Britain’s heritage railways are used to being featured on television and captured in millions of photos.
But the Kent & East Sussex thinks it might have achieved a first. It has been selected to be part of an
The line runs through 10 miles of picturesque countryside from Tenterden in Kent and Bodiam in
East Sussex and was approached by St Mildred’s Church at Tenterden to be one of its ‘windows’ of
The railway’s Sales & Marketing Manager Helen Douglas was chosen for the job and was filmed at
the church, telling the community about the challenges that the railway has faced in 2020 and to
share a message of hope and positivity for the future.
Helen said: ‘It was great fun to work with our colleagues at the church and to be part of a community
project, which gave us the opportunity to share our own perspective of the ups and downs of the pandemic
with our local audience.” Revd. Jeanette Kennett of St Mildred’s church said, “Here at St. Mildred’s we are very keen to be
involved in the life of our community. The idea behind the Community Advent Calendar was to give a
platform to the organisations who form an integral part of Tenterden, to tell the locals how 2020 has really
been for them. The Kent and East Sussex Railway is one of the foremost landmarks of the town and we
know that this year has been a challenge for them – but it is a resilient and well-established attraction and
we were delighted that they became part of the Community Advent Calendar so we could hear their story
and their plans going forward.”
The calendar “door” is released daily from 6pm via the YouTube channel St Mildred’s Church and
can be found via: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBAbfTcsSiiq4HALM0GRdWg
The Railway will feature behind the advent “door” on 15th December 2020 at 6pm.
The calendar role was a welcome slice of good news, as just days later the railway made the difficult
decision to cancel its hugely popular Santa Specials because of the Tiered virus restriction
The Christmas event attracts thousands of passengers and is a major source of revenue for the line.
This would have been its 46th year.
Helen said: “We had to put the safety of our staff, passengers and local community above everything else.
“Our customers have been magnificent. Nearly half of those who have booked for this year have said we can
keep their money towards a visit next year. “We are desperately sad there will be no Santa Specials this
year, but cancelling them was the morally responsible thing to do.”
The Kent & East Sussex Railway is a registered educational charity & relies on its visitors &
donations to keep it running for the education & enjoyment of today’s & future generations.
Donations to help the railway through this extraordinary period are most appreciated
Regulations allowing, the Railway are planning to run steam train services over the post-Christmas
period. Details will be released in due course via their website and social media channels.