Wonderland in Whittlesey for treasure hunt

The tea party

The tea party

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Whittlesey residents were in wonderland at a Mad Hatter-themed event to encourage community involvement with the town’s railway station.

Around 80 people of all ages took part in a treasure hunt and tea party, with Alice in Wonderland character The Mad Hatter launching the treasure hunt when he arrived at Whittlesea Railway Station on a train from Peterborough.

Parents, grandparents and children then followed a route from the station along Station Road to Childers Sports and Social Club, finding 17 railway-themed clues along the way.

There were two sets of treasure hunt clues, one easy and one advanced, to enable people of all ages to get involved, with the last one being delivered by the Queen of Hearts.

Afterwards everyone enjoyed a Mad Hatter’s tea party at Childers with sandwiches and cakes along with ‘mad’ challenges such as completing as many star jumps as possible in one minute.

Goodie bags with activity and colouring sheets, railway leaflets, colouring pencils and sweets were also given out to those taking part.

One parent told the organisers: “What a lovely idea. We had a brilliant time and our children loved reading, finding and answering the clues. The afternoon tea was lovely too. Thank you so much.”

The event was organised by the Hereward Community Rail Partnership (CRP) in partnership with the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) and Greater Anglia.

The Hereward CRP launched in October 2012 to establish greater community involvement in the railway line between Peterborough and Ely, with a specific focus on Whittlesea, March and Manea Stations.

The partnership, which has a voice when priorities for the railway are agreed, holds events to encourage people of all ages to take an interest in and use their local station.

A Hereward CRP spokeswoman said the treasure hunt and tea party were a great success and would not have been possible without the help of approximately 15 volunteers.