East Lancashire celebrates 30 years

THE East Lancashire Railway marked the 30th anniversary of its first service with a special train for members and staff past and present.

On the evening of July 22, a special was hauled by former Manchester Ship Canal No. 32 Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T No. 680 of 1903 Gothenburg from Bury Bolton Street to Ramsbottom.

Gothenburg heads the 30th anniversary special to Ramsbottom on July 25. EMMA SEDDON

It was Gothenburg that hauled the opening train on July 25, 1987. The locomotive is painted blue so it can double up as Thomas the Tank Engine at themed events.

On July 25, around 50 members watched as a plaque was unveiled at Ramsbottom station to mark the anniversary, after being taken there behind Gothenburg.

A pioneers’ lunch was held for the founding members of the society to celebrate the occasion.

East Lancashire Railway chairman, Mike Kelly, said: “We are proud of what we have achieved over the past 30 years.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us over the past three decades, visitors, staff, local authorities and, of course, our wonderful volunteers and the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society.”

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