As part of our running agreement with the East Lancashire Railway a Shareholder's Footplate Experience Day was included. The normal price for a Bronze Experience of £375 per participant was thought to be a little too much bearing in mind that most participants would have to travel some distance with a possible overnight stay too. So through negotiations a price of £199 per person was agreed as long as 76084 Loco. Co. Ltd. did not charge the Railway for the use of the locomotive.
The Bronze Experience provides a full day experience with half a day spend driving, firing and guarding between Bury and Rawtenstall with the other half spent on a guided tour of the facilities at Bury.
So 6 shareholders signed up for this along with 2 invited guests. Each participant had to book through the Railway's booking system at which point they were asked about guests and if they would participate in lunch and/or the site tour. Stan and Gillian White travelled down from Scotland whilst Trevor Reese came over from the Wirral and John Taylor came up from Nottinghamshire.
Eric & Pauline Bond acted as meeters and greeters. The initial briefing was done in a new facility on Platform 2 at Bury Bolton Street Station purpose designed and built for Footplate Experience Days with catering, audio/visual and boiler suit walk-in wardrobe facilities and had only recently been commissioned. The building was funded from the proceeds of Flying Scotsman's visits in 2016.
The group was split into morning and afternoon participants by the ELR volunteers running the day as 76084 pulled into the station and reversed onto her stock of 5 Mk 1 coaches.
The day passed by very quickly with lunch taken in the new facility and then a change over. One participant admitted to having driven a Black 5 on a similar Experience Day in the past but was heard to say this day was much better and 76084 was a much easier locomotive to drive than a Black 5. We couldn't agree more. Our final image shows those still present at the end of the day and the smiles say it all. Thanks to the staff and volunteers of the ELR for a memorable day on our locomotive's footplate.
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