Pennies appeal to install Wensleydale Railway footbridge

Ken Monkman with the coins collected so far,

A Wensleydale Railway volunteer has launched an ambitious bid to collect enough pennies to install a footbridge over the line.

Ken Monkman, chairman of Wensleydale Railway Association, is aiming to collect one million pennies, which would be £10,000.

The money would be used to restore and install a bridge at Leyburn Station.

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The structure was donated from Brigg Station, with a grant from the Railway Heritage Trust paying for it to be transported to Leeming Bar.

The plan is to install the footbridge and build a small viewing platform to allow visitors to watch and photograph trains from the opposite side of the track in safety.

Eventually, is it hoped to find funds to install a second platform at Leyburn.

Ken said: “Currently the railway has more important fundraising priorities and the footbridge is a nice to have but not essential to the day to day running of the railway.

“So as a way of celebrating the railways 15th anniversary of reopening and my 15th year volunteering I decided to do something to help.

“To ensure I didn’t impact on the major fundraising of the railway I came up with the idea of collecting 1,000,000 pennies and building a coin pyramid at Leyburn Station with the coins donated over the August bank holiday weekend.”

Ken started collecting on April 14 and so far has collected 13,100 pennies.

He added: “There is still a long way to go so I am asking everyone to help by donating their pennies to the appeal,

“Pennies can be dropped of at any of our manned stations when trains are running or at Wensleydale Garden Centre next to Leyburn Station when trains are not running.”