kirkby stephen flower festival
Rory spent Saturday morning of the August bank Holiday in Kirkby Stephen, visiting the Flower Festival at Kirkby Stephen parish church, the Upper Eden Arts and Crafts Exhibition showcasing local talent at 18/20 Market Street, and the Stainmore 150 event, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Stainmore railway line. Guided by Ann Sandell, publicity officer of Kirkby Stephen town forum and active local member of the community, and Joan Johnstone, Chairman of Kirkby Stephen Town Council, Rory met and chatted with locals as he visited the town’s various events. At Kirkby Stephen East Heritage Centre Rory chatted with local residents and met the Chairman of Stainmore Railway Company Ltd, Mike Thompson, and took photographs of the steam trains departing from the newly refurbished station before circulating them on Twitter with a plea to ‘Visit Kirkby Stephen‘.
Rory said: “As ever, Kirkby Stephen’s residents have come together to organise the most wonderful weekend of events, bringing together the community in the best possible way. I’ve been incredibly impressed by the variety of displays in the church, and the wonderful lunch marquee organised by parishioners, friends and family. The Stainmore 150 celebrations have showcased the most extraordinary project; a community group that took over the derelict shell of Kirkby Stephen East’s station almost fifteen years ago, and who have since worked incredibly hard to develop this amazing heritage railway project that will be another major tourist draw for Kirkby Stephen. Many congratulations to all who have been involved and have worked so hard to make this weekend such a resounding success.”
Ann Sandell commented: “Kirkby Stephen were delighted to welcome Rory to the town as they took pride in celebrating 150 years since the South Durham and Lancashire Union Railway was built and Kirkby Stephen East Heritage Centre returned to running steam trains for the first time in fifty years. The Parish Church celebrated the occasion with flowers, highlighting all the activities past and present that have so greatly influenced the lives and sustainability of Kirkby Stephen residents and visitors. Rory also experienced the wealth of local artistic talent on display at the Upper Eden Arts and Crafts Exhibition. This has been a whole weekend of events at various locations around the town organised and executed by an almost inexhaustible mass of volunteers.”