CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

Bentham Carnival 2015

Queen arrives at Bentham Carnival by Local Train

This year’s Bentham Carnival was held on Saturday 30th May and had a ‘Tales of the Riverbank’ theme. As usual the station and town were bedecked with vibrant flags and bunting.

Following her morning arrival at Bentham by the scheduled Morecambe to Leeds designated service, Queen Sophie was greeted by regal music from the Boom Bike and given a red-carpet welcome on Platform 1 by the Mayor of Bentham, Tim Stannard, who was weighed down by the wealth of ‘bling’ hanging on his shoulders . Crowds cheered and applauded her arrival from the platforms and bridge. Local bodyguards were brought in to protect the Carnival Queen during her visit.

Queen Sophie then addressed the residents and visitors thanking them for their warm welcome before declaring the carnival open. Having made her way into the station building with her entourage and many residents, the assembled gathering were entertained with ‘Tales of the Riverbank’ by the official Town Storyteller, Tim Austen.

The Carnival Queen then made her way into town to participate in the afternoon parade, calling in at local shops and venues along the way. More tales relating to the River Wenning were told throughout the day, all over town.

The Friends of Bentham Station ‘pop-up’ café appeared once again in the station building and on the platform, (for those who wanted to take in the sun and strong breeze). Gorgeous homemade cakes, lovingly baked and decorated by FOBS members, were served with a variety of drinks. Amongst those partaking of the silver service, provided in FOBS mugs and on Hyacinth Bucket quality paper plates with accompanying patriotic napkins, came from across the North and included tandem riders from Kingston Upon Hull, holidaymakers from Leeds and even some folk from Lancashire. Donations towards FOBS activities at the station were gratefully received.

We hope this article will encourage other friends groups and CRPs to play a part in their local celebrations and help make their stations an important part of their communities, whilst offering a possible way of raising funds towards station enhancements. A large slice of thickly-iced sponge oozing lemon curd or a carrot cake with extra ‘see-in-the-dark’ properties and a good-looking station can do wonders in raising funds.