Duke Backs Revival Plans

The Ashover Light Railway Society recently received a huge boost to its revival plans after The Duke of Devonshire CBE agreed to become Patron to the Society.

The Duke of Devonshire resides at the famous Chatsworth House near Bakewell in Derbyshire, the estate of which almost reaches to the borders of Ashover itself. After receiving a copy of the ALRS’ revival plans, His Grace said that he was “honoured” to be able to take the role as Patron and that the external reports he had heard on the Society’s progress to date were “glowing”.

The news of the Duke of Devonshire’s agreement to become Patron of the ALRS came just days after the Society announced that its first President had been appointed. After much discussion amongst the Society’s committee, the unanimous agreement was reached that Robert Gratton, author of the authoritative book ‘The Ashover Light Railway’, should be offered the position. Mr Gratton’s book has become THE reference volume for all ALR matters, and the author himself is generally regarded as an authority on all things connected with the Ashover Light Railway.

Gary Boyd-Hope, Chairman of the Society said: “I’m thrilled that Bob Gratton has agreed to become President of the ALRS. It was his book that started my interest in the railway in the first place almost 20 years ago, and even now I’m forever referring back to it for information. Bob Gratton is generally regarded as ‘Mr Ashover’, and I and the other Committee members thought it only natural that the Presidency of the ALRS be offered to him.”

News of the appointments comes at a time when the ALRS is actively in the process of land negotiation, as well as looking at the possibility of obtaining the old ‘Where the Rainbow Ends’ café for use in the revival scheme. The latter will hopefully be resolved sometime in early 2007.


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