The Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway have announced that a 1916 steam locomotive, resident at their railway, will be renamed Nightingale and Seacole to mark the courage of those in the front line tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.
Currently carrying the name ‘Illingworth’, the locomotive is seen regularly on the Victorian passenger trains and will soon carry the two names of the nursing care pioneers.
Illingworth served the country in both world wars and worked on several pioneering projects in the UK. The locomotive acquired six names under various owners so this latest change is not without historic precedent.
Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway say: “It will be a lasting remembrance of this difficult time, honouring the frontline staff and others who have put their lives at risk. Mary Seacole was a half Jamaican nurse who, like Florence Nightingale advanced nursing in the Crimean war of 1854. Many believe that she did not get the recognition she deserved and this name can remind future generations of the sacrifice BAME and overseas healthcare staff have made. Florence Nightingale was a pioneer of nursing and changed the profession forever.
A naming ceremony will be held as soon as it is judged to be safe and it is hoped that the railway, along with others in the wider community will take the opportunity to remember this time for current and future generations.
Representatives of the Florence Nightingale Foundation and the Mary Seacole Trust will unveil the nameplates. This is particularly appropriate as the Florence Nightingale Foundation is marking 200 years since Florence Nightingale’s birth with the White Rose appeal.”
The Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway is a volunteer-run, preserved Heritage Railway, operating a 5 mile-long railway line in North Yorkshire. The preserved railway was part of the former Midland Railway route from Skipton to Ilkley which was closed down by British Railways in 1965 over 15 years before the reopening of part of the line.
The Railway currently runs for a total distance of 4 miles from Embsay via Draughton Sidings, Holywell and Stoneacre Loop to Bolton Abbey station and carries around 100,000 passengers a year.
The Railway rely on volunteers and donations and are keen to benefit the wider community, with educational activities, heritage opportunities and an enhanced ‘Dales Dining’ offer in a safe, sensible way.
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