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By Jim Lowe on

Win an exclusive tour of Flying Scotsman and champagne afternoon tea

Our #ThanksToYou competition gives you the chance to claim a free tote bag and compete for fabulous prizes.

Visit the National Railway Museum next week (from 11–17 December) as we, along with more than 350 National Lottery-funded heritage attractions across the UK will be offering a treat for National Lottery ticket holders to say ‘thank you’ this Christmas.

We’ll be offering a free tote bag to all lottery ticket holders and the chance to compete for other prizes to say thank you for helping fund objects, exhibitions and galleries.

The National Railway Museum is part of the Science Museum Group which since 1995 has received more than £65m in funding from Heritage Lottery Fund.

At the National Railway Museum, we’ll be running a competition from 11-17 December where you could win the grand prize of a free tour of the iconic Flying Scotsman or a runner-up prize (more details below).

Steps to enter the #ThanksToYou competition:

1. Present your lottery ticket in either paper or digital form on arrival at the National Railway Museum for a freetote bag (while stocks last)
2. Take a selfie with your tote bag
3. Tag @railwaymuseum as the location and add the hashtag #ThanksToYou
4. Share your selfie on Instagram or Twitter to enter a competition to win a tour of any new exhibition on a date of your choice with a selection of merchandise to the value of £50, or the grand prize of a tour of Flying Scotsman followed by champagne afternoon tea on the award-winning Countess of York. Terms and conditions apply.

Flying Scotsman – the nation’s favourite

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has a longstanding relationship with National Railway Museum and lottery players have enabled the museum to educate and inspire generations of visitors.

However, it is the ten-year restoration of Flying Scotsman which has really captured the public’s imagination like no other. Owned by the National Railway Museum, Flying Scotsman is one of the UK’s best-known global ambassadors and a significant beneficiary of HLF generosity.

A history of speed and style

Ever since the 1920s, the locomotive has been the subject of intense public interest and as the high-speed passenger service of its day, it quickly came to symbolise the glamour and speed of the modern age. Flying Scotsman was the LNER’s star attraction at the British Empire Exhibition in 1924 and the locomotive went on to feature in many publicity events.

In 1928, it was given a new type of tender with a corridor, which meant that a new crew could take over without stopping. This allowed it to haul the first ever non-stop London to Edinburgh service on 1 May, reducing the journey time to eight hours.

In 1934, Flying Scotsman was clocked at 100mph on a special test run – officially the first locomotive in the UK to have reached that speed. Following the end of steam, the engine passed through several owners, before being saved for the nation following a public appeal by the National Railway Museum.

National Lottery players helped fund the painstaking restoration of the locomotive and its triumphant return to steam on its inaugural run in 2016. This journey on the mainline from London King’s Cross to York, was a thrilling spectacle as thousands of people lined the route to catch a glimpse of the famous engine and to experience history being made. Flying Scotsman has since embarked on a tour of Britain’s heritage railways, giving people across the country, a vivid and evocative taste of the steam age.

Innovative exhibitions and a world-class archive

The story of HLF support for the museum does not end there. Many other significant projects have received HLF backing, such as the recent Ambulance Trains exhibition. This tells the untold story of the brave men and women who saved countless lives transporting wounded servicemen from the front line in the Great War.

HLF funding enabled the museum to create a public search facility (Search Engine), which celebrates its ten-year anniversary next year.

The archive is a much-loved treasure used by schools, volunteers, researchers, academics, industry and the curious public.

It is no exaggeration to say that lottery players, through the HLF, have played an essential role in the museum’s success over the past twenty years as well as bringing Flying Scotsman back into steam for the public to enjoy.

On behalf of everyone at the museum – thank you for your support.

Click here for Ts&Cs and find out more about the Science Museum Group here and Heritage Lottery Fund here.

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