Terry Newman, one of the longest standing volunteers at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR), first visited the railway in 1968. As the NYMR prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary, he takes a trip down memory lane and remembers some of the many highlights of his journey. Main Image: Terry Newman and Carol Vorderman.

As many people of my age will understand, the attraction of steam locomotives became a hobby for me during the 50s and 60s. My uncle was a knowledgeable trainspotter and keen photographer too, and he encouraged me to try my hand at taking photographs. During the 1960s, I managed to persuade some of the crew to let me ride on the footplate, which I then did in Durham and Northumberland to get plenty of experience. Whilst I was doing this there were many changes to railway systems up and down the country and the preservation of railways came to the forefront and with that, I jumped in feet first!

Along the way, myself and the rest of the volunteers have had all hands on deck to carry out all sorts of jobs, from relaying tracks to painting wagons, carriages, and buildings. I began training to become a fireman and passed in 1971, along with Chris Cubitt, who was already a driver. In 1976 I passed out as a steam driver and after many years will shortly be retiring from driving.

Some highlights for me were being picked as fireman on NELPGs P3/J27 which was carrying a special guest, the Duchess of Kent. We were introduced to her at Pickering, surrounded by crowds in the sunshine. It really was a day to remember. That’s not the only royal experience I’ve had, as a couple of years ago I had lunch on a special train from Pickering to Levisham with the Duke of Gloucester.

Volunteering for the NYMR has been an interesting and enjoyable journey. Throughout my working and volunteer life, it’s been a pleasure to watch people continue to be fascinated by steam locomotives. Alongside the fascination, I have seen visitors’ and volunteers’ knowledge and skills expand, and I feel proud to know I’ve been a part of that. Engaging with the public and hoping I’ve contributed to the smile on their face is a wonderful feeling.

Over the many years I’ve been a volunteer I have no idea of the total number of hours or the amount of fuel I’ve used. I just know it’s been a long and worthwhile journey! It’s not just me that’s experienced the last 50 years at the railway, there are a handful of us long standing volunteers including John Bruce who has been volunteering at the NYMR since November 1969 in a number of roles; Peter William Robinson, Grosmont Station Group Chairman and original volunteer, and John Hunt, who was a driver but also documented the last 50 years with photos and is the editor of the NYMR membership magazine, Moors Line, since 1999.

Celebrate our 50th year with us...

NEW all line ticketing for 2023: UNLIMITED Annual Pass Ticket £45

Explore the whole of our heritage railway with an Unlimited Annual Pass* Ticket for £45 - pay for one day and benefit from FREE TRAVEL for 12 Months from the date of your first visit, plus KIDS GO FREE in 2023! 

Our traditional all line Rover Ticket has now been replaced by the Unlimited Annual Pass Ticket, which also allows you to explore the whole of our heritage railway, between Pickering and Whitby, for £45.00, and starts from the first day you choose to visit. 


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