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EVOCATIVE ‘SOUNDS OF SUMMER’ MUSICAL EXPRESS TRAIN TO STEAM BACK IN TIME TO THE HITS OF THE 1960s, 1970s AND 1980s

Published: April 19, 2018

Story and Photographs by Andrew P.M. Wright                                                                                         Swanage Railway official photographer and press officer

An evocative ‘Sounds of Summer Musical Express’ steam train is to travel back in time to the hits of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s – thanks to the award-winning Swanage Railway.​

Featuring talented Hampshire four-piece vocal harmony band ‘Driftwood’, from Southampton, the special evening of musical nostalgia across 50 years takes place on Saturday, 16 June, 2018.

The special steam train departs Swanage station on its nostalgic journey back into popular music history at 7.30pm – the train being ready to board from 6.45pm – and returns to Swanage at 10pm.

‘Driftwood’ will be playing one music set at Swanage station, before the steam train departs, and then two music sets at Corfe Castle station.

Passengers are being invited to attend in fancy dress on a mid-summer theme and there will be a prize awarded for the best fancy dress costume.

While passengers can bring their own picnic and refreshments, there will also be a limited trolley service on the music train serving refreshments.

The goods shed museum at Corfe Castle station will be open for passengers riding on the ‘Sounds of Summer Musical Express’ steam train.

Music train organiser Bob Bunyar explained: “A talented four-piece vocal harmony band, ‘Driftwood’ will be playing  music from the 1960’s to the present day, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Elbow, the Eagles and many other classic covers.

“The band was formed in 2006 and is made up of guitarists Darren Henley and Brian Price, bass player Andy Daish and vocalist Mark Whitcher.

“All the band members are experienced vocalists who create and perform superb harmonies for a wide range of songs.

“’Driftwood’ has consistently impressed its audiences, having played in more than 60 venues across the south of England.

“The band members played in the Isle of Purbeck having last May when they appeared at a Harman’s Cross Village Hall Music Night where they were very well received,” added Bob, a retired fire-fighter who has been a dedicated Swanage Railway volunteer since the 1980s.

The special music train evening is being staged by a dedicated group of Swanage Railway volunteers which maintains and develops Harman's Cross station, a facility that has been built from scratch since 1988.

Swanage Railway general manager Matt Green said: "It's going to be a very evocative and enjoyable evening – and a very special one featuring hit music from 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

"It's not only a chance for people to come along and re-live the memorable music of the 1970s but also an opportunity for younger people to experience and enjoy the music from some 40 years ago for the first time.

"I would like to thank the dedicated team of volunteers that has organised the ‘Sounds of Summer Musical Express’ for their hard work, dedication and attention to detail. I am sure that it will be a marvellous evening," he added.

The ‘Sounds of Summer Musical Express’ steam train can only be boarded at Swanage station.

Tickets for the ‘Sounds of Summer Musical Express’ are £15 for adults, £7 for children aged five to 15 and £38 for a family made up of two adults and two children.

Tickets can be purchased via the Swanage Railway website at www.swanagerailway.co.uk/events or from the Swanage Railway’s reservations office on 01929 475207, 10am to 4pm, seven days a week.

The Swanage Railway welcomes new volunteers so, for a chat, contact Swanage Railway volunteer co-ordinator Mike Whitwam on 01929 475212 or email him at [email protected]