Instead, the heritage railway will donate all ticket sales proceeds from the weekend of October 14th-16th 2022 (when the event was due to take place) to the British Red Cross’s Ukraine Crisis Appeal.
NYMR Chief Executive Officer Chris Price commented:
We did not think it was right to have a wartime-themed event in the calendar, when the people of Ukraine are facing such a tense, dangerous, and distressing time. Ongoing violence is causing people to flee their homes and become separated from their families.
We appreciate there will be a lot of disappointed people, but we hope everyone understands our decision, and that as many people as possible will still use the railway on that weekend, thus helping to raise thousands of pounds for the Ukraine appeal.
Over the closed winter period, the NYMR had begun plans to host a 2022 Railway in Wartime event, with activity along the heritage line. The railway had begun discussions with local stakeholders to discuss how it would manage and deliver the offsite activities, including the famous military parade, in light of a reduction of volunteers post pandemic, which has also seen a reduction of up to 40% of the railway’s resource.
Laura Strangeway Director of Corporate Services and Deputy CEO at NYMR, added:
We have taken guidance from the Heritage Railway Association which has recommended to its membership not to schedule wartime re-enactment events for the foreseeable future, and it is with regret that we will not be hosting the annual event.
The NYMR is aware of the impact to local businesses and will continue to liaise with stakeholders. It is still planning to host its Annual Steam Gala (22-25 September), Light Spectacular (22-30 October) and Santa Special events (selected dates during December), all of which are great opportunities for local businesses to get involved.
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