The miniature railway goes into full gear with a charity event for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital

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Brookside Miniature Railway

Proposed by Emma Wright

A popular miniature railway which has faced flooding, burglaries and closures is set to host a fun day out for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity.

Brookside Miniature Railway in Poynton, Cheshire, originally planned to hold a fundraising event for the children’s hospital in March 2019, as part of a grand reopening after its sudden closure in 2018.

Railway managers and volunteers had to postpone the event after facing “every possible disaster”.

Now, Fun Day will take place on Sunday, March 20, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All normal travel costs will apply, but for the day of fun these will be collected by the charity instead.

Four-year-old Percy Sherwood-Brown can’t wait to get on the trains.

Percy is not only a huge model train fan, but is also a current outpatient at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in March 2020 when he was just two years old.

Percy’s mother Karrie said: ‘Throughout his treatment Percy has been in the oncology and haematology ward but he has also been in the intensive care unit and the transplant unit bone marrow – so we know the hospital very well by now.

“It’s not a place you want to be as a parent but honestly once you get there the staff are just amazing – they are so supportive and Percy was looked after very well.

“It’s so reassuring when you’re going through leukemia with a two-year-old child. We’re very grateful to the hospital and want to do everything we can to support them.

“Percy is also a big train fan so he can’t wait to visit Brookside again. And this time, he will meet the Charity mascot bear! He can’t wait.

Percy at the Brookside Miniature Railway

Chris MacKenzie MBE, one of the railways’ directors, said: “We’ve faced just about every disaster imaginable. It’s chaos.

“The floods and burglaries came first and then we had a running little joke that all that was left was a blight. Then Covid arrived and the whole world went into lockdown.

“It felt like it was one thing after another and it would have been very easy to feel defeated. But we have an incredible team of staff and volunteers who put in incredible hard work.

“We had to rebuild pieces of track, clean up after the floods, we had tunnels and tracks that failed their technical inspections, we deviated the course, we had toys stolen… it was endless. But each time, we came back to fight.

Flood at the miniature railway

In 2019, the original Fun Day was canceled due to inclement weather which flooded large areas in and around Poynton. This was accompanied by a second flood in July 2019. Later that year, in August 2019, Brookside Miniature Railway was once again able to open its doors to customers with the help of volunteers.

Officials had hoped to operate the attraction for a few months before turning their attention to the charity day again. But in February 2020, vandals damaged part of the fences.

Later that same month, thieves smashed a window and stole toys. The following night there was a second break-in. The thieves broke into the temporary boarding, set up to provide security where the window had been smashed, and again stole toys.

Brookside Miniature Railway was grateful to have the support of local artists, who came to paint a mural over the area of ​​the damaged window to make it look like a window with pretty planters at the bottom. Another artist painted a mural in one of the train tunnels.

But in March 2020, disaster struck again when the country went into lockdown. The site was closed for 143 days, but being an outdoor attraction they were luckier than some local businesses and were able to open earlier.

During the first half of 2021, Brookside Miniature Railway closed again, eventually reopening in April 2021 after what organizers hope will be the closure.

Andy Prior, Railway Site Manager, said: “It has now been three years but we are determined that the fun day for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity can finally continue.

“We chose Charité because many of our clients are children. We felt it was right to give something back to a charity that benefits so many young people in our area.

The fun day will include a visit from Charity Humphrey’s mascot (a giant green bear very popular with children), as well as train rides, families can also enjoy the Keelings Vintage funfair and live band music traditional jazz.

All of the day’s collections will go to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, which funds treatment, research and care projects for the more than 280,000 young patients who visit the hospital each year.

There will also be a raffle for the charity, with prizes including meals out, a care package and vouchers for local shops.

Jo Thomas, Community Fundraising Manager at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, said: ‘We are so humbled that the team has chosen to raise money for us in this way – asking for donations instead of selling. tickets for the rides.

“We really hope that many families will come out to have fun, meet Humphrey and support a truly worthy cause.”

To learn more about the association, Click here.


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