Steaming to the rescue is Penny Pegler, the daughter of the man who saved the world famous Flying Scotsman from being cut up for scrap in 1963. She is asking the public to support a £360,000 Save Our Service appeal to help the award-winning Swanage Railway survive in the wake of the economic effects of coronavirus.
Rebuilt since 1976, the five-an-a-half mile heritage line between Norden, Corfe Castle, Harman’s Cross and Swanage carries more than 200,000 passengers a year and contributes more than £15 million to the local economy every year. However it ceased running trains in mid-March.
Last year Penny flew in from her home in Portugal to wave off the first train from Swanage to be hauled by the Flying Scotsman.
Penny’s enterprising and charismatic father, the late Alan Pegler, purchased the 97-tonne Flying Scotsman from British Railways for £3,000 in 1963 – thereby saving the iconic 1920s A3 class express engine, built for the London and North Eastern Railway, from being cut up for scrap.
Penny said, “The Swanage Railway needs our financial help. There is nothing quite like the sound and smell of a locomotive in steam hauling a train through Dorset’s lovely Isle of Purbeck.”
Launched on Wednesday 25 March with a target of £360,000, the Save Our Service appeal had raised £159,135 by 22 May.
Swanage Railway Trust chairman Gavin Johns said, “I would like to thank Penny for her support as well as everyone who has made – and will make – a donation to the appeal during these extraordinary and challenging times.
“Several generations of remarkable people have rebuilt the Swanage Railway from nothing since 1976 and there is still so much more to achieve.”
Clearly marked ‘Save Our Service’ appeal, cheques can be sent to the Swanage Railway Trust at Station House, Station Approach, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 1HB.
To donate by phone, text ‘SOS’ to 70470 to donate £10. This costs £10 plus a standard rate message.
Alternatively, you can choose to give any whole amount between £1 and £20. For example, texting ‘SOS 4’ equals a £4 donation plus a standard rate message.
To make a ‘Save Our Service’ donation by PayPal, or by a cheque in the post, visit www.saveourservice.co.uk while donations can also be made via the Swanage Railway’s Facebook page.
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