Earlier this year the Kent and East Sussex Railway, which runs steam trains between Tenterden in Kent and Bodiam in East Sussex, launched an appeal to mark its sixtieth anniversary and help to make up for the devastating effects of the pandemic lockdown and tier restrictions of the past 12 months.
Thanks to the generosity of donors from all walks of life, and the support of local MPs Damian Green and Huw Merriman, the appeal has now exceeded its target with over £100,000 raised. This fantastic achievement will help make up for lost revenue and sustain the attraction into the future.
Chairman Simon Marsh said: “This is a tremendous result. We are very grateful to all our friends and supporters who donated, to Damian Green MP who launched the appeal, and to Huw Merriman MP who supported it. The money raised means that we can look forward to the future with confidence as we put the effects of the pandemic behind us.
“It also demonstrates the affection in which we are held by our ever-growing family.
“The opportunity to contribute to keeping steam trains running for generations to come hasn’t gone away. It costs a lot to restore and maintain our historic equipment and donations are always welcome. Information on why we need funding and how you can help is on our website at kesr.org.uk.
“Or why not come and visit us? Our trains are operating again, and all are welcome. Visit www.kesr.org.uk for details.”
The popular attraction maintains 10 and a half miles of railway with historic significance, being the first ‘light railway’ in the country. Today it’s home to a wide range of heritage rolling stock, some of which have been in service for well over 100 years.
The Colonel Stephens Railway Museum at Tenterden Town Station houses a nationally significant collection relating to the line’s founder and pioneer.
The Kent & East Sussex Railway was previously granted support from the government under its Culture Recovery Fund, helping to support costs during its enforced closure and recognising the significance of the heritage under its care.
Visit the appeal webpage to view video messages from Rt Hon Damian Green MP and Huw Merriman MP https://kesr.org.uk/help-keep-us-on-track-2021/
Photo credit: Kent & East Sussex Railway