NYMR Vandals Sentenced
by TIM THORNE
Regular readers will be aware of the despicable attack by mindless vandals on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR). NYE coverage here and NYMR response thanking the NYE for our support here.
This was a particularly unpleasant incident because the NYMR is a wonderful asset for Yorkshire. Owned and operated by a 10,000-member community-based non-profit charitable Trust, the NYMR delights more than 350,000 passengers every year – more than any other heritage railway in the world. Taking visitors on picturesque journeys along an 24-mile railway line aboard steam and heritage diesel trains the railway passes through stunning scenery, from wooded valleys to beautiful countryside, stopping at charming villages and spectacular seaside locations. It is a fully accredited museum, providing memorable experiences for visitors through the operation of Britain’s most popular heritage railway.
The NYMR in Winter
The NYMR cares for and operates the railway it owns from Pickering to Grosmont and operates over Network Rail from Grosmont to Whitby. It gives pleasure to hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area, thereby improving the tourist trade and local prosperity. It has also been used as a film set for Harry Potter, Downton Abbey and Dad’s Army, giving millions of people pleasure from viewing quality films and TV programs. I felt that an attack on this wonderful local amenity was an attack on the local community, including most particularly, the NYMR volunteers, who help keep it running.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway network
So I am delighted to report that following a successful and skilled investigation by the police, the perpetrators have been convicted and sentenced. The NYE does not have a full-time dedicated court reporter, so on this occasion we have to rely on a most comprehensive and well written court report from York Press:
Benjamin Terry, 19, of Jute Road in York, and Mollie Dawson, 18 of Keld Head Orchard, Kirkbymoorside and six other teenagers who vandalised the seven 1930s ‘Gresley’ teak carriages on July 22 last year have been sentenced. Terry and Dawson were given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £30.88 to the NYMR for theft, as well as £85 costs and a £20 surcharge. Dawson had a compensation order of £500 for the criminal damage. The six other defendants were dealt with in the youth court. They all received referral orders and had to pay costs and compensation.
Magistrate Duncan Webster said: “The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a charity which brings considerable benefits to the local community. It’s people like you who give young people a bad reputation and quite frankly you should be ashamed of yourselves.”
The full report can be read here.
As one would expect, the NYMR volunteers all pulled together to ensure the public will not be inconvenienced and there will be no diminution in service. Chris Price NYMR General Manager said:
“We are so grateful to our volunteers and members of the local community for all their help in the restoration of our damaged carriages. All, except buffet car 641 are now back in service, and we are working to get the final carriage back in our fleet as soon as possible. We’d just like to put the sad incident behind us and get back on track welcoming visitors to our enjoy all our historic railway has to offer.”
Chris Price estimated the cost of the criminal damage at £27, 656. One cannot help but feel that the gang received scant punishment for the cost of the damage and the emotional upset caused to the volunteers. This will leave a big hole in the NYMR’s finances.
The NYE is proud to support the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Please can I ask that you consider supporting this important local amenity, by going to Whitby Station and enjoying a steam railway journey through the beautiful North York Moors.
Details of the timetable can be found here: https://www.nymr.co.uk/
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