Evening blues train sets off from Swanage

Dorset Echo: RIDING ON A TRAIN:  Robin Bibi at Corfe Castle RIDING ON A TRAIN: Robin Bibi at Corfe Castle

IT WAS a slow train comin’ as a blues star got on board.

Swanage Railway volunteers are celebrating the success of their first-ever evening blues train which featured one of the country’s top blues and rock guitarists, Robin Bibi and his band.

A total of 140 passengers travelled on the special train – including visitors from France and Germany who were on holiday in the area.

The special train through the Isle of Purbeck was hauled by the large 1940s Southern Railway ‘West Country’ express class Bulleid Pacific steam locomotive No. 34028 ‘Eddystone’.

An accomplished musician and songwriter, Bibi has played with the likes of Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Ben E. King, The Pretty Things and Helen Shapiro, before forming the Robin Bibi Band in the late 1990s.

After the special evening, he said: “I have travelled on the Swanage Railway several times as a visitor and loved it but I never thought that I would ever be playing a gig on it.

“It will go down as one of the best and most unique gigs in a very unusual location that I’ve ever played.”

One of the blues train organisers, Bob Bunyar said: “Robin and his band played sets on Swanage, Harman’s Cross, Corfe Castle and Norden stations with a brake coach as their stage suitably lit with lighting kindly loaned by the Harman’s Cross Village Hall Committee.

“We had a very good response from passengers who described the evening as most enjoyable on a lovely railway and with superb music, a fantastic evening.”

Fellow organiser John Dainton said: “The evening went well with Robin’s audience enjoying the sets played at the varied settings and backdrops of each station.”

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