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Drive It Day 2024

The weather dawned bright and clear, if somewhat chilly for our run to Dungeness on ‘Drive It Day’ Sunday. We were expecting around a dozen cars to attend, but it was pleasing to see a final count of 16. We set off at 10:30 from what has latterly become our adopted assembly point – the De La Warr Pavilion on Bexhill seafront – and as far as I am aware, the journey went without incident and we arrived at Dungeness around 75 minutes later, whereupon we parked at the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway (RHDR) Station in an area reserved for vehicles taking part in the Drive It Day run.

The RHDR really went the extra mile (no pun intended) for the club, by designing a special Bexhill 100 headboard to be displayed on the steam locomotives in service that day, and altered their normal practice whereby a train will enter the Dungeness station loop, stop at the platform then carry on in the same direction. On Drive It Day, the loco leading the train was disconnected and fitted with our headboard, where it would remain on the platform until the next train arrived, an hour or two later. A second loco followed the train in, connected up and took the carriages in the reverse direction back to the other end of the line. Over the course of the day, four different locomotives displayed our name. Try asking Southern to do that . . .

After some welcome refreshments at the very busy End of the Line Restaurant, our members were free to do whatever they wished; perhaps lunch at one of the local pubs or as some of us chose, a trip on the railway. Sue and I have lost count of how many times we have travelled on the RHDR over the years, but it is at least 50.


This one-third full size masterpiece of engineering with its 11 steam and two diesel locomotives running across 13½ miles of Romney Marsh celebrates its centenary in 2027 – not bad for something that came into existence as the vision of two extremely wealthy men who wanted a train set with a difference. Long may it continue.


We offer our thanks and appreciation to Clare and Julie from the RHDR Supporters Association for all their hard work and effort on behalf of the Bexhill 100 - over and above ladies!

Mark Hammett

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