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Exbury Garden train driver in running for tourism award
TRAIN driver Elaine Munday is getting all steamed up about the possibility of winning a top title.
The Exbury Gardens employee has been shortlisted for the Visit England Tourism Superstar 2013 awards, which recognise exceptional characters in the tourism industry.
Elaine drives all three locomotives on the narrow gauge railway that takes visitors around the 200-acre site near Beaulieu.
She also staffs the admissions desk and has been known to play Mother Christmas when Exbury runs “Santa Special” trains in December.
“We welcome visitors from all over the world who come to see the spring rhododendrons, summer exotics and autumn colours,” said Elaine.
“While the changing seasons ensure that no two days are the same, our role is to ensure that visitors enjoy their time at Exbury whatever the time of year or the weather.
“Even with downpours of 2012 we kept a smile on people’s faces.”
Elaine was nominated for the award by Exbury, New Forest Tourism and Tourism South East and is competing against nine other regional candidates.
Anthony Climpson, head of employment and tourism at New Forest District Council, said: “We are delighted that Elaine has been shortlisted.
“We have many tourism superstars in the New Forest and on this occasion Elaine is the standard bearer.”