A Banchory nursery held a ‘sponsored toddle’ last month to raise funds for the Royal Deeside Railway, which was hit hard by vandals in August.
The news of the £15,000 worth of damage done by the troublemakers to the 50-year-old locomotives and carriages had a profound effect on Deeside, with many outpourings of sympathy on social media for the volunteers, and denouncements for the offenders in equal measure.
Lynda Lovegood, a parent at the Crossroads Nursery, and a member of the committee, said: “The idea came from Liz Moyes, a teacher at the nursery. She came back after the summer and said that the damage that had been caused had really gotten to her.
“She said that because the nursery children had gone to the railway she thought it would be a good idea to get them involved in raising funds for them.”
Lynda added: “We managed to raise over £800 in the end, people gave really generously.”
The children walked halfway along the Deeside Way towards Banchory, and were rewarded with a ride on one of the trains for their efforts on Wednesday, Septmber 16.
Bill Halliday, Secretary of the Royal Deeside Railway Preservation Society, wrote a letter of thanks to the nursery after learning of their intentions. In it, he wrote: “It is fair to say that all of us at the railway have been astonished and greatly heartened by the support we have received both from the local community and the wider public.
“But without doubt I can say your offer of assistance is by far the most touching we have received and I’m delighted to hear about what you and the children have in mind.”
The Royal Deeside Railway is run by volunteers, whose aim is to restore line that ran from Crathes to Ballater.