A REPLICA of Stephenson’s Rocket will steam into the borough this weekend to mark the 190th anniversary of the Rainhill Trials.

The event, from Saturday, May 25 to Monday, May 27, is a culmination of more than four years of work by the Rocket 190 Steering Group and local voluntary groups including Rotary, Rainhill Gala, Women’s Institute and many more.

Brian Heydon, chairman of the committee, said: “This is a really exciting time for Rainhill, we have so much heritage and real community spirit, this is our chance to show it off.”

Events on Saturday include: a model rail exhibition, flower festival, vintage motorcycle exhibition as well as exhibitions organised by the Railway & Heritage, Civic Society and others. The highlight however, will be the unveiling of a plaque to signify the importance of the trials. This is being installed on the platform at Rainhill station.

All events taking place on Saturday, including the display of the Rocket, will be from 10am until 4pm with a special musical concert in the evening. Tickets are available.

On Sunday be prepared for a spectacular parade along Warrington Road from Rainhill Stoops through to the village which will include floats, marching bands, dancing groups and vintage vehicles – and of course the Rocket will be joining in. Once back in the village the parade will lead everyone to a giant tea party where there will be live performances and entertainment.

Finally, on the Monday the annual Rainhill Gala will take place in the village centre with even more attractions for the family.

Across the whole weekend Rainhill Library will be open with a railway museum and a virtual reality version of Rocket Re-Imagined.

There will also be a free park and ride from Delph Lane (Whiston Hospital staff car park) across the weekend, as well as parking at St Helens Junction for rail passengers.

Full timetable of events: 

Saturday, May 25

All Day: Rocket on display on Exchange Place, model railway exhibition at village hall and Exhibition of Rainhill Heritage and previous trial celebrations at the Millennium Centre;

10am-2pm: football tournament on Holt Lane playing fields;

10am-3pm: display of classic and vintage motorcycles on Dane Court;

1.30pm and 3pm: vignettes performance of historical events around the village;

1.30pm: plaque unveiling at Rainhill train station;

7.30pm: musical extravaganza at village hall 

Sunday, May 26

From 1pm: parade, including Rocket, from Ship Inn to village centre including bell ringing at St. Bart’s and St. Ann’s;

noon to 2pm: war memorial open for Remembrance;

2pm-4pm: exhibition of vintage locomotives including replica Rocket, loco and steam traction engines;

2pm-4pm: tea party on Dane Court

Monday, May 27

11am-4pm: Rainhill Gala on St.Ann’s Field;

2.30pm: vignettes performance of historical events;

10am-4pm: Rocket on display on Exchange Place

For more information go to rocket190.org.uk or facebook.com/rainhill190.