Next RHDRA Special Events:
End of Season Special 27th October – details in next Marshlander, booking will be available here
Special Events on the RHDR:
On occasions, our stretch of double track between Hythe and New Romney provides the opportunity for parallel running trains. The thrill of passing and being passed by a Greenly Pacific at speed – going in the same direction is an experience which never seems to lose its appeal. This feature is one of the highlights of the several Special Events that the railway holds each year. Some such as the Paddington Days planned for June 23rd/24th this year are organised and run by the railway company with external organisations; the only RH&DRA involvement being to answer the call for extra volunteers at such times to help run the railway.
Other events however do have a significant input from the Association. Perhaps the highlight of 2017 was the 90th birthday celebrations in July. From the outset many different people were involved across the board, not least the Education & Heritage Portfolio Group’s assistance with the planning and delivery of the event. Largely through their efforts the descendants of Capt. Howey – the founder of the line were traced and invited along; an example of one of the original four wheel carriages was loaned; an exhibition was staged; stations were decorated – and best of all they encouraged as much dressing up in period costume as possible!
Another highlight was the Association ‘End of Season Special’. This runs every year for the benefit of members – but 2017 was extra special – as it marked not only the 90th anniversary of the railway but the 50th of the Association. After witnessing the Company Chairman, Sir William McAlpine, unveil the Transport Trust ‘Red Wheel’ plaque at New Romney, participants joined their special train – involving all available locos hauling them throughout the day on a varied timetable. All that and a stop for fish and chips at The End of the Line restaurant at Dungeness.
For 2018 there is an equally ambitious programme of events planned – see dates elsewhere on the RH&DR website or the timetable leaflet. Details of the Association’s involvement are still in the planning stage – as are thoughts for the 100th anniversary of the railway! This will be in 2027 – which may seem a long way off, but momentum is starting to build now to make our centenary something to remember.