Children's book featuring a railway cat is a runaway success for steam train volunteer
PUBLISHED: 12:43 02 August 2019 | UPDATED: 23:32 06 August 2019
A ginger cat and his pals will be welcoming visitors to the North Norfolk Railway on August 18, at a special event featuring the stars of a children's book written by a volunteer at the popular attraction.
Penned by Christine Parmenter, Morgan the Railway Cat follows the adventures of characters based on railway regulars, including Mrs Parmenter's husband David, who has worked in various roles since the couple signed up as Poppy Line volunteers in 2005.
With illustrations by Essex-based artist Colin Wyatt, the book, which tells the tale of well-meaning ginger tom Morgan who desparately wants to make himself useful on the railway, has sold more than 2,000 copies since being published three years ago, with Morgan soft toys, mugs and fridge magnets also going on sale in the railway gift shop.
Mrs Parmenter, who has since written a second Morgan book featuring new characters including railway operations manager Peter Howard and his Romanian rescue dog Kenzo, also organises an annual 1950s-themed family fun day starring the little cat and his friends.
"The book has been a bigger success than I ever could have imagined and the railway has really got behind it," she said.
Attractions at his year's event, which runs at Weybourne Station, will include music, games and storytelling, as well as a chance to meet Mr Wyatt, who will be drawing pictures for Morgan fans.
Railway visitors will also be able to take a trip on a specially-laid on train to Sheringham with Dave the Driver, Mr Mark the Fireman and Roger the Guard, and tuck in to a selection of 1950s-recipe cakes.
"All the characters from the book will be there and we also have a special surprise as the Y14 engine will be in the station pulling the vintage set, so I hope people will come along, bring a picnic and have a great day out," Mrs Parmenter said.
The Morgan family fun day runs at Weybourne station on August 18 from 10.30am-3.30pm. Normal fares apply (under 5s free). Tickets are available by calling 01263 820800 or from www.nnrailway.co.uk
Morgan the Railway Cat books and merchandise are available from the Poppy Line gift shop in Station Approach, with all proceeds going to the North Norfolk Railway.