On track for great beers - railway attraction hosts festival
5:00am Monday 26th May 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
BLUNSDON and Cricklade Railway was the perfect place for train and ale lovers this weekend.
The much-loved tourist attraction was hosting its annual Real Ale and Cider Festival, alongside the track.
Now in its fifth year, the event remains as popular as ever, attracting hundreds of visitors from around the region.
The festival started on Saturday and runs until today, so if anyone wants to try one of the many ales and ciders on offer there is still a chance.
Event organiser Tony Norris, who also volunteers for the railway, said: “We have been running this for five years now and it is one of the most popular events we hold at the railway.
“A lot of people come along and at last year’s event at its busiest we were pouring 100 pints an hour.
“I think this is the perfect place to hold an event like this.
“A lot of people enjoy just sitting in the sun, enjoying a pint and watching the trains go past on the track.
“This is a family festival so we have people of all ages coming along.”
Although there was some rain over the weekend, for much of the time the sun was out so people could sit outside of the marquee to enjoy their pint.
Running throughout the day and into the evening, the festival offered a total of 15 ales and six ciders, as well as live music in the evenings and food from a barbecue.
Tony said: “I think everything we do here goes together really well which is why there is a good atmosphere and we get people coming back every year.
“Some come from nearby in North Swindon but we have people coming from quite a distance to come here.
“This year we also have the very first train built for the Underground back in the 1890s going up and down the track which I think has added to what we have on offer.”
Among those enjoying the day was Emma Pinnegar, who came over from Oakhurst.
She said: “This has become a yearly ritual for us. It is a good chance to meet up with friends and enjoy the atmosphere, so that is what we do. It is always good fun.”
Today is the last day of the festival so if people are at a loose end then they can still sample the ales on offer.
The event is at the Blunsdon station and tickets are £5 per person. For more details, visit www.swindon-cricklade-railway. org/beerfest_14.pdf.