Rail companies and community groups are getting together to throw a party at the end of June. A community gala is being planned for Saturday June 30th – 50 years to the day when the last steam locomotive puffed out of Bolton loco sheds on Crescent Road, Great Lever.
The event is being co-ordinated by a new organisation called Bolton Station Community Development Partnership, which includes Northern, who manage the station. Vicky Cropper, Northern’s Community and Sustainability Manager, said: “We want to mark a major anniversary in our railway heritage but also showcase rail’s positive role in the community, as a sustainable and accessible form of transport.”
The new partnership also includes Network Rail, Transport for Greater Manchester, Bolton Council, Bolton University, Bolton at Home, Octagon Theatre, Bolton School, Bolton CVS, community groups and businesses.
“We are keen to hear from a wide range of community groups and local businesses,” said Vicky. “Current plans include music, poetry, face-painting, stalls, food, an exhibition on Bolton’s railway history and a vintage bus giving tours around the town. We are also hoping to have a miniature steam railway giving rides for kids.”
The event will also feature activities in the new interchange, which is connected to the railway station by the ‘Sky Walk’ which will have photographic displays and art work.
Plans are being made for a pre-gala event on the Friday evening, June 29th, with a talk and film show about Bolton’s railway past.
Prof. Paul Salveson MBE, of Arriva UK Trains and chair of the partnership, remembers the days of steam at Bolton: “Bolton has a great railway history which stretches as far back as 1828. As a local rail enthusiast I can remember with sadness when steam ended at ‘the sheds’. Today, Bolton station is as busy as it has ever been and this year we hope to see electric trains running to Manchester and Blackpool. There’s a lot to celebrate and there are some great ideas developing for how we can make Bolton station a real community hub for the town.”
If your group is interested in being involved, please contact Laura Calvert at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring Paul Salveson on 07795 008691