Downpatrick Railway Fundraising To Offset Flood Damage

Downpatrick Railway Takes A Trip to Buggleskelly with a showing of Oh! Mr Porter

The Downpatrick & County Down Railway and the Strand Arts Centre have teamed up for a special fundraising screening of the timeless 1937 Will Hay comedy “Oh, Mr Porter” on Saturday 24th February at 8.30pm.

It will take place at the at historic art deco cinema in Belfast, The Strand, to help raise funds for the flood stricken heritage railway relief efforts.

Downpatrick and County Down Railway are showing ‘Oh! Mr Porter’ in The Strand in Belfast as a fundraiser for the stricken railway yard in Downpatrick following the recent flooding.

Robert Gardiner, Chairman of Downpatrick and County Down Railway, said: “Following the devastating flooding in November 2023, we could be left with a repair bill for our heritage rolling stock and infrastructure of just under £3million.

“This charity screening provides an opportunity for both film enthusiasts and supporters of the railway to come together for an evening of laughter and goodwill.

“Oh, Mr Porter” is a British comedy classic featuring the legendary Will Hay, Graham Moffatt, and Moore Marriott set in County Fermanagh.

“It tells the story of a bumbling railway station master, played by Hay, stationed at the quiet, rural ramshackle station at Buggleskelly on the Northern Irish border, who unwittingly becomes embroiled in a smuggling operation across the new frontier with the Irish Free State.”

Packed with humour and timeless comedic moments, the film can still entertain audiences of all ages. 

This special screening will also showcase this iconic film in glorious High Definition, and all proceeds from the charity screening will go directly to the Downpatrick and County Down Railway’s Flood Relief Appeal. 

The showing starts at 8.30pm, and there will be a wine reception in the lobby of the Strand Cinema beforehand (and very definitely popcorn). 

Robert Gardiner, Downpatrick and County Down Railway Chairman, gets ready for the showing of ‘Oh! Mr Porter’ at The Strand in Belfast at 8.30pm on Saturday 24th February 2024.

“There will also be a special guest to chat a bit about the history of the film and who Will Hay was before the screening, providing some insight into the golden age of cinema.”

Tickets are £20 (plus an optional £5 donation) and are available at the railway’s website at:

Robert added: “So climb aboard the Comedy Express to Buggleskelly station, where the only baggage is the hilarious antics of Will Hay before the next train’s gone.”

The flood water recedes at Downpatrick and County Down Railway and the scale of the damage reveals itself, as buildings, electrics, rolling stock etc were under several feet of water.