Manchester’s famous Santa steam trains are back and ‘local heroes’ can ride them for FREE Emily Sergeant
And all you have to do is nominate someone you think deserves it.
As the heritage railway is keen to celebrate those who have made a difference within the local Greater Manchester community, or those who have impacted peoples’ lives for the better, five ‘local heroes’ are going to get the chance to take a ride on one of the famous Santa Specials steam trains for free of charge this December.
The much-loved festive event has not only become an essential part of Christmas for many in the north west, but this year, it’s bigger and better than ever before.
The five local heroes will get to bring their families along with them for a truly special Christmas day out as they make their way through a winter wonderland at Bury Bolton Street Station.
They’ll first get to meet some old favourites and new characters, including the magical talking Christmas tree, Mrs Claus, and ELR’s very own Ice Princess, all before before having a singalong with a chorus of musical polar bears.
The festive fun will then continue on the Santa Special steam trains on an 80-minute “enchanting voyage” through the magical Irwell Valley.
Santa himself will be on board handing out gifts, while a festive brass band plays traditional Christmas tunes for a singalong, and adults tuck into a mince pie and a festive tipple or two.
Kids can feast on chocolate, juice, and get stuck into a brand-new ELR festive activity pack.
“It’s more important than ever to celebrate our local heroes who give back to the community and make a positive impact on people’s lives and we are thrilled to be able to give back to these people,” explained Mike Kelly – Chairman at ELR.
“The Santa Specials have become a staple in many families’ Christmas celebrations.
“If there’s someone in your life or your local community that has made a positive impact over the past year, whether it’s through the work that they do, the time they volunteer or any acts of kindness you think a light should be shone on then head over to our website and tell us why you think they deserve a magical day out with their families at the railway this Christmas.”
- You can go on a festive tour of the Coronation Street set this Christmas
- A Horrible Histories Christmas-themed stage show is happening in Manchester this month
- Everything you need to know about Manchester Christmas Markets 2022
Keen to nominate a ‘local hero’ for this special Christmas experience? Make sure you can your entries in before they close on Monday 12 December.
You can enter on the ELR website here.
Featured Image – Darren Robinson (via ELR)
Everything on offer at the Manchester Women’s derby this Sunday Danny Jones
Derby day in the Barclays Women’s Super League is just days away and with both sides of Manchester a game in hand on league leaders Chelsea, there’s some serious leverage to play for.
With just three points separating red and blue and Manchester City on a run of eight-straight victories, it’s all set up to be a blockbuster.
Moreover, while you always know you’re in store for some top-notch football when it comes to the Manchester Women’s derby, the Etihad Campus has plenty more in store.
Here’s what you can expect from the derby day on Sunday, 11 December.
What’s on offer at the Etihad Campus?
Upon arriving at the Etihad, food and drink will be available to from a number of different vendors around City Square from 10:00am, with the official welcome ceremony getting underway at 10:30.
Presenters for the day will guide you through all of the pre-match talking points and will also be joined by legendary goalkeeper Karen Bardsley on stage, who made over a century of appearances for the club.
With both City and United boasting nine Euro 2022-winning Lionesses between them, fans can visit the Cityzens hub to have their photo taken with the trophy ahead of kick-off and even create their own Dream Team video.
You can also get involved in a number of other activities such as penalty shootouts, table tennis and its football equivalent, ‘futtoc’ (we know at least one of you had played some form of foot tennis).
Just after the players arrive at approximately 11am and those enjoying the Blue carpet experience are cheering on their heroes as they enter the Etihad Stadium, you can also watch the Battle of the Bands, with local band Strawberry Lemonade playing live at 12pm.
The off-pitch fun continues after half-time
Supporters on both sides are advised to make their way to their seats by 12:15 in preparation for the Etihad Campus’ exciting pre-match fireworks display, which will set the tone for a captivating encounter.
But the matchday experience continues at half-time, with those in the crowd able to take part in a half-time quiz and even be in with the chance of winning an exclusive holiday which will be revealed on the day.
Here’s your full schedule of pre-match and half-time festivities:
- Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott ‘working on plans’ to screen England vs France game at AO Arena
- Pep Guardiola signs new two-year contract extension with Manchester City
- Rugby legend, ultra-marathon runner, inspiration | Kevin Sinfield — MotM November 2022
It promises to be a memorable day out for all involved, with adult tickets available to purchase from £8 and under 18s costing just £4.
Seats are still available but selling fast, so grab your tickets to the WSL Manchester derby HERE while you still can.
We also had the pleasure of chatting to Manchester City Women‘s captain Steph Houghton ahead of the big day.
Safe to say she’s more than ready for the derby.
The Manchester Women’s derby kicks off at 12:30pm on Sunday, 11 December.
For all the latest news, events and goings on in Greater Manchester, subscribe to The Manc newsletter HERE.
Featured Image — Manchester City (via Instagram)