It has been 15 years of journeys back in time

Worcester News: Schoolchildren take the parts of evacuees at the Severn Valley Railway's Engine House Schoolchildren take the parts of evacuees at the Severn Valley Railway's Engine House

MORE than 200,000 school children have visited the Severn Valley Railway.

The youngsters from around the country have flocked to the Railway as part of the organisation's education programme since 1999.

The Railway takes visitors on a nostalgic trip back in time with a steam train ride along the Severn Valley and each education programme includes a trip on one of the SVR’s locomotives.

Schools often also take advantage of Second World War-themed experiences, We’ll Meet Again, Life on the Home Front and Dig for Victory, which cover all aspects of life from wartime, including evacuations, what is was like inside an air raid shelter, make do and mend as well as food supply, allotments and rationing.

Throughout the year, the Railway also works with four partners; Bewdley Museum, Worcestershire County Museum, the Severn Valley Country Park and West Midlands Safari Park, to offer events such as Blitz & Evacuation, Go Wild in the Countryside, Junior Wild Tracks and the Classroom at War.

Sharon Harvey, the Severn Valley Railway’s education officer, said: “Our Second World War events always prove incredibly popular with schools as do all of our trips, including those that run in conjunction with our event partners.

"We are fortunate to always receive great feedback from visiting schools and to hit the 200,000 visitor milestone is a huge achievement and testament to the staff and volunteers who help make these events so successful.”

The schools programme runs during May, June, July and September, with additional activities taking place over the summer for Scout and Guide groups and Community Schools.

This summer, a Second World War-themed event, 1940s and World War Two Experience, will run to coincide with the Railway’s Step Back to the 1940s events, which sees the whole Railway transported back to the period for one week only.

A new addition to the programme for 2014 is Journeys, which takes groups on a contemporary journey along the Severn Valley by steam train to The Engine House at Highley.

The majority of school trips cost less than £10 per child.

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