The Opening of the New Borders Railway

The first historic “Golden Ticket Train” journey on the new Borders Railway takes place on Saturday, 5 September when nominated “Golden Ticket” holders will travel from Tweedbank, Galashiels and Stow to Waverley and back. Following this event, Her Majesty The Queen will officially open the new Borders Railway on Wednesday, 9 September when she will travel down to Tweedbank on the day she celebrates becoming the longest serving monarch in British history. This is an historic and momentous occasion and presents a unique learning opportunity for the children and young people in the Scottish Borders.

“Golden Ticket” and “Literacy Tickets”

To commemorate the opening, people from across the Scottish Borders were offered the opportunity to nominate members of the community to travel to Waverley on Saturday, 5 September. This nomination of worthy citizens is referred to as the “Golden Ticket Train” celebration. We are delighted to inform you that our children and young people are also to participate in the “Golden Ticket Train” celebration. In place of nominations, the selection will be closely linked to the famous and well-loved children’s book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl.

The story centres around a competition where give lucky “Golden Ticket” winners are given the opportunity to visit the greatest chocolate factory in the world. These “Golden Tickets” were hidden within chocolate bars. To commemorate the opening of the new Borders Railway we have obtained sponsorship for every student to receive a commemorative chocolate bar. There will be on “Golden Ticket” hidden in each school’s batch of chocolate bars. This provides every student with an opportunity of winning a place on the “Golden Ticket train” journey, whilst connecting to this children’s well-known classic. At a special assembly within their own school the young people will open their own bar of chocolate. Some bars will contain a literacy ticket which entitles the pupil to a book token. The lucky “Golden Ticket” winner will experience a fantastic day out on the “Golden Ticket Train” journey. For all young people the assembly will provide an excellent opportunity to learn fascinating facts about our new railway and to view a specially made film on the construction of the new Borders Railway.

In “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” one of the central themes of the book is the hardship suffered by the main character Charlie and his family. On the day of the assembly students will have the opportunity to have a “dress down day”. A collection will take place and monies will be given to the charity “Cash for Kids in the Borders”.

Motivating and inspiring our young people to learn is at the heart of everything we do in our schools. The opening of the new Borders Railway provides us with an historic learning experience – an opportunity for our young people to have some fun learning at school whilst we mark this momentous occasion as well as an opportunity for a charity event which will support some of our most vulnerable children in the Scottish Borders.

Headteacher Mr McClory will send home a follow up letter with some more details about arrangements in your school during the week beginning 24 August.


Donna Manson

Service Director Children & Young People