The Irish Steam Preservation Society has appealed to the public to help make sure that the Stradbally Woodland Railway and the National Steam Rally continue, by supporting their new appeal, called Supporting Our Steam.
Last March, The ISPS decided to close the railway for the year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and soon decided to cancel the annual National Steam Rally.
Andrew Barclay steam locomotive No. 2264 Róisín has been parked in her shed all year, whilst Mann engine No. 1216 is waiting for its imminent return to home turf.
In order to allow Róisín to return to steam and the Mann engine to return home, the ISPS is appealing for donations to make up for the loss of income in 2020.
“The Irish Steam Preservation Society is one of Ireland’s oldest voluntary groups dedicated to preserving the steam engine – a huge page of our social and agricultural heritage. Due to Covid-19 we’ve been backed into a corner, and we’re appealing to the generosity of the general public to help us fight our way out of it. The National Steam Rally and Stradbally Woodland Railway have hosted thousands of visitors down the years, and we want to guarantee we will be able to continue to do so for many years to come in the future through our online SOS Support Our Steam appeal,” Gordon Condell, Society CEO and Stradbally Woodland Railway General Manager.
If you would like to donate to their appeal, please visit the Irish Steam Preservation Society iDonate page.
“The town of Stradbally has hosted the National Steam Rally for over half a century and is a major heritage event for enthusiasts from across the world and a traditional family-friendly attraction for the general public. In the spring of 2020, the rally committee decided to cancel the 2020 event which had been scheduled for it’s traditional time of the August bank holiday weekend. With the public’s help, we hope to come back stronger and better than ever as soon as it is safe for us to host another rally,” Nigel Glynn, Steam Rally Committee Chairman.
“Like much of the world, the Irish Steam Preservation Society has been left in an uncomfortable limbo since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. With our rally cancelled and the Railway forced to close, we have been left without any form of income for over 12 months. The goal of the Support Our Steam appeal is to make sure the Society is in a position to open the railway and organise a new rally as soon as it is safe to, as well as bringing home our flagship Mann steam tractor home from England after restoration,” Peter O’Dwyer, Irish Steam Preservation Society Public Relations Officer.
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