A FORMER Wiltshire flight engineer pulls out all the stops to raise money for Ukraine after watching TV scenes from the war.
Moved by reports of the Russian invasion, Neville Boulton opens his Great Bulkington Model Railway on Easter Monday (April 18) to raise much-needed funds for Ukrainian charities.
Nevill, 89, who flew jumbo jets for British Airways and Virgin, said: “We are hoping for a good turnout and would like to raise between £200 and £300.
“We love having the kids here and taking them for walks. Some of them have never seen an engine before and they love it.
He heard that a villager was bringing a group of four newly arrived Ukrainian refugees to the UK after fleeing their war-torn country.
In 2005 Mr Boulton’s Great Bulkington Railway entertained children from Ukraine who were visiting the UK recovering from the Chernobyl atomic disaster.
He said: “Some of them were still radioactive. With friends we entertained them on my railway with many rides.
“They all received driving lessons on trains, were taken to local farms on a hay wagon and were given plenty of Easter chocolate treats.
“We still have their photographs in our village hall. Hopefully they survived the war.
The retired flight engineer built a miniature five-inch track with rolling stock including railway locomotives and four carriages in the garden of his home in Mill Lane, Bulkington.
It was completed in the summer of 1988 and was built by its owner, Mr. Boulton, his wife Thelma and several of his friends.
His model railroad complex has 1,000 feet of track, a 40-foot-long tunnel, a station, and a functioning signal system.
Mr Boulton opens it two or three times a year to offer seated rides on cars pulled by three miniature diesel-electric locomotives.
Over the past three decades he has raised over £25,000 for charity by providing rides for adults and children.
Supported by volunteers, Mr. Boulton will open the doors of his garden on Easter Monday afternoon from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to offer walks for young and old.
The ladies of Bulkington serve light refreshments in the nearby village hall and funds are raised by charging the rides at just one pound for two circuits.