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Small Business Spotlight: Perrygrove Railway

Small Business Spotlight: Perrygrove Railway

Small Business Spotlight is our brand new content series that shines a spotlight on our fantastic independent retailers.

We chatted with Katherine Nelson-Brown at Perrygrove Railway. Perrygrove Railway is based near Coleford, on the edge of the Forest of Dean and is an award-winning Heritage Railway Association attraction.

At Perrygrove, you can ride the steam train for a day jam-packed with activities - including Treetop Adventure, a picnic play area at Foxy Hollow, an Indoor Village with secret passages, and a den-building area in the woods.

When did you start working at Perrygrove Railway?

I began working at Perrygrove in June 2014, my husband David started in March 2011.

What's your proudest Perrygrove Railway moment?

It has to be turning Perrygrove Railway into a wedding venue. We had our own wedding reception at Perrygrove in June 2015 and have built this side of the business up from scratch. we've proudly hosted some amazing weddings and made lots of new friends along the way.

What was the biggest challenge Perrygrove Railway faced? How did you overcome it?

There have been many, but getting through COVID as a small family-run business has to be at the top of the list. There were times when we truly believed we would lose it all, we live on-site with our children, so we faced losing not only our business but our home as well.

We had to borrow money from the family in the first lockdown and really economise the business. Sadly that meant redundancies, but we're through it now and hope we Don't have to close our doors again.

What are your best-selling products?

Food-wise, it has to be our pasties! And in our shop it's our Bigjigs Toys railway range.

What are your favourite toys and why?

Obviously, it has to be our own trains manufactured by Bigjigs Toys, the Lydia and Jubilee toy trains!

What's next for Perrygrove Railway?

A brand new diesel and steam engine! Due to arrive in Autumn 2022. We need a bigger and more powerful diesel engine to aid with the heavier trains during the midweek (term-time) as well as in the winter so trains can run more regularly. As the business gets busier, a big strong steam engine is required for the heavier trains also.

Visit Perrygrove Railway

For more information on how to plan your trip to Perrygrove, click here.

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