When the railway re-opened in 1979, it was the result of the work of a dedicated group of enthusiasts and volunteers. In order to sustain the new line and service, it very quickly became obvious, that some sort of formal group needed to be established to organise fund raising. This type of transport demands a great deal of financial and physical input!
The Alford Valley Railway Association, AVRA, was born - the fund raising `armī of the railway, independent, but providing support to the Railway Company. It lasted for nearly 30 years.
It held coffee mornings, ceilidhs, bring and buy sales, quizes and every other type of fund raising activity imaginable. It organised the volunteer help for our Santa Specials; provided and manned stalls for Fun Days and helped in railway maintenance and support.
To list the contribution this marvellous group, and its stalwart members, made, would fill pages. Suffice to say that over the years, in excess of Ģ30,000 was raised in support of a labour of love. Help with purchasing new engines, carriages and spare parts was the `normī.
Many volunteers were serving members throughout the whole 30 years; some lasted a much shorter time; each, however, made his/her own contribution to the success of this part of Alfordīs heritage.
Earlier this year, the group disbanded. The Alford Valley Railway Company will forever be grateful for the sterling work, monetary support and general fun which accompanied the Associationīs work for the Railway. It would not be part of Alfordīs attractions and indeed heritage, without its contribution.