News

A Thrilling Finale for Hollycombe Steam

  • 22nd October 2019

Historic Collection Closes for Winter

Hollycombe Steam in the Country enjoyed a magical end to its successful 2019 season on 19th October staging its final Fairground at Night.

Welcoming visitors to its historic collection one last time before closing the doors for winter, people came to experience the thrill of the Edwardian Fairground, steam railways, showman’s engines and popular sideshows from the period.

Throughout the evening there was a spine-tingling chill in the air, Hollycombe was dressed for Halloween and encouraged adults and children alike to turn out in their spookiest costumes. A face-painter was on hand for families to complete their masquerades whilst crowds were entertained by a captivating fire performer and Hollycombe’s very own Showman at the Bioscope.

Around the grounds, the sights and sounds from the many visiting full-sized and miniature steam engines made quite a spectacle. The magnificent Jerry M steam locomotive was double heading with a visiting O&K engine running along the Quarry Railway, both were dressed in lights and Halloween decorations, delighting visitors as they enjoyed riding the 1.5mile route in the historic carriages at night.

Hollycombe was joined by Hometown Festivals, serving a range of autumnal beverages and beers to visitors in the fairground and Florio’s Pizza’s. This was alongside the delicious hot and cold favourites provided by the Hollycombe Cafeteria and a range of sweet treats and souvenirs available in the popular Oak Tree Stores. 

Speaking about the evening, Simon Wildgust, Museum Manager at Hollycombe said: ‘We’re delighted that so many people choose to share their evening with us and make our season finale so memorable.

We’ve enjoyed a very successful season at Hollycombe this year, welcoming many new visitors to our steam collection, as well as seeing familiar faces return to enjoy our events. We’re extremely thankful for this support and are very much looking forward to welcoming people back to us in spring next year.’

‘Throughout the season our dedicated team of volunteers have worked tirelessly to ensure that the rides at Hollycombe are well looked after and keep running, without them we could not open our wonderful historic collection for people to discover and enjoy.’ Simon continued.  

Hollycombe is one of Britain’s largest collections of working steam and a collection of significant national importance, as such, when the gates close for winter the team at Hollycombe move into a very busy period of maintenance.

‘Hollycombe is by no means a quiet place to be during the winter month’s’, commented Simon. ‘almost immediately after the gates close to visitors, our winter maintenance programme begins in earnest to ensure that the rides are ready and operational for next year. Due to the inclement weather during the winter months and the importance of the rides, we dismantle the fairground and carry out any necessary work to protect and restore the collection over the winter. Our volunteers lead this work and they will be on site working tirelessly on a variety of projects at Hollycombe whilst we are closed. This includes maintaining the rides, the steam trains and many engines as well as keeping the grounds well looked after and buildings safe and secure. There really are many jobs that need to be done at Hollycombe during this period and we would welcome support from anyone who can give their time to help us during winter.’ Simon added.   

The steam collection will re-open it’s gates to the public on Friday 10th April 2020 for Easter Weekend. All full-priced tickets are valid for one year from the date of purchase and include all the annual open days at Hollycombe as well as the enjoyable special events.

For more information contact info@hollycombe.co.uk, or contact volunteering@hollycombe.co.uk to find out more about the volunteering opportunities.