RH&DR 90th Anniversary Birthday Party
The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway is celebrating its official 90th birthday this weekend – Saturday July 15th-Sunday July 16th – commemorating the opening of the Railway to the public on 16th July 1927 and honouring the numerous people who have played their part in its success over the past years. The weekend will be jam packed with historical content, including re-enactments, all led by the Railway’s dedicated Heritage Group.
The weekend features
- Special working timetable over two days including named trains marking each decade of the railway’s life.
- Official launch of the Railway’s newest book “Romney – Then and Now”.
- “The Modern Days of 1927” – A photographic exhibition in the paint shop at New Romney Station placing the railway’s first year in the context of social history of the period.
- All available locos in steam or on display.
- Live 1920s Jazz Band on both days.
- Re-enactment of the inaugural train ceremony at Hythe on 15th July at 2pm (pre-booked seats available only).
- Workshops at New Romney open to the public both days.
The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway is affectionately known to its friends as “the Romney”. On 16th July 1927, a wealth of dignitaries joined its founder and main sponsor, Captain John Edwards Presgrave Howey, to ride on the inaugural train from Hythe. Earl Beauchamp, then Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, attended to declare the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway open. Who would have imagined that 90 years later “this most attractive and unique railway” (as described by Earl Beauchamp) would still be very much alive and kicking to celebrate this momentous anniversary?
Over the weekend of July 15-16, celebrations will abound with the launch of a stunning colour book capturing “Romney – Then and Now” and a photographic exhibition at New Romney “The Modern Days of 1927” – placing the railway’s first year in the context of the social history of the period.
A full re-enactment of the ceremony and inaugural train that ran through to New Romney will also take place in Hythe on Saturday July 15th from 1.30pm. The special train will continue on to Dungeness, the location of the railway’s newest facility The End of the Line Restaurant, rebuilt and opened last year.
A frequent train service will operate over the two days.
The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway runs for 13.5 miles from the Cinque Port of Hythe, visiting the seaside village of Dymchurch, calling in at the railway headquarters at New Romney, and on to the National Nature Reserve of Dungeness.
The railway was the culmination of the dreams of millionaire racing drivers Captain J.E.P. Howey and Count Louis Zborowski. The official opening took place in 1927 with the line initially running from Hythe to New Romney. The line was extended to Dungeness a year later.