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Issue Date:- 24 December 2007

Additional engineering work on New Year's Eve.

VIRGIN Trains have been advised by Network Rail has announced that engineering work at Rugby is planned for the four days after Boxing Day, cannot now be completed as scheduled and will continue through into 31 December 2007.

Chris Gibb, Managing Director for Virgin Trains said:- "I am very disappointed that Network Rail (NR) has given us so little opportunity to warn our passengers of this further disruption. We were first warned of the possibility of this additional work on 6 December. We had already agreed with NR several months ago that 31 December would be the day between Christmas and New Year that we would be able to run direct services to and from Euston. This information was placed in the industry's booking and information systems in good faith with about 50,000 customers now having already planned and booked their journeys. Because of the seriousness of the situation we felt it necessary to refer the matter to the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR). We simply cannot have NR bullying train operators in this way just because their engineering planning processes are in a mess.

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has now considered the matter and decided to investigate whether NR has breached its operators' licence, but has decided it is not in the longer term interests of passengers to issue a provisional order preventing the line closure at Rugby on 31 December 2007.

Virgin Trains will operate the best possible service for their customers on 31 December and guarantees that everyone will get to their destinations in time to celebrate the New Year. The pattern of service will be trains between Euston and Northampton with a frequent replacement coach service from Northampton to Birmingham International connecting into trains to the West Midlands, North Wales, North West England and Scotland. Journey times are likely to be extended by approximately one hour although in some cases this could be more.

For further details all customers intending to travel on New Years Eve should check as near as possible to 31 December with

Passengers with valid tickets can use the following alternative routes:-

North West via Sheffield to London St Pancras

West Midlands to London Marylebone

North West and Midlands via Reading to London Paddington

Scotland to London Kings Cross"


THE stockings are hanging on the mantelpiece and the sherry and mince pie are on the hearth, but according to nearly a quarter of British children, there’s a good chance that Santa will be sneaking in through the back door, rather than abseiling down the chimney!

The survey, carried out by Bar-Be-Quick, providers of Firepak, was undertaken amongst children aged between 4 and 7. It revealed that Santa’s modern day methods of present delivery also include 'magic-ing' presents through the letterbox.... (12%) and using magic fairy dust to shrink himself small enough to squeeze in through the window (8%). Coming down the chimney remains, however, Saint Nicholas’ favourite method of making an entry (56%) although nearly half of the children surveyed claimed that they worry about him getting stuck!


ST ANDREWS, Scotland, 20 December 2007 witnessed the R&A announce that Littlestone, Prince’s and Royal Cinque Ports as the Local Final Qualifying venues for the 2011 Open Championship, which will be held at Royal St George’s.

The clubs have a close association with The Open and have hosted a wealth of R&A Championships over the years.

All three staged Local Final Qualifying in 2003, the last time The Open Championship was played at Royal St George’s.

The Open Championship was played at Royal Cinque Ports, Deal, Kent in 1909 and 1920. More recently the Deal club was the venue for The Amateur in 1982, The Seniors Open Amateur in 1987 and the St Andrews Trophy in 1992.

Prince’s Golf Club, Sandwich, Kent hosted The Open Championship in 1932. Last year, the club was the qualifying course when The Amateur Championship was played at Royal St George’s.

Littlestone Golf Club, New Romney, Kent hosted the 1996 Boys Championship and Boys Home Internationals.

But we now look forward to Royal Birkdale hosting the 2008 Open!

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