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Hats off to a 'brilliant' tea party

Whittlesey residents took a leap down the rabbit hole when they enjoyed a Mad Hatter-themed event to encourage community involvement with the town's railway station.

Whittleseyteaparty0417

Around 80 people of all ages took part in a Treasure Hunt and Tea Party organised by the Hereward Community Rail Partnership (CRP) in partnership with ACoRP (the Association of Community Rail Partnerships) and Greater Anglia earlier this month (April 8).

The Mad Hatter launched the treasure hunt when he arrived at Whittlesey Railway Station on the 1.50pm train from Peterborough.

Parents, grandparents and children then followed a route from the station along Station Road to Childers Sports and Social Club, finding 17 railway-themed clues along their way.

There were two sets of treasure hunt clues, one easy and one advanced, to enable people of all ages to get involved, with the last one being delivered by the Queen of Hearts.

Afterwards everyone enjoyed a Mad Hatter's tea party at Childers with sandwiches and cakes along with 'mad' challenges such as completing as many star jumps as possible in one minute.

Goodie bags with activity and colouring sheets, railway leaflets, colouring pencils and sweets were also given out to those taking part.

A Hereward CRP spokeswoman said the day was a great success and would not have been possible without the help of around 15 volunteers.

She also thanked Childers for providing the venue and embracing the Mad Hatters tea party theme and said there was lots of positive feedback from participants.

One parent said: "What a lovely idea. We had a brill time and our children loved reading, finding and answering the clues. The afternoon tea was lovely too. Thank you so much."

ACoRP also helped to fund the event after the CRP made a successful bid to its small grant fund.

The Hereward CRP launched in October 2012 to establish greater community involvement in the railway line between Peterborough and Ely, with a specific focus on Whittlesea, March and Manea Stations.

The partnership, which also develops a local voice to help deliver priorities for the railway, holds events such as the Treasure Hunt and Tea Party to raise awareness of the railway stations and encourage people of all ages to take an interest in and use the local railway.

Article added: April 27, 2017