A MUSEUM has been forced to axe two of its most popular events as it prepares to reopen next week.

The East Anglian Railway Museum, which is based at the Chappel and Wakes Colne Station in Chappel, has cancelled two of its biggest events.

The museum says that after discussions with co-hosts the Campaign for Real Ale, it has scrapped the hotly anticipated Chappel Summer Beer Festival for 2020.

The festival is hosted at the museum goods shed and is a summertime highlight for many ale-lovers.

The festival manages to attract more than 5,000 visitors to the museum over its five-day run.

However, the museum said it cannot go ahead safely under current Government guidelines.

Organisers are hopeful the Winter Beer Festival will go ahead, as planned, in February 2021.

Festival organiser Brendan Sothcott said: “A large event, such as Chappel Beer Festival, requires a lot of planning and organising many months before the event to ensure that a safe and enjoyable festival is presented for all.

“This involves a lot of financial commitment.

“At the present time, it is impossible to determine what the Government’s rules and guidance will be for early September for large events.

“We must follow these rules as they change for the protection of all.

“After a lot of consideration, the organisers could not see a way of guaranteeing a safe event for September, so reluctantly have concluded that the Chappel Beer Festival is not possible this year.

“We understand the disappointment this may cause many of our valued visitors but ask that you understand the reasons why.

“The safety of our visitors, staff and public in general must take priority.

“We hope to be back for the Winter Beer Festival in February and a main festival in September 2021.”

The museum have also shelved the popular Thomas the Tank Engine visit weekend which attracts hundreds of visitors over the August Bank Holiday weekend.


  • The Thomas the Tank Engine events are extremely popular with residents

However, the museum say the Days out with Thomas are still scheduled to go ahead at the museum in October and during the lead up to Christmas.

The blow comes as the museum prepares to reopen its doors to visitors for the first time in more than three months.

The museum re-opens on July 17 and then on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only.