A Charity Gala will mark the fiftieth birthday of the Mid Cheshire Society of Model Engineers (MCSME) over the weekend of 6/7 July. All proceeds from the event will be given to the local charity Simply The Breast, which raises money for Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity.

Sandiway Miniature Railway, next to Blakemere Village, is home to MCSME, which was founded in 1974, so is now celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. In May of that year, an article appeared in the local newspaper, penned by a local builder, appealing for people interested in model engineering to contact him with a view to forming a local society. From small beginnings, MCSME grew and developed; it purchased the site at Sandiway Wood in 2012, the first trains running there a year later.

Steam locomotive Ralrog will be at Sandiway for the weekend

During the weekend of the Gala, the railway will host visiting locomotives and even a steam roller. If you haven’t visited Sandiway Miniature Railway for a while, you will be astonished at the extent to which it has been enlarged and developed in recent years. You can’t beat the sound, sight and smell of steam and you will, of course, be able to ride around the whole railway, behind one of several live steam locomotives. If you’re feeling adventurous (and you are over 16 years of age) you will also have the opportunity to drive a miniature locomotive for yourself.

There are two concentric ground level loops at Sandiway, each around a quarter of a mile long. Both will be in use during the weekend; every hour, a special “all lines” train, traversing both loops “non-stop” will run, making a journey of over half a mile. (A small additional charge will be made for this extended journey.) There is also a raised track, which is currently being developed; it is hoped to have locomotives using this too.

This fully operational 5″ to the foot scale model of a steam roller will be visiting on Sunday

All the proceeds from the event are being given to Simply The Breast. This amazing project was set up by Kim Smith to raise funds to enhance the patient experience in the Breast Care Centre at Leighton Hospital, donating money to Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity. You may know Kim from Radio Northwich, where she presents The Good Morning Show from Monday to Friday. She will be opening the Gala at 11:30am on Saturday 6 July, as a parade of locomotives will mark the start of the event.

The dates and times you need are as follows:

Saturday 6 July: official opening and parade of engines at 11:30am; public running from 12:00 noon to 4:00pm; drive a locomotive at various times during the day.

Sunday 7 July: public running from 12:00 noon to 4:00pm; visiting steam roller running all day.

Please remember that all children should be accompanied by an adult on the site and when riding one of our trains. We are only able to accept cash in payment for rides and activities, and donations. Sandiway Miniature Railway is next to Blakemere Village; access to the railway is from the upper car park. We look forward to seeing you there!


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