Gillingham’s Annual Carnival

img_8948Gillingham’s Annual Carnival, part of the Wessex Grand Prix Carnival Circuit. Takes place every year during the second week of October.  Link:

The West Country Carnival Circuits are an annual celebration featuring a parade of illuminated floats (also referred to as carts), in the English West Country. The celebration dates back to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. The purpose is to raise money for local charities.

The series of parades in each town now form a major regional festival. Some carts cost in excess of £40,000 to build and are the result of thousands of hours work throughout the year. The carnival is always accompanied at Gillingham by Coles Fun Fair which sets up on the Town Meadow, opening from the Wednesday evening to Carnival night on the Saturday, a family owned business bringing rides for the young and more daring rides for the brave.  All the fun of the fair!

Press Release – Friends of Gillingham Station receive a cheque


Friends of Gillingham Station (FOGS) receive a cheque from the Waitrose Green token Scheme for the sum of £233.00.

This money will go towards station enhancements to improve the welcome to the Town. Future plans include improved signage, walks from the station map, planting, heritage information board and improved waiting room with book swap facility.

Vintage milk churns and galvanised buckets were installed this summer to brighten up the station for passengers to enjoy. The planting scheme aims to reflects the industrial history of the station used to collect the milk churns from the many small dairy farmers.

The group are members of the new Blackmore Vale Line – Community Rail Partnership which aims to promote the stations along the line between Tisbury and Crewkerne.

If you would like to be involved with Friends of Gillingham Station, please contact: or Tel: 01747 824 327.

Press contacts:

Sarah Reeves – Three Rivers Partnership.

Tel 01747 824 327

South West Trains to offer extra services and more stops for Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire

Stagecoach Group News for Media and Press

The improvements will be introduced from 11 December and are in response to feedback and ideas from local passengers, stakeholders and communities to enhance the options available to passengers.

  • New timetable due to be introduced from 11 December 2016
  • New services to the Heart of Wessex line, including Frome and Castle Cary
  • Includes a new Friday Night train from London to the Blackmore Vale
  • To book tickets, please visit
  • South West Trains passengers in Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire will shortly benefit from a new timetable, offering new and extended services.


The improvements include:

  • An additional two trains per day between London Waterloo and Castle Cary, Bruton and Frome – bringing the total to three
  • A new Friday Night train to Yeovil Junction departing London Waterloo at 11.40pm serving Tisbury, Gillingham, Templecombe and Sherborne
  • A Sunday evening service from Frome, Westbury and Warminster to Clapham Junction and London Waterloo
  • A new Saturday morning service for Weymouth, Dorchester and Wareham to London Waterloo
  • A later last train on Saturdays evening – the 8.20pm Waterloo to Yeovil Junction is extended to Crewkerne and Axminster
  • On weekdays the 6.15am Yeovil Junction to Exeter will start from Gillingham
  • The 7.25am Exeter St Davids to London Waterloo will be extended to six carriages for its entire journey

These improvements to the timetable are the latest enhancements to services provided by South West Trains over the last 12 months, which has included Summer Special services to Dorchester and Weymouth, extra services for Glastonbury, extending a weekday morning service to link Gillingham with Exeter St David’s and free WiFi on all trains between Salisbury and Exeter.

Chris Loder, Head of Service Strategy for South West Trains, said: “This combination of new and extended services will provide a real boost for our passengers and communities in Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire every week and is part of our efforts to continue to improve our services.

“They are the result of positive feedback from our passengers, as well as local stakeholders and communities and we are delighted we will be able to introduce them from this December.

“However, we are not complacent and know there are further improvements we can still make and we will continue to work with our partners and others to find further ways to develop and improve our services.”

Contact information

Andrew Commons
For media enquiries, please contact us on 01738 442111. Out of office hours: An on-call service operates for urgent media enquiries out of hours.

To access this service, please call 08448 222888 and quote MEDIA1. Please leave a short message, including your name, media organisation, phone number and the nature of your enquiry. The on call press officer will then return your call.

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Friends of Gillingham Station (FOGS) celebrate success at the Community Rail Awards scooping third place for their POP-UP Birthday event


Rail Minister Celebrates Success at Community Rail Awards!

pop-up-becci-with-cakes-2Friends of Gillingham Station hosted a successful POP-UP Birthday event at Gillingham Station to mark the 90th birthday of HM The Queen and also the 160th year of the founding of the Salisbury to Yeovil Railway Line. The Mayor of Gillingham opened the event which attracted hundreds of people. The programme of events included music from Gillingham Imperial Silver Band, a Mini pop-up Museum, model train display, steam road engine, plant stalls, games for all and complimentary refreshments and celebratory birthday cake.

Rail Minister Paul Maynard MP opened the Community Rail Awards in Southport on Thursday 29th September 2016 where Great Western Railway and their Community Rail Partnerships scooped the top prize as Overall Winners.

In his speech the Rail Minister said: “Across the country we have seen the positive benefits that an active Community Rail Partnership can deliver. Neglected, low usage lines and tired rural stations are being replaced with vibrant community centres, independent cafes, book clubs, safety programmes for children, fabulous station art, line guides, shelters, seating, tourist information and even a return to traditional heritage style livery and signs on some stations. I want to ensure that there is long term funding available for partnerships so they can plan effectively for the future which is why we are making sure that Community Rail is getting a record level of funding and the recognition it deserves in all future rail franchises.”

All category winners are listed below and full details of all winners and runners up projects/people can be seen in the Winners’ booklet

ACRP Community Rail Awards 2016 (260 downloads)

The night was hosted by General Manager of ACoRP, Neil Buxton, with the awards presentations being made by the Managing Director of Merseyrail, Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde and Managing Director of Northern, Alex Hynes. Neil Buxton said “We would like to congratulate all the winners, they are all very well deserved!” he added “We would also like to acknowledge all the runners up and shortlisted projects” More than 400 guests attended the gala dinner at the Floral Hall where they helped to raise £1724 during the entertaining charity fundraising parts of the evening, with a range of great prizes being donated by several attending organisations. Alzheimers Research UK and Cancer Research UK are to share the funds.

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