The Rainbow Appeal


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The Rainbow Appeal

This page details the appeal the society is running to restore the Where The Rainbow Ends Cafe, currently dismantled and in store after its rescue from Clay Cross (the pictures above). A brief history of this unique building is given below.

If you would like to make a donation to the Cafe Appeal, just CLICK HERE and fill in the form and send it to our treasurer.


The ‘Where the Rainbow Ends’ Cafe was the brainchild of General G.M. Jackson, owner of the railway and the Clay Cross Company, who conceived the idea to build a cafe at Ashover intending to provide facilities for the many tourists that were using the new railway as an escape from the noise and pollution of Clay Cross.

Ashover Light Railway SocietyA vintage postcard featuring the Where The Rainbow Ends Café.


The whole building was constructed out of wood, prepared at the Clay Cross Works. Work was completed in time for the 1926 summer season. The building was easily recognisable as the roof was finished with multi-coloured tiles laid in the colours of the rainbow.
Back while the cafe was still standing at John Street, (Clay Cross) the society was given the blessing of Ashover Parish Council to pursue a scheme to move the building back to its original site at Ashover Butts. The one proviso being as long as it is eventually restored to use as a cafe for the villagers and visitors to enjoy. The society was in full agreement and are eager to restore the Where the Rainbow Ends Cafe to its former glory! In November 2007 the cafe was successfully dismantled and is currently in storage awaiting its return to a new site.

With the help of our Fundraising Officer, we are now appealing to anyone who wishes to help (financially or otherwise) to please do so. So many people in and around Ashover have fond memories of the cafe that it would be a joy to return it. The restored building would also be a key asset to the society; providing a useful source of revenue, and an interpretation point for the railway. The owners of Ashover Butts are supporting this plan.

What We Are Doing

Unfortunately finances are our first stumbling block.

The cost of moving the cafe back to Ashover has been estimated in the region of £100,000, although the building’s basic wooden fabric and simple construction mean that the costs could be a lot lower. However the cost of storage is currently draining the ALRS revenue so the sooner we can move forward with this project the less revenue will be expended!

Naturally we are looking at various sources of grant aid, but often this requires match funding so it is important that the society raise as much money as possible!

Should you wish to make a financial contribution a downloadable donations form is available. On top of the knowledge you’d be helping to resurrect a striking building, which is part of the heritage of the Ashover Light Railway (and Ashover itself!) there are also additional incentives to donate; these are listed below! The Ashover Light Railway Society is grateful for you support. (U.K. taxpayers; please ensure that you “gift aid” any contributions.)

Donors will receive the following, depending on the amount donated:

  • £25 or over : a special certificate designed by Eric Leslie.
  • £50 or over : framed copy of the Eric Leslie certificate.
  • £100 or over : certificate and signed limited edition print featuring the cafe
  • £250 or over : framed certificate and framed print
  • £500 or over : All the above and donor’s name will go on a special commemorative plaque inside the rebuilt cafe
  • £1000 or over : the above plus an invite to the official reopening celebrations.

If you would like to make a donation to the Cafe Appeal, just CLICK HERE and fill in the form then send it to our treasurer.

Some of the individual timber parts which constitute the Café, stacked and ready for removal to the storage area at Rowsley.17 cafe moved for transportation 2

Contact the editor

From the web editor.....Please send me an email if you have any news or pictures of the ALR which you feel will benefit the Society.

Registered address:
165 Longedge Lane, Wingerworth,
S42 6PR

The Ashover Light Railway Society is a registered Company limited by guarantee in England
No. 06877968

Registered Charity No. 1129958