, the greatest thing they’ll discover along the way could actually be about themselves and one another.
Putting out a UK-wide casting call on the BBC website this week, producers Studio Lambert wrote: “We are now accepting applications for the next series of Race Across the World. This experience is open to all, whether you’re a seasoned traveller or total novice.
“We want to hear what undertaking a trip like this would mean to you, and with a cash prize at stake, what lengths you would go to to win.
Applications for the massively-popular show are now open / Credit: BBC
“Maybe you’re looking to change something in your life? Or are keen to share the journey with someone special like a family member, best friend, or someone you’ve lost touch with. You may even have a very personal reason for wanting to travel at this time in your life or explore a particular part of the world.”
Fancy it then?
Applications for the third series of Race Across the World are now open for anyone over 18 years of age, with a deadline date of Friday 19 April 2024, and you can find out more information and apply via the BBC website.
Cheadle care home asks locals to take their dogs to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to cheer up residents
A Greater Manchester care home is calling on locals to take their dogs down to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to help cheer up the residents.
After recent studies have shown that introducing dogs into care home settings can help lift people’s mood and increase social interaction among the community, Abney Court Care Home in the Stockport town of Cheadle – which sits within the picturesque grounds of Abney Hall Park – has decided to host its very-own ‘Canine Café’ next week.
But in a bid to make sure there’s enough canine cuddles for all the residents, staff at the home are asking the public to bring their own four-legged friends down to the party.
Abney Court created the canine-themed event after being inspired by the positive impact previous animal visits have had on residents’ wellbeing in the past, and after hearing how much they missed the company of their own pets from their younger years.
Cheadle care home asks locals to take their dogs to its ‘Canine Café’ next week to cheer up residents / Credit: Care UK (via Facebook)
Taking place next Friday 8 March from 11am-12pm, Abney Court’s ‘Canine Café’ gives attendees the chance to enjoy loads of tasty puppy-themed treats and drinks, all while being in the company of furry friends.
Of course, all four-legged guests will be taken good care of too.
Not only will the pups be able to enjoy plenty of fuss from the home’s residents, but they’ll also get the opportunity to play with the other pooches, and be treated to their very-own ‘pup cake’ too.
There’ll also be lots of garden games and a raffle too, so everyone has a shot a winning a whole host of goodies to take home.
Inviting the Greater Manchester public down to the party next week, Amcia Hara, who is the Home Manager at Abney Court, said: “We are looking forward to inviting the local community to our Canine Café, as atudies have shown that introducing dogs into care homes can help lift people’s mood and increase social interaction.
“The human-animal bond is powerful in promoting self-esteem and wellbeing, which is exactly why we feel our Canine Café is set to be a brilliant event.
“Whether you have your own dog or simply an animal lover, we’d encourage you to come along to our event.”