Caring Swanage Railway volunteers organising their annual three-day Diesel Gala and Beer Festival (9-11 May) are helping to raise £200,000 towards a new lifeboat house – thanks to a special train from Salisbury, Southampton, Bournemouth and Poole to Corfe Castle and Swanage.
It will be making a special piece of Dorset railway history by being the first excursion train bound for the rebuilt Swanage Railway to pick up passengers at Poole station.
When the three-coach ‘Swanage Lifeboatman’ diesel train arrives at Swanage station just before 12 noon on Thursday, 8 May, kind-hearted Swanage Railway volunteers will be presenting a large £500 cheque to members of the Swanage lifeboat crew. The special fund-raising train will be departing Swanage at 5.06pm for the three-hour journey back to Salisbury via Southampton.
General Manager Richard Jones said: “The Swanage Railway is delighted to be supporting the Swanage lifeboat station appeal with the RNLI being the nominated charity during our West of England main line tribute day as well as our three-day Diesel Gala and Beer Festival.”
The RNLI’s £200,000 Swanage lifeboat station appeal is the supported charity of this year’s three-day Swanage Railway Diesel Gala and Dorset Beer Festival which runs from 9-11 May.
The Dorset Beer Festival takes place at the Bankes Arms Hotel next to Corfe Castle station.
Swanage Railway Company Chairman Peter Sills added: “Serving the local community, the Swanage Railway and the town’s lifeboat have both been an important part of Swanage for more than 130 years.”
A new lifeboat station near Peveril Point in Swanage is required to accommodate the town’s next generation of hi-tech lifeboat – a fast 25-knot all-weather ‘Shannon’ class vessel – set to sail into Swanage during 2016.
An all-weather Class D lifeboat – the type based at the RNLI lifeboat station in Swanage – will be on display at Corfe Castle station on 10 May during the second day of the Diesel Gala, before being moved to Harman’s Cross village hall, next to the railway station, for a fund-raising RNLI Fun Day on 11 May.