Review: Steam Illuminations event comes to Hampshire's Watercress Line, here's what we thought...

THE Watercress Line kicked off its Steam Illuminations events on Friday, business editor Kimberley Barber took a trip onboard with her son Eddie. Here’s what she thought.

Saturday, 13th November 2021, 7:52 pm

There’s already something quite spectacular about seeing a steam train up close.

The smell, the sounds, the train’s size and the huge plumes of smoke wafting across the platform – it’s a great experience even on a normal day.

So add in thousands of twinkling lights, a mince pie or two and a friendly meeting with Father Christmas, well it’s enough to warm even the iciest of hearts.

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Kimberley Barber and her son Eddie Morton at the Watercress Line -

We were lucky enough to be among the guests at the opening of the Steam Illuminations events on the Watercress Line on Friday night.

So one excited little boy got to spend some quality time with his equally excited mum on board the magnificent BR Standard Class no. 70167.

The Watercress Line volunteers were all exceptional, as ever, everyone from the friendly guards on the platform to the coal shoveling fire(wo)man to the cafe worker making coffee, they were all delightful. The event itself was a slick operation and it all went off without a hitch.

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People view a Steam Illuminations train, a light show on and in a steam train, consisting of thousands of fully controllable colour mixing LED lights, as it stops at Alresford station on the Watercress Line in Hampshire, which forms part of their Christmas programme of events. Picture date: Friday November 12, 2021. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

We held our breathe when the ‘voice over guy’ promised snow to his young passengers – but thankfully just like Father Christmas and his presents, it was delivered to much amazement and wonder.

It’s a lovely way to get into the spirit of things. We left with a renewed optimism about how much better Christmas 2021 will be than last year, and also gently humming this year’s Christmas soundtrack.

The Steam Illuminations run from November 26 until January 8.

Tickets must be pre-booked, go to watercressline.co.uk/steam-illuminations

Kimberley Barber and her son Eddie Morton at the Watercress Line