Volunteers sought to ‘keep Hollycombe steaming’

By Surrey and Hants News in Community News

Hollycombe Steam near Liphook, provides fun, family days out with its collection of Edwardian and Victorian fairground rides, steam railways, steam and traction engines and woodland walks.

But the attraction currently needs to add to its band of volunteers in order to keep up with an ever-increasing work programme of renovation and restoration.

Over the past 12 months the current volunteer team has overseen the reintroduction to the fairground of the world’s oldest haunted house; opened up views from the Quarry Railway over the South Downs and painted new liveries on the railway carriages and steam boat Neptune, amongst other projects. In addition to behind-the-scenes work, it is also volunteers who operate the fairground rides and railways on open days, help maintain the extensive gardens and assist in the gift shop and café.

Hollycombe trustee Brian Gooding said: “Hollycombe couldn’t open without volunteers. Some joined the team when at school, others when they retired.

“The current team are incredibly proud of the attraction and keeping the tradition of steam alive for this and future generations. But the existing work programme means that, moving forwards, we need to welcome new members to the team.

“During the summer holidays we open six days a week between Tuesdays and Sundays – plus the August Bank Holiday Monday – when we look to operate as many rides as possible.

“On occasions when we do not have sufficient volunteers for all the rides, we run a ‘Pied Piper’ operation, opening each fairground ride in turn, though our preference, of course, is to be able to run each continuously. Front-facing roles are what the public sees, but those involved behind the scenes, cleaning, painting and greasing, perform equally important roles. Skills can quickly be picked up by anyone with the right aptitude.

“Full training will be given, and there is a role for everyone, no matter what their background. There is currently a Thursday evening gang in operation, with another key date for volunteers being Saturdays, though there is an opportunity to assist on other days of the week too.

“Everyone is very friendly and all come with the same mindset – a love for Hollycombe and a determination to see it succeed. We all love the uniqueness of the site and want future generations to be able to experience that too.

“Please do come forward if you’d like to find out more information, or come along on one of our regular open days to meet our existing volunteer team. Let’s keep Hollycombe ‘Alive and Steaming.’”

Anyone who would like to help should email Brian Gooding at [email protected] or call Hollycombe on 01428 724900.