Privileged to wave the flag for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research

30 Jul 2015

A day out on a train with some great fundraisers

For several months we have enjoyed a charity partnership with GB Railfreight who tell us on their web site:- “GBRf staff are also keen to play their part in supporting charitable work. Our 2014 charity of choice is Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, and to date we have raised money through activities including staff cycle trips, musical quizzes, and charity train rides”

Consequently I was very pleased to receive an invite to join their staff, customers and families on one of their charity train rides.

“Be at Ipswich Station at 7am” seemed an early start not knowing what to expect, but absolute delight when a highly polished GBRf engine unit pulled fourteen old British Railways first class carriages labelled ‘Royal Scot ’into the station Our reserved table, laid with white linen and everything in place for a splendid breakfast, set the scene for what was to become a memorable day.

During the journey I had plenty of time to chat with fellow passengers and learn something of the amazing commercial rail transport work that GBRf carryout and also to better understand some of the behind the scenes jobs that make such a national network operate efficiently 24/7.

We picked up passengers at March and Peterborough before heading to York where some chose to spend the day shopping or visiting either York Minster, the refurbished National Railways Museum, the Yorvik Museum or any of the other great things to do in that historic city.

I chose to stay on the train for the final outward part of the day going to Scarborough and spent the rest of the journey walking through the long train to meet more families and giving the younger ones an LLR hand flag with instruction to build sandcastles so that they could all “fly the flag” for LLR on the beach.

Scarborough is a seaside town with a long history and several interesting buildings and locations to visit as well as two superb beaches but it also has some steep hills so after four hours I was glad to relax back on the train for the homeward journey. With a splendid dinner being served after picking up our York passengers -  post dinner, mellow travellers seems like the ideal time to make a bucket collection (£500) and what a generous happy train!

The children talked about their flag topped sandcastles and parents told of photographs to be viewed. I was also very pleased to hear heartfelt stories of several passengers and their own personal fundraising work for LLR. One lady was not only about to do a Three Peaks Challenge but in the same month, a sponsored tandem parachute jump – now that is what I call commitment.

Fifteen hours after leaving we arrived back at Ipswich, weary but very pleased to have spent meaningful time with fundraisers who certainly met my well known edict in that “Fund raising has to be fun”. Well, they didn’t let me loose with a green flag and whistle, but I was certainly very proud to have been able to wave the flag for LLR.

What then followed? – well just like hiring a car for the weekend, you get the carriages on a Friday and return on a Monday – so the next day the train was to be on the rails again and this time for the paying public to support the wonderful fundraising efforts of the entire team at GB Railfreight and in a few weeks’ time the whole exercise is to be repeated with another LLR Charity Train Charter from Glasgow to Scarborough.

Well Done GB Railfreight.


Rowan Parkes

Hi Richard, sounds like you had a fantatsic time with our lovely partners GB Railfreight!

Hearing about your trip has made me even more excited to be going to one of thier events later this month.

Kind regards, Rowan


Sounds like a really fun event and great to hear about all the people raising money for our charity. I can just imagine lots of little sandcastles with LLR flags waving in the wind :-) Thank you for sharing and well done GB Railfreight!


Check out the second event we did here, a great day out raising a lot of money for your cause. It was a pleasure to support it...