IT WAS all aboard for a civic visit to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.
Keighley town mayor Shabir Ahmed was one of the VIPs to make the visit, along with the Deputy Lord Mayor of Bradford Alun Griffiths, the Lord Mayor of Manchester, the Mayor of Rochdale and the Youth Mayor of Rochdale.
The civic party in all their regalia were on the platform at Ingrow station to catch the 12.19pm service.
The five mayors were guests of the Bahamas Locomotive Society, which runs the Ingrow Loco museum and looks after the historic Bahamas steam locomotive.
While at Ingrow station the mayors also met their steam-powered counterpart, one of the railway’s station’s smaller engines, named Lord Mayor.
The visit was organised by Keith Whitmore, who is Honorary Alderman of Manchester Council, a Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, a Trustee of the People’s History Museum, Company Secretary, Chairman of the Heaton Park Tramway Company and a Director of the Bahamas Locomotive Society.
Mr Whitmore said: “It was very much a courtesy visit really.
“We had a party from the other side of the Pennines coming to look at the industrial heritage of the other side in Yorkshire.”
The event grew out of a visit to Ingrow Loco by a previous Lord Mayor of Manchester.
Elaine Boyes made her official civic visit to the museum in 2013 accompanied by the then Lord Mayor of Bradford, Dale Smith, and Keighley town mayor George Metcalfe .
Mr Whitmore said the current Lord Mayor of, Manchester, Cllr Carl Austin-Behan, was a railway buff who had noticed his predecessor’s visit to Ingrow while looking through a list of previous engagements.
The Bahamas Locomotive Society looks after various engines including the historic Bahamas steam train, the last of its kind used by British Rail, which is currently being renovated with a £775,800 lottery grant.
The 135-tonne train will eventually return to pulling carriages on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.
Ingrow Loco, housed in the former Midland Railway goods warehouse adjacent to Ingrow West station, is not only a museum displaying locomotives Nunlow and Tiny and an interpretive exhibition of railway history, but it is also a workshop where volunteers carry out restoration work.
The museum is open every day except Christmas Day. Museum visitors can view the workshop from the upper gallery.