A COUPLE who run an amazing miniature railway around their Poole home have raised more than £8,500 for the Youth Cancer Trust.

Throughout 2011, they have brought the total raised for charity in the lifetime of the railway to more than £50,000.

Richard and Connie Knott run the Luscombe Valley Railway in their garden in Brudenell Avenue, Lilliput in Poole, opening it to the public four times a year.

They also sell CD recordings made from a small organ they own.

Connie said: “We raise money all year round and we do one charity a year. It’s always a cancer charity and we have given to the Youth Cancer Trust before.

“It’s the only cancer charity really for teenagers, and I just think it’s wonderful that they can come and have holidays and do things that they would never usually be able to do.”

The couple have been opening the railway to the public several times a year for charity since around 1999.

Richard said: “We’ve raised in excess of £50,000 since we’ve been doing it for various charities.

“We choose a charity for the whole year and use our three weekends and single days to raise money.

“We reached our peak in 2010 at £10,000 for Lewis Manning Hospice.

“We were trailing behind last year. I don’t know whether it’s the economic climate or not but we were down until we came to Christmas, when in one single day on Christmas Eve we had 831 people through the gate and raised £2,400.”

The Youth Cancer Trust has a house in Bournemouth where young people with cancer come from all over the country to stay and take part in a range of activities.

l The railway’s next open weekend at 17 Brudenell Avenue, Poole, is April 21 to 22, from 11am to 5pm.

Proceeds will go to PCasso, a local charity supporting men with prostate cancer. Visit www.lus combevalleysteam.com