22 December 2023
A successful visit by Year Three pupils of Richmond School in Skegness has shown the way ahead for the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway to build relationships with the area’s schools and the communities they serve.
The visit was, for many of the children, the first time they had travelled on a train of any sort and only a handful had seen a steam engine before.
For the occasion, the LCLR, which was the first heritage railway in the world to be built by enthusiasts when it opened near Cleethorpes in 1960, steamed its flagship 120 year old locomotive Jurassic to take children for a ride along its narrow gauge track in the Skegness Water Leisure Park.
It enabled them to experience at first hand and ride on trains which had served the battlefields of the First World War, industry, agriculture and the holiday trade, using the award-winning vehicles and tracks which have been conserved by the LCLR and its team of volunteers.
Chairman of the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway Historic Vehicles Trust, Richard Shepherd, said:”The day was an eye-opener for us and made us realise that other schools and their pupils in the area could use our unique railway to learn so much about the area’s history, society and economy in such an enjoyable way.
“This was the first time we had hosted a large scale visit from a school – 60 children – and it was a joy for our volunteers. Hopefully, the children and their teachers enjoyed it as much as we did. The children were polite and very well behaved and a credit to Richmond School. We hope to welcome them again and now plan to approach other schools in the area to suggest they may wish to make a similar visit”.
Star of the show was undoubtedly Jurassic, which only a few days before the visit had celebrated her 120th ‘birthday’ from when she was delivered by her builders, Peckett and Sons of Bristol, to the quarries of Kaye and Company, at Southam in Warwickshire. She came to the LCLR in 1961 and so has spent more than half of her long life in Lincolnshire.
Deputy Headteacher at Richmond School, Ricki Danks, who organised the visit said: “Certainly the children enjoyed their visit and learned a lot from travelling on the train and experiencing at first hand how this form of transport helped create modern Lincolnshire and the world we live in”.
LCLR spokesman John Chappell said: “We have something unique to offer schools in the area and hope to encourage more to visit the line and learn from what we have been able to conserve over more than 60 years”.
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