Around 200 people were present at Skegness station on Thursday 23rd January to witness the spectacular launch of the ELR50 festival!
Chris Baron, Resort Director of Butlins, unveiled a nameplate on glistening East Midlands Railway Class 158 diesel unit No. 158864. Carrying the words ‘ELR50 – Visit Lincolnshire in 2020’ and two badges on its bodysides, it will travel thousands of miles this year advertising the event.
Chris spoke of the importance of ELR50 to recognise the importance of the railways to East Lincolnshire, not just in the past, but as a key contributor to the present-day tourist economy. He was also standing in the footsteps of Sir Billy Butlin, who arrived in Skegness by train back in February 1927 and decided there and then to set up his holiday business at the resort. Over 500,000 visitors are catered for each year, and many arrive by train.
Before the train returned to Nottingham with its regular passengers, official photographs were taken beside the train with civic dignitaries from the towns of Skegness, Mablethorpe, Spilsby and Wainfleet, ELR organisers, and of course the ‘Jolly Fisherman’ in full outfit with large smiling face.
Batemans Brewery, one of the principal sponsors, were present with bottles of their strictly limited edition special ELR50 beer, and other supporters had their logos displayed prominently on the station platform gates.
There is excellent coverage of the event on the website www.skegnessstandard.co.uk