Buses step in to help audience

A CHANCE of a lifetime for 150 youngsters was almost derailed – but quick thinking and good teamwork came through to ensure the unique opportunity remained on track.

A CHANCE of a lifetime for 150 youngsters was almost derailed – but quick thinking and good teamwork came through to ensure the unique opportunity remained on track.

DanceEast had arranged for the Ipswich schoolchildren to travel to Bury St Edmunds yesterdayto see Protein Dance perform 'The Banquet' at the town's Theatre Royal.

Anglia Railways, one of the event's many sponsors, lined up two special carriages to carry the youngsters to the performance in style.

But disaster struck when Anglia learned of a problem on the track, which may have seen the train arrive late and the night ruined for the group.


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The rail firm contacted DanceEast and arranged that Gemini Travel would provide coaches to the performance, and Anglia Railways pick up the bill.

Rachel Thorne, marketing and press officer for DanceEast, said: "Anglia have been as helpful as they can in informing us of the problem as soon as possible, two hours before we were due to meet, and Gemini have been great.

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"They were concerned that the train wasn't going to get to Ipswich station on time, and rather than risk the kids missing out they got in touch – as a result the kids will still be able to see the performance and we are very pleased."

The night out was organised as part of Arts & Kids, a campaign set up by the Prince of Wales for young people to get the chance to experience the arts.

Leading up to last night's performance the youngsters from Holywells, Westbourne, Thurleston and Chantry High Schools, had taken part in a workshop led by Protein Dance.

Jonathan Denby, a spokesman for Anglia Railways, said: "What happened is that Network Rail had a broken rail on the line between Ipswich and Peterborough that blocked the line from the middle of the afternoon.

"We've done everything possible to minimise the impact and ultimately the children will still be able to see the performance.

"I think it was the right thing to do – we could have ended up with the group being stuck at the station and not being able to get to Bury on time, which would not have been good at all."

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