A Letter from Nantwich

August 2012  

Mushy Pea steams into park and ride idea













A FREE-ride event for children in the centre of Nantwich may pave the way for a park and ride service with a difference.

   Nantwich Methodist Church, in Hospital Street, has been known for some time now as "The Church with a Train" (as this website revealed in April 2012) with its weekly rail service for youngsters outside the former Methodist Schoolrooms.

   It has long been the ambition of the main train driver, Paul Durant, to extend the line across Hospital Street - complete with barriers and all the signalling equipment required - via The Gullet car park to St Mary's Parish Church, just a few yards from The Square.

   Paul took the first steps, well rail yardage (too short a trip to be called mileage), with a length of temporary

7-inch gauge railway line, on the north side of Nantwich Parish Church.

   There, with the encouragement of their mums, several children enjoyed a quadruple (to the end of the line and back, twice) journey on a small train pulled by an engine called Mushy Pea.

   Pictured right, Paul Durant drives the train with three passengers whose faces have been disguised to protect their identities.

    While the church also owns an electric miniature train, Mushy Pea is powered by anthracite beads, which look as though someone has patiently produced lumps of coal to scale but which are a genuine product bought from Stoke-on-Trent.

   The ultimate aim - if everyone who has to give permission for the venture can be persuaded to do so - is for the train to pick up passengers from the car park at Morrison's supermarket, just behind the Methodist Church, and transport them to St Mary's. From there, they can go into the town centre and



continue their shopping.

   The project will need finance, with potential backers including Nantwich Town Council, maybe Cheshire East Council, and - since they will benefit - traders in the indoor market and town centre shops.

   For further information - or to support the venture with money - contact Paul and Heather Durant at 13 Barony Road, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 5QY. Telephone 01270 626168; mobile phone 07814 508687. Give them your name, address, telephone and e-mail address and say whether you want more details or to help to finance the crossrail scheme.

   Who cares if you can probably walk faster than the train - it will rest your tired feet and help you to carry your many purchases . . . and be a fun thing to do!     











The proposed Nantwich Crossrail route, as included on a publicity leaflet for the park and ride idea.










Mushy Pea is driven on the track



Since this article was written the Methodist Church has acquired another "coal-fired" engine which pulls the train at the weekly sessions at the side of the church in Hospital Street.  Read more in an updated version of that article  here.

The original Letter from Nantwich | The Church with the train | Methodist Church sold | Updates page | Letters index page

OTHER CHURCH ITEMS:  A new park and ride idea for town centre | Church makes use of "office" site | What's On - churches | Church view goes west

Bid to save church | Church "tour" in video


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