MUSICAL legend Jools Holland OBE paid a visit to East Devon this week, to launch a new steam engine at one of the region’s favourite tourist attractions.
The former Squeeze singer, pianist and bandleader is also a model railway enthusiast, and popped into Pecorama in Beer on Thursday, on his way to a gig in Cornwall that night.
Staff showed Mr Holland around Pecorama – home of the Beer Heights Light Railway – and the adjoining Peco factory, which produces model trains, railways and accessories.
He was then greeted by fans, fellow railway enthusiasts and young musicians from the Woodroffe School Big Band as he arrived at one of the miniature railway stations on a train pulled by the new steam engine.
Mr Holland said he had wanted to visit Pecorama for some time and it was a “dream come true”.
Following introductions by the chairman of Peco, Michael Pritchard, Mr Holland officially launched the new engine – named Jools – by unveiling a plaque.
He said having the engine named after him was his “biggest achievement”.
Mr Holland then enjoyed a ride around the Beer Heights Light Railway with staff and special guests before heading off to Cornwall.
Before leaving, he congratulated musicians from the Woodroffe School in Lyme Regis for their performance, along with head of music Jon Cullimore, who joked that Jools could book them anytime!