THE sunshine saw plenty of visitors to Minehead over the weekend as crowds flocked to the town to enjoy the beach, ice cream and, for many, a trip on the railway.

Over 1,000 passengers travelled on the West Somerset Railway on Saturday, June 14, and on Sunday a special charter train took 320 Brownies and other members of the public to Minehead for a Father’s Day lunchtime visit.

General manager Paul Conibeare, said: “It’s great to see the business getting back to normal levels and, as over this weekend, sometimes comfortably exceeding them, especially after the slow start to the 2014 season and the widely held mistaken view that the whole of Somerset was flooded.

“Apart from benefiting the railway’s own trading position the passengers who travelled will also have visited shops and places to eat in Minehead, and other places along the way.

“Our regular Saturday ‘Dunster Castle Express’ day out was also popular on the 14th, and on the previous Wednesday evening we’d run a successful charter train for Southampton University.

“All this shows how much the railway continues to benefit the villages and towns along our route, nd we look forward to the rest of the year with confidence.”

A Styles Ice Cream spokesman said: “Sales have been very good over the past couple of weeks, all thanks to the sun, so let’s hope it stays this way.”

Sally Mclean, of Sally’s Vintage Chic, said: “It has been busier around the town and I think the sun’s helping.

“I had a good, busy weekend, but as I’m up a side road and only open a few days a week it’s difficult for me to say if I’ve seen a big increase.

“I’ll be opening seven days a week very soon, though, and I’m looking forward to inviting more customers into the store.”