Staging events at Sandstone Estates in the Eastern Free State is becoming more difficult. This is due to the state of the roads which make the coach tour operators reluctant to visit us. People with ordinary cars have to also drive very carefully due to the serious potholes. However certainly as far as our South African market is concerned people are robust and if they want to come they certainly turn up. Friday and Saturday were well attended but Sunday with 100% rain for the day tended to keep the visitors away. As it was not school holidays at Easter this year, Monday was active in the morning but in the afternoon our visitors made their way home as it was school next day for the kids.
We carried over 1450 passengers on our trains over the four days and entertained our visitors with military displays and rides, Ox wagon rides, tractor demonstrations and vintage bus rides (despite seriously muddy roads at the farm!) We also showcased our Caterpillar collection and heavy vehicles in the display area while our Sentinel Steam Waggon and McLaren Traction Engine toured the complex. The Cosmos was in full bloom and we proudly flew the Ukrainian flag to support their struggle. Our photo gallery highlights the events of the weekend.
The problem with a smaller event is that we are limited in terms of the number of volunteers we have at our disposal and of course we are severely impacted by the escalating fuel costs. A locomotive, a traction engine or a large diesel powered machine is very expensive to operate these days and so we tend to operate on a less is more basis, less machines doing more work. We hope that this formula worked. The comments posted below from some of our visitors does bear testimony to this.
“Very well organised event people friendly , the food drinks set up all a world class event, people that hasn’t been here missing out big time !!”
“We had the most amazing time at Sandstone Estates today and I’m incredibly grateful to you for making it such an incredible occasion. Your team were exceptionally welcoming and made it clear that you’d asked them to look after us. Thanks so much. Best wishes, Mark”
“Baie dankie vir al jou moeite met ons groep gister. Dit word opreg waardeer Mariette! Baie mooi wense en tot ons weer sien met ñ volgende besoek.Groete Liesl ??
Jou aanbieding was puik? Cosmos Tours.”
Our next planned event would be the Cherry Festival in November where the rain is probably not a major threat but with global warming one doesn’t want to be too optimistic about it being guaranteed with the sunny days that we have more or less become accustomed to over the last twenty years. Feedback from our visitors and members of the public are always welcome. We are very influenced by what people think and we are lucky that our experienced staff are able to adjust very quickly to meet people’s needs on the ground and on the day. We would like to extend a particularly warm word of appreciation for our volunteers without whom we could not provide anything like the diversity of experiences that are possible even for a small event like the Easter Festival.
Keep an eye on our website for details of our next event!