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
with its weekly rail service for youngsters
outside the former Methodist Schoolrooms.
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
7-inch gauge railway line, on the north side of Nantwich
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.
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
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!
Mushy Pea is driven on the track