‘Mad scramble’ to arrange event

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by Chris Tobin

Things were really steaming along at the Pleasant Point Museum and Railway last Sunday.

The railway celebrated its 50th anniversary in style despite short notice to get everything up and running.

“We did not know till Monday afternoon on the 21st that we could operate,” president Bryan Blanchard said.

“It had all been cancelled when we first planned to celebrate it in March.

“It was a mad scramble to get everything under way for the following Sunday.

“Special souvenir tickets were printed, and arrangements made for an anniversary dinner, and a head board to be mounted on the smoke box door of Ab699.”

The railway’s two steam locomotives, Ab699 and D16, as well as the Ford Model-T replica rail car, were in action.

The Mackenzie Highland Pipe Band entertained, the Pleasant Point Lions Club held a sausage sizzle, there was a bouncy castle and face-painting for children and Brian Smith and Leeanne Pateman operated a small stationary vintage engine display.

Museum and railway members had a special celebration dinner at 5pm when original members Bryan and Marian Blanchard cut the anniversary cake.

Evening operations then began at 7pm and Mr Blanchard said it was great seeing Ab699 steaming along in the dark.