Three cheers for Morgan

Kidderminster Shuttle: Steaming ahead: Tony Hirst and Vicky Gomersall. Steaming ahead: Tony Hirst and Vicky Gomersall.

A MORGAN three-wheeler triumphed over Severn Valley Railway locomotive Sir Keith Park in a battle of two engineering icons.

The dashing pair went head to head in a time trial between Bridgnorth and Kidderminster to raise cash for the BBC Children in Need appeal.

Going loco on the footplate was Sky Sports presenter Vicky Gomersall, while Coronation Street actor Tony Hirst, who plays fireman Paul Kershaw, was the man behind the wheel of the Malvern-built Morgan.

Mr Hirst was the first to arrive under the Kidderminster station clock, five minutes ahead of the train.

Along the 16-mile route, each driver collected traditional railway tokens, with the Morgan team jumping out at Highley and Arley stations and running over a bridge. Both competitors were spurred on by hundreds of onlookers at stations down the line.

The train pulled eight coaches carrying customers, Pudsey Bear and youngsters from Bridgnorth schools and Edward’s Trust.

A victorious Mr Hirst said: “This is a real Champagne moment for me. I’ve had an amazing time driving a wonderful car through the English countryside. Everyone has made Vicky and I feel so welcome.”

Ms Gomersall added: “Being taught to drive a beautiful locomotive which has been restored to its former glory was a memorable experience and it was great to see so many people cheering us on.”

Time trial organiser John Leftwich, of the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd, added: “This has been a hugely enjoyable event to stage. We’re still collecting money but I’m confident we’ll have raised more than £5,000.”

People can make a donation to the Head to Head Challenge Children in Need appeal, by calling 01299 403816 or online at donate.bt.com/CIN12

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