Wacky Ways of making money at Christmas

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by LittleJackHorn, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. LittleJackHorn

    LittleJackHorn New Member

    Having just taken my kids on a steam railway on what they call Santa Specials. I was amazed to find out just what a money making job this can be for a band. This particular steam railway runs 5 trains a day on an 8 mile journey.Father Christmas comes along the train giving all the kids a present. They run these five trains every Saturday and Sunday for the four weekends prior to Christmas. The local band came up with a great idea - follow Father Christmas through each carraige and have a collection (to a captive audience) Someone from the band told me that they provide a five piece band and two collectors on a rota basis for the four weekends and make £5000+

    Now thats what I call fund raising.

    I wonder is anyone else can better this one.
  2. manx_yessir

    manx_yessir Member

    This wouldn't be on the Isle Of Man would it by any chance??
  3. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    I'll take a guess thats its the Severn Valley Railway (Shropshire) with trains running between Kidderminster and Bewdley.

  4. LittleJackHorn

    LittleJackHorn New Member

    The railway is only abount 7 miles from your bandroom - in Bury.

    The chap from the band told me that about 12 years one of the players saw another band playing on the platform and collecting as the people came off the train - hardly anyone putting anything in the collection. He said at the time that if a band could get on the train, it could be a goldmine. They did and they have been doing it for the last eleven years.
    They follow Father Christmas through each carraige and play three carols, the collectors following at the back. As the people are sat down they can't really ignore them. It's a brilliant atmosphere as well as a great job for the band.
  5. carlwoodman

    carlwoodman Member

    So what do the band do with the money?
    Do they donate it to a local charity perhaps?
    What do the people that donate the money think that they are donating to?
  6. never2loud

    never2loud New Member

    Oh what memories!!

    I played on these trains over 10 years ago. Yes it was on the East Lancashire Railway which runs between Bury & Rawtenstall and the band in question was Middleton. They had one of the best secretaries in the business, a chap called Terry Moore. He hadn't any idea whatsoever about music, but ran the band like a business. Really good, well paid concerts and of course the 'trains job' I remember Terry saying to me, "if we can get onto the trains and play in each coach, we will make a fortune." They were great to play on - seeing the look on the childrens faces when the band started to play was fantastic" There were 9 coaches on each train and we used to play three or four carols in each coach, always finishing with Jingle Bells. One year we worked out that we played Jingle Bells nearly 250 times.

    It must have been good grounding for the younger players. I remember playing on the trains with Terry's daughter, Hayley Moore, who now plays for YBS and has recently conducted a youth band at the Royal Albert Hall.

    From humble beginings eh???
  7. never2loud

    never2loud New Member

    When I was there the money went towards various band projects - New Instruments, Uniforms, A youth band. If anyone on the train asked, this is what I told them, and nobody ever complained. In the years that I did the job I can only remember about three or four people who didn't want to put any money in the bucket. The band brought a new dimension to the Santa Specials scene, something that none of the Railways had ever tried before. I believe the current youth band now play on the Severn Valley Railway at Kidderminster every year at their wartime weekend'. They dress up as evacuees.
  8. Lucky Beaver

    Lucky Beaver Member

    Did anyone ever lose any teeth? Or perhaps the train is a tad smoother than the Arriva ones I'm used to :D
  9. drummerboy

    drummerboy Member

    Actually runs between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth (not that is matters, but as I live in Kidderminster!) :p 8)
    The band I used to play for play carols at one of the smaller stations on the line on one day a year, certainly used to make several hundred pounds during the day. One of the better fundraisers in the year! :)
  10. Tottington band used to do it alongside Middleton a few years ago. They are lethal!!!! (the trains not the band...) I was a little kid and it woz great, like domino's when it stopped and started!

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