It is now nearly 25 years since the Ramsey Miniature Steam Railway (operating as the Fenland Light Railway) was formed by a small band of Railway /Engineer orientated men and their wives. Their aim was to create a Narrow Gauge railway based on the 1950’s railway principles and operating practices.
Various sites were investigated, offered and duly rejected in the Ramsey Mereside area. Eventually an acceptable site was offered on very generous terms by local farmers and the necessary agreements made.
The early years were spent attending numerous school and village fetes to raise awareness of the forth coming attraction and the necessary money for track and rolling stock in addition to donations from members. Soon a locomotive took shape in the form of a Romulus design Steam Locomotive closely followed by a small Petrol Engine locomotive (Suffolk Punch Lawn Mower) and a pair of articulated carriages. It is strange that even today after nearly 25 years of operating, many locals still have not heard of us yet, despite being right on their doorstep.
Since those early days the Fenland Light Railway has strove to popularise the hobby and its site in Mereside Drove, Ramsey Mereside by raising funds and interest in the local area. The Railway has become a major attraction at Events at the Ramsey Rural Museum and the Cambridgeshire Steam Rally plus numerous village and school fetes. In 2012 it became apparent that the Railway had reached the end of any potential expansion at its existing site and it was unanimously decided that we would terminated our lease and look for an alternative site. Within days a new site was found literally “up the road” where we could enjoy more freedom with our plans.
It was with this planned move in mind that the Railway decided to try for a Lottery Grant under their Awards for All scheme for the purchase of new track and ballast needed for the improved and enlarged layout being planned. To our surprise we were successful and a Grant of just short of £10,000.00 was allocated to the railway.
At the same time the Ramsey Millions Scheme was being launched and the Railway was encouraged to make an application. As the Railway attends many outside functions it was agreed that it should apply for a Grant for a Heavy Duty Exhibition Standard pop-up Gazebo, 5 Lightweight folding tables and a Vinyl Sign Printer and its associated paraphernalia. These items were decided upon as it was essential that we make ourselves more professional, improve our image and that there was bound to be a limit on the number of members personal Gazebos that have become well and truly destroyed by the elements over the last few years.
Once again we were fortunate to have our application approved and a cheque for £1695.00 was gratefully received and the items purchased.
After a tremendous amount of work by our members the new site was opened in October 2014 by Lord De Ramsey.