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Wartime weekend's £1million boost to Pickering area
THE area’s economy was boosted by more than £1 million by this year’s Railway in Wartime nostalgia weekend, according to the mayor of Pickering.
Coun William Oxley, who owns the bed and breakfast business 17 Burgate, said the economic impact on Pickering was ‘immense’ – and not just to businesses in the town.
“Many of those I have spoken to say they have had a fantastic weekend and could not survive without it,” he said.
“I know that for one or two the event kills their trade but overall it is a great weekend for the town and a huge boost for us all.”
Coun Oxley said that with visitors estimated at about 50,000 on the Saturday alone, the benefit to the town’s economy was more than £1 million.
“When you look at the accommodation booked and the spending during the days, that is a huge amount of money and it is not just the businesses who benefit, there are the community groups as well,” he added.
“The Christmas Lights Group, for example, raised more than £500, then there is the Scout group, schools, Memorial Hall, who all raised funds. The great thing about the Wartime Weekend is that it gets everyone involved.”
Hosted by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, the 20th annual event started with a flag-raising ceremony on Friday to commemorate people who lost their lives on the railways.
Over the following three days, re-enactments, parades and demonstrations took place along the line, from Pickering to Whitby.
Highlighting the spirit of the Home Front in 1943, the stations featured displays on the Home Guard, Anderson shelters, food and cookery from the era as well as entertainment from singers and musicians.
Wayne Brown and his wife Melanie visited the event from Marske, near Teesside, and said: “The weather this year has made it fantastic, and there seems to be a really good atmosphere.
“It’s about our 10th time here. We go to a few each year, and try to go to every new one we can, but every year we always come back to this one.”
Alex and Tony Parsons are in the Northern Forties re-enactment group, and brought their 18-month old son Seth to the event on Thursday. They will spend a whole week travelling between the villages to raise money for Help For Heroes.
Alex said: “It’s the second time we’ve been here, and it’s much busier; there are a lot more people here this year.
“The group has raised more than £5,000 already. We think it’s a brilliant event, definitely the best in the country, and the public have been enjoying themselves, and really generous.”
Danielle Ramsey, marketing manager with the NYMR, said: “The Railway in Wartime weekend has been a staple event in the NYMR’s diary for 20 years now, and indeed, the themed activities continue all along the line from Pickering to Whitby, attracting thousands of visitors from around the country.
“It was a really good weekend with more visitors than last year. The whole event was a great success – thanks to all our staff and volunteers who help out and make it all possible.”
Danielle added: “We are now looking towards next year’s event and would love to hear from anyone who would like to get involved in this fantastic weekend.”